The old hospital

Late in the fall of 1978 just after the first snow fall, also called locally the winter warning, a community came together in an ageing meeting hall before it became the curling/hockey rink for winter.

It was decided that since old Doc McMartin and his small clinic was not large enough to serve the community a proper hospital would be built. This may have had something to do with his habit of prescribing cod liver oil to all his patients.

They spent most of the that meeting and the winter meetings discussing ways to raise funds.

The following spring of 79 there were many a bake sale, community yard sales, and other fun raising activities. The thrasher and steam show brought in a fair amount. The summer carnival and fair brought in a lot more.

By the end of 79 the small community raised enough funding to pay a share of what was needed to build a hospital.

The government and it's new grant system paid a large portion of the rest. This was not to say that much of the work was not done by whoever in the community could help. Which they did.

In the fall of 1980 the St Anne Hospital was opened for the first time to all in the town and surrounding communities. One of it's first patients was the former Veteran and war hero of WWII the town mayor. It was almost justice that the person to claim the first turn of the soil for hospital while doing almost nothing was the first person admitted to the hospital for a heart attack.

At the time it opened it was toted as the newest and most advanced hospital in the province.

Thousands of patients came and went in those hallowed halls over it's 40 years of operation. Hundreds of children had been born and treated there.

However in the fall of 2016, a mere 36 years after opening, some rooms were being closed for various problems. While others could not handle the overflow of patients as many of the citizens of its youth were now in its beds dying of old age.

The final inspection of the hospital in 2018 discovered that much of it's paint contained trace amounts of lead and mercury. It's insulation had trace amounts of abestos as well as it's cement.

The wiring was considered substandard, and it's kitchen and chemical storage facilities would need serious upgrading.

In the end it was decided by a committee far away for the community that it was not worth putting money into to upgrade. The funding was instead put into the building of a newer health centre 22 miles away.

With one long look of sadness Nurse Dorothy shed a tear for this old hospital before she shut down the power for the whole hospital one last time.

A hospital she had, in her youth, attented for various scraps and scratches, throat infections and other childhood ailments.

As the door boomed shut with it's already taped over window she couldn't but help remember that it was here in this hospital with it's one listening doctor that really gave birth to her from that once trouble young boy.

the end.



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