Mrs. Jack Harland No 2 (1922 - 1973)
Wilhelmina Blewett (‘Billy’) Drummond (Jan 1887 - Feb 1973)
m. 18 October 1922, New York
Behind every great man, there is a great woman, and Billy Harland fulfilled that role for over 50 years, despite not marrying Jack until she was 35 years old. She had a sharp intellect, and was his constant companion. They were married in New York City, and he gave her pearls as a wedding gift as she had ‘her Mom's wedding rings’.
Billy had lost both parents when in her early twenties. She was educated at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mass., and then she went to drive an ambulance in France. She joined Ann Morgan’s Ambulance Unit, towards the end of the First World War. This was a voluntary unit for your ‘women of means’ who were keen to serve their country. The Belgian, French and Serbian governments later decorated her. This last decoration was given to her because of her work in helping to transfer and entire hospital unit from France to Serbia. It is clear that she loved socializing. From contemporary letters we know that she enjoyed a happy time in France, with a hectic social life of dances and parties. On her return, she met and eventually married Jack.
It was with her prompting that he began the John H. Harland Company, using money left to her by her father as the start-up capital. They had only one living child, born on 23 November 1923 when Billy was nearing her 37th birthday: Miriam Drummond (Bimby) Harland. Their second child, a boy, was stillborn. Bimby later was to say “It was my mother’s money and connections that made the John H Harland Company possible”. Billy Harland was an exceptional philanthropist, an avid reader and a skilful and enthusiastic bridge player.