In 1918 a flu epidemic hit, the University was closed for two months, and Pembina Hall was used as a municipal hospital, isolation unit, and morgue. Over three hundred people were admitted and at least 72 people died in the building. Muir Edwards, a volunteer admitting officer and U of A professor, died of the flu on his 39th birthday Nov 14th, 1918, after helping the sick there.
Pembina became a women's residence in 1919. It was home to a women's club called the Wauneita Society whose motto was "Each for All, and All for Each" and translated into Cree by fellow student Roy Mitchell as "Payuk uche kukeyow mena kukeyow uche payuk." The wording was chiselled above the north and south angled entrance doors.
During the Second World War the building was home to the Royal Canadian Air Force Initial Training School Number 4. A propeller that hangs in the building was a gift of Group Captain J Hutchinson and said to be from the first airplane to cross the hump to China.
Pembina Hall was nearly slated for demolition in the 1970s and actually condemned in 1974. The building was saved from the wrecking ball and became a mature students' residence in 1975, a graduate students' residence in 2003, and used for academic office space in 2006.
Recently renovated, the building is now home to the School of Native Studies. #Alberta #Canada #Edmonton #North_Campus #Pembina_Hall #U_of_A #University_of_Alberta