Elizabeth O'Kiely was born in Vancouver in 1923. She attended McGill and UBC, earning her M.A. in social work. She died in 1999. Under her maiden name Elizabeth Bell-Irving, she traced the history of Vancouver's best-known private school for girls in Crofton House: The First Ninety Years, which covers 1898-1988. She, her mother and her daughter all attended Crofton House; as did Ethel Bryant who became one of B.C.'s most important novelists, Ethel Wilson.

Under her married name of Elizabeth O'Kiely, she told the story of her father Duncan Bell-Irving, a successful World War One pilot, in Gentleman Air Ace. He was the first native-born Canadian to achieve ace status for shooting down more than five enemy planes. She also wrote The Arts and Our Town: The Community Arts Council of Vancouver, 1946-1996, with a foreword by Max Wyman. The organization touts itself as the first Community Arts Council in North America. Its first president was Ira Dilworth. There is no discussion of literature in the 50-year celebration.


Crofton House School: The First Ninety Years 1898-1988. (Crofton House School / Milestone, 1989)
Gentleman Air Ace: The Duncan Bell-Irving Story (Harbour)
The Arts and Our Town: The Community Arts Council of Vancouver, 1946-1996 (Community Arts Council, 1996)

[BCBW 2003] "War" "Local History" "Education"