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Lillian Alice Chase

Chase Plays Chase

Born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Lillian Chase attended Wolfville School and entered Acadia in 1912. She was one of the outstanding women in the class of 1916–a class where more than half of the women went on to have careers. She was an all-round athlete, active in student government and in literary societies and was an editor of the Athenaeum, the student magazine.

In an era when women did not play sport in organized intercollegiate leagues, and therefore not eligible for athletic distinction, she excelled in intramural and town versus gown sports. Chase represented Acadia, albeit informally in non-league play, on hockey and basketball teams and played tennis competitively. In basketball or hockey games played with teams from Port Williams, just across the Cornwallis River from Wolfville, she often competed against her younger sister, Sue.

Lillian Chase and her teammates also played intramural sports. As reported in the April 1914 Athenaeum: “The playing of hockey by college girls is a new thing at Acadia. Much interest has been taken in it by everyone connected with the college, and when it was announced there was to be a public game on March 5, all made a special effort to be present....The girls surprised the spectators by their clever work.”

After graduation in 1916, she received a medical degree from the University of Toronto, worked with Banting and Best on insulin research, and practised medicine in Regina from 1924-42 (where she became well known for her expertise in diabetes treatment and research). She served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1942 to 1945, then opened a practice in Toronto and was affiliated with Women’s College Hospital.

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