Home Page

May Gutteridge‘s memorable life provides inspiration to Christians, immigrants, social workers, the poor, men and women throughout the world. She began her legacy of charitable work in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1959 only four years after arriving from Britain. She stood alone (as this was still the era where a woman’s place was in the home) without an income or monetary compensation, to begin a long turbulent journey to change a world of deeply held prejudices. Her unshakable conviction in her faith and in a person’s ability to rise above adversity to live meaningful lives guided her through 30 years of devoted care for a community famous for its lost souls and broken dreams.

This odyssey not only went where no-one had gone before but successfully transformed the lives of thousands of people. Governments from all jurisdictions watched in amazement, eventually flocking to her doorstep with funding and endorsing her unending efforts with the highest possible public recognition available for citizens.

Douglas Welbanks, a former Social Worker at St. James Social Service, has reconstructed her inspirational life while documenting her contributions to Canada’s social safety net of human rights and social justice in his new publication entitled, From Lost to Found, The May Gutteridge Story (2011). The book covers a vast range of challenging issues, beliefs, and people at their highest and lowest moments. Even with all of the progress made May’s work remains unfinished.

To order contact Douglas P. Welbanks at


www.maygutteridge.com or 604-728-0968.

3 Responses to Home Page

  1. debbie Rootman says:

    May sounds like an amazing woman! What one motivated woman can accomplish!!

  2. The Rev. Susan Sanders-Tomlinson (sister of Janet Gutteridge) says:

    The home page is excellent.
    When my father and I visited Vancouver in 1993 May and her whole family welcomed us in such a kindly and lovely manner. Although we were visiting my dad’s sister in Victoria, May and her husband met us at the ferry, gave us a wonderful dinner and visit and the next day her gracisous daughter took us from our hotel near Stanley Park and drove us to the train station. May talked about her work in a very humble and unassuming way – it was such a pleasure to meet her and the whole family.
    May Our Lord continue to bless the work and workers who follow in her footsteps.

  3. Neil Otke says:

    I was a social worker for St. James Social Service from 1977-1979 and it was an absolutely joy and privilege to know May and to experience the on-going evolution of care and compassion that made up St. James. I particularly remember how busy I was administrating money, bathing people, giving them haircuts, delivering food hampers, visiting people in hospitals, being with them in court and sometimes staying up all night with them helping them people get withdrawel.
    When I left St. James, I would occasionally come back to visit and enjoyed having tea with Mrs. G. Those years were very formiable for me as a social worker and it was Mrs. G.’s affirmation that I enter the ministry and am now a Lutheran pastor working as a street chaplain on Simpson St. in Thunder Bay Ontario.
    Her interest in L’Arche and Jean Vanier still influence my approach to inner city work. I truly applaud her efforts and the sacrifices she made to help those living in and around the Downtown Eastside feel respected and treated with dignity.
    I am humbled to have worked for such a wonderful person and delighted to have been in her company. Along with my father, she has impacted my life.
    May God continue to bless her family and those involved in such needed work.
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>