Helen B. L. Zeman Aikens

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J.B. Aikens

Helen was born in 1911 (she was the oldest in our class) in Kenarton, Saskatchewan.  In 1931 she took her first degree, B.Sc., at the University of Saskatchewan. There is a gap in our knowledge until 1942 when she completed her B.A. at the U of S and arrived with the other “Westerners” at the University of Toronto. Saskatchewan at the time provided only the basic medical sciences.

In 1944 she graduated in medicine from U of T and did a junior internship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Her military service included appointments in Toronto and Oakville.  In 1947 she took her Diploma in Public Health at the School of Hygiene and continued there, doing research at the Connaught Laboratories until 1952.  She followed this with other post-graduate work at Roosevelt Hospital, New York City in pediatrics, and at Providence Hospital in Rhode Island in pathology and cancer cytology.

In 1958 she moved to the Kingston Public Health Unit and in 1959 to the Niagara District Health Unit. In 1965 she married a widower with an adult family, J.B. Aikens.  It was a happy marriage and she was a highly respected member of the community. She died in 1994, age 83.


Excerpt written By: Dr. Joan Borland



Barnett, Henry, Joan Borland, Jack Laidlaw, Neil Watters and Bruce Wells. The Epic Journey of University of Toronto Medical Class of 1944. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medince, 2012. pg. 12

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