Dr. George “Bryce” Kendrick was born in Lyn, Ontario on the 14th of November, 1885. He was the youngest of 2 sons born to Albert Kendrick and the former Lettie Karley. His parents were farmers and his brother’s name was Montford A. Kendrick. By the time Dr. Kendrick was 5 years old, his family was living in Tilbury West Twp in Essex County where his parents were farming.
Dr. Kendrick attended Ridgetown Collegiate before going to medical school at Queen’s University. He graduated M.D.,C.M. in 1911. According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Registry, Dr. Kendrick joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 18th of July, 1911.
Dr. Kendrick practiced medicine in Sault Ste Marie for one year before joining the medical practice of Dr. Simeon G. Story in Blenheim in 1912. (Dr. Simeon G. Story died on the 4th of November, 1912). Dr. Kendrick was listed in the 1913 Bell Telephone Directory. His address was listed as George Street and his phone number was 26.
Dr. Kendrick married Edna “Pearl” Simon on the 12th of November, 1913 in Windsor, Ontario. Mrs. Kendrick was born on the 4th of October, 1891 in Rochester Twp, Essex County. She was the 2nd of 4 daughters born to Adam Simon and the former Ella Hill. Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; Bulah Mary Simon (who died on the 3rd of January, 1891 at the age of 4 months. Baby Bulah was buried at the Ruscom United Church Cemetery), Ella “May” Simon and Cleda Fern Simon. After her father died Mrs. Kendrick moved to 121 McKeough Ave in Chatham with her mother and her sisters. According to the 1911 census, Mrs. Kendrick was a music teacher.
At approximately 2 a.m. on the 24th of November, 1916 Dr. Kendrick was in the cab of a train locomotive enroute to attend to a sick woman in Erieau when the cab was struck head on by another locomotive. The Chatham Daily Planet published an article (25th of November, 1916 edition) stating that the collision occurred “just west of the gravel road, where the old coal chute used to be”. In 1916, the train was the only way to access Erieau as there wasn’t a roadway at that time. Dr. Kendrick was knocked unconscious and required medical attention. Dr. Charles Langford ended up going to Erieau on a handcar to attend to the sick woman. Dr. Kendrick made a full recovery.
Dr. and Mrs. Kendrick had a daughter, Kathleen Pearl Kendrick born to them on the 4th of July, 1917 while they lived in Blenheim.
Dr. Kendrick was a good friend of Jack Miner, who was a wildlife conservationist based out of Essex County. Dr. Kendrick supported Mr. Miner’s efforts to study migratory birds and even predicted that Mr. Miner would one day be a household name, which turned out to be correct. Dr. Kendrick bolstered the Blenheim Horticultural Society memberships from 35 members to over 600 members.
In 1919, Dr. and Mrs. Kendrick traveled to England to further their studies. Dr. Kendrick went to Leeds to study at the Moorfield Eye Hospital. Mrs. Kendrick studied the organ with Matthias Turton. The following year, the couple moved to Chicago and Dr. Kendrick did post-graduate work at Chicago Polyclinic with Professor Otto Prier. Dr. Kendrick received his diploma of certification, Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat and he registered with the Royal College of Physicians in England.
The Kendricks’ returned to Chatham-Kent and Dr. Kendrick set up his medical practice in Chatham in 1920. They purchased a home located at 69 Adelaide Street in Chatham.
Dr. Kendrick became the Chief of Medical Staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital and later Chief of Medical Staff at the Public General Hospital. In both institutions he regularly brought in learned professionals to speak on current topics. In 1928 Dr. Kendrick was elected Chairman of the Chatham Board of Education. Dr. Kendrick’s medical practice was listed in the 1929 Vernon City of Chatham Directory and his practice was located at 51 Sixth Street.
He was instrumental in obtaining funding to add on a viable technical shop facility to the Chatham Vocational School. Dr. and Mrs. Kendrick donated the furnishings for the waiting room attached to the X-Ray department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham in 1936. In 1944 he was elected President of the Kent County Medical Society. He was a past President of the Canadian Club of Chatham. He was a member of the Shriners and he was the President of the Chatham Horticultural Society. He was instrumental in starting the Western Ontario Flower Show. His love of gardening was nurtured by growing dahlias. Dr. Kendrick supported the Conservative Party. According to the 1941 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Kendrick’s office was located at 40 Sixth Street. According to the 1946-1947 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory Dr. Kendrick’s residence was located at 69 Adelaide Street North and his phone number was 1808.
Dr. Kendrick retired in 1953 and he moved to Windsor. In 1956, he moved to Toronto with his wife Pearl and in 1958 he was elected President of the Ontario Horticultural Association. In 1959 he was a member of the Department of Floriculture of the Royal Winter Fair. Dr. Kendrick was honoured when a dahlia was named after his wife, “The Pearl Kendrick Dahlia”.
Dr. and Mrs. Kendrick lived on Riverside Drive in the Village of Swansea (now a neighbourhood in the City of Toronto) above the Humber River in the late 1950’s until their deaths. Dr Kendrick was passionate about many environmental conservation issues and he actively voiced his concerns to protect the Grenadier Pond from development or encroachment. He chose to lead conservation efforts through education.
Dr. Kendrick died in Toronto on October 10th, 1968. His funeral was held in Chatham. Mrs. Kendrick died in Mississauga (Ontario) on the 25th of February, 1983. Dr. and Mrs. Kendrick were buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Charles Baldwin Langford and Dr. Simeon G. Story are also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**Dr. Kendrick’s brother, Dr. Montford Kendrick practiced medicine in Saskatchewan from 1908 -1918 and in Leamington (Ontario) from 1918 until his death in 1932. He also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
***The webmaster is grateful for the assistance of Goldie Howes in regards to providing research assistance for this biography. The webmaster would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Kendrick’s grandson, Richard MacFarlane who provided the photo of Dr. and Mrs. Kendrick with their twin grandsons, Robert and Richard MacFarlane.