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1959:Graphic issues a special edition

Posted on December 5, 2017 by 40 Mile Commentator

This was a special edition put out by the Graphic Newspaper on February 26, 1959.
Almost 900 Tour New Hospital- A.J. Bonette, in the dual role of Mayor and Chairman of the Hospital Board was Master of Ceremonies for the official opening of the new $225,000 Hospital on February 12 at 2pm. Despite the bitter cold south wind and poor road conditions, the main section of the hospital was filled to overflowing with Bow Island and District residents who had eagerly awaited this day. Dan VadenBerg brought greetings and congratulations from the County of Forty Mile, after which Jud Couillard offered congratulations on behalf of the Town of Bow Island, followed by Alex Treiber of Foremost and Mayor Wilf Lautt of Burdett. Harry Strom, MLA, in his remarks mentioned that this was the first hospital built in the Cypress Constituency, “May it serve long and well”. Mr. Strom then introduced E.E. Maxwell, Supervisor of Municipal Hospitals, who said that the government will take over the capital expenditure and costs of operating the hospital in accordance with a province-wide plan, from the three mill general assessment. The Federal and Provincial governments have supplied over $11.000 in X-Ray equipment and approximately $58,000 as a construction grant. Also present for the opening ceremonies were D.H. Oland, General Contractor, representatives of the architects, M. Mckirman and Bouie; as well as Board members Clarence Weatherhead and John Vos of Burdett, Ron Hinchliff of Foremost and Secretary-Treasurer H.J. Noble all of whom assisted with the smoothly conducted tours. In the evening Miss Gerwing, the Board members and other visitors were served the first supper in the dining room as a conclusion of a happy day. There were a number of pictures in this issue including the nurses: Maureen Gooding, RN (who became Mrs. George Corraini) and her sister Mavis Gooding, RN (who became Mrs. Larry Weatherhead); Mrs. Henline RN, Miss Wuest RN, Mrs. Edna Southerton, receptionist, Kathleen West, X-Ray and Laboratory Technician, staff members, Mrs. Sadlemyer, Mrs. Neice, Trudy Broens, Paul Benet, Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Garrecht.
History: It has been just over four years since the first steps were taken that eventually meant a hospital for this district.. In 1954 the Hospital Districts of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat and Taber each wanted a portion of what is now the Bow Island Municipal Hospital District No. 72- which would have meant that the chances would have been slim of ever having a hospital in this area at all. To prevent this from happening a committee consisting of the late Laurence Halpin, as President of the Chamber of Commerce: Harry Strom, Gus Bonette and Elmer Bergh, was organized and met with the Minister of Health, Dr. W.W. Cross, and obtained his promise that a District could be if the necessary support could be obtained in this area- it was. A Provincial Hospital Board was set up in 1955 with Gus Bonette representing the Town of Bow Island, Clarence Weatherhead representing Burdett, Ron Hinchliff for Foremost, Dan VandenBerg and Doug Flamme representing the Municipal District (now County) and H.J. Noble as Secretary Treasurer.
Two years ago Elmer Bergh, Jud Couillard and Fred Bieber together with Dave Elford and Gladys Hagen of Foremost were appointed to a Community Hospital Committee to investigate the possibility of building under this plan. However, after visits to Edmonton this plan was turned down but consent was given for the building of a Municipal Hospital if a financial arrangement could be made. A plebiscite was held and the Board was given authority to issue debentures for $233,000 with the balance of Capital Costs made up by the Provincial and Federal governments. So today we are enjoying the use of a beautiful new hospital and we offer sincere thanks for the people of this District to men and women, who have labored so long and fully to bring this dream into reality. Old Fred comment- Mayor Gus Bonette was the best Mayor Bow Island has ever had. This has been another Stroll Down Memory Lane with Old Fred Mellen.

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