Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary (1899 – 2019)
Today is our Auxiliary’s 120th Anniversary!! Thank you to all of you who carry on this very valuable work, supporting health care in the Cowichan Valley and beyond. I wish we could announce the dollar amount we have donated over all those years; I’m sure it would be millions. In exchange, we know the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment of providing for those who need and appreciate our help. Bonus: being part of an amazing group of men and women who have become a wonderful support to each other and good friends over the years. As always, thank you all for your support! We are in this together.
The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary’s new executive for the coming year, back row, from left, includes: Morna McNair, Linda Lendrum, Marianne Rachwalski, Dawn Grant and Ian Hardy. Front: Donna McCasky, Diana Lenihan, Susan Beaubier and Nancy Southern. Some are new to their respective positions and others are returning for another term.
(Reprinted from Chemainus Valley Courier, Dec. 2, 2019.
Photo by Don Bodger)
Summerland Health Care Auxiliary (1909 – 2019)
“Seven million dollars have been donated to health care needs in Summerland and other areas by the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary. Thank you to all of you that have donated over the years, and to all our customers, we appreciate each and every one of you!”
Kelowna Hospital Auxiliary (1929 – 2019)
This year marks 90 years of service by the Hospital Auxiliary to Kelowna General Hospital. Our history dates back to 1904 when “The Ladies’ Aid” was founded to help the fledgling hospital, which opened its doors in 1908. By 1919, the Ladies’ Aid had a host of fundraising projects, the most popular of which was the annual Valentine Dance.
In 1929, a “Girl’s Hospital Aid” was formed by the younger members and it is from this group that we get our roots. In the early years, its chief purpose was the furnishing and upkeep of the nurses’ residence as Kelowna General Hospital at that time had a training school for nurses. The school was closed in 1936 and the Girl’s Hospital Aid became “The Junior Hospital Auxiliary,” which name it retained until 1970 when it became the Kelowna Auxiliary to the Kelowna General Hospital. After furnishing the nurses’ residence, wards were furnished, and many pieces of equipment were donated including much of the equipment for the original intensive care unit.
1931 was a Depression year and there was no membership drive, no dance, and only $30 profit from the Regatta midway booth. Talk of a new hospital arose in 1939 and the Auxiliary pledged to furnished a ward for the sum of $288. 1948 saw the opening of a small gift case open twice a week and stocked mainly by donations of baby knitwear plus cigarettes and candy. A “ward cart” with magazines, minimal toiletries, and candy preceded the opening of a gift shop in 1968. Several expansions and relocations of the Gift Shop have occurred, the most recent being the move to the present location in the Centennial Lobby.
In 1952 the first Blossom Time Fair was held and in June 1953 a Coronation Ball was held. Then, as now, there were bake sales, rummage sales, book and record sales, raffles, and potluck suppers. On the 60th Anniversary of the Auxiliary, an evergreen tree was planted by Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauve, Governor General of Canada. The tree is the large blue spruce outside the rehab wing at the west of the hospital. The plaque is still visible under the branches facing the sculpture by Robert Dow Reid. (Pictured are gardeners and an Auxiliary volunteer prepping before the arrival of Her Excellency.)
Fundraising efforts were greatly enhanced with the opening in the early 1990s of the “General’s Snackery,” now renovated and renamed the “Royal Bistro.” A further venture saw the realization of “The Perking Lot” which has grown from a specialty coffee bar to include sales of muffins, scones, etc. A full-time Business Enterprise Manager was hired in 2003 as the business sites had grown and required full-time oversight that exceeded what could be expected solely from volunteers. The present B.E.M, Nancy Wells, came on board in 2007. From 1980 to 1997, the Auxiliary had a voting member on the Hospital Board of Trustees (now replaced by the Interior Health Board) plus, to date, a representative on the Board of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, which is now the legal entity of the Auxiliary.
We are proud of our history, and on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary, we look forward to continuing to serve the hospital and the citizens of our community.
(From Kelowna Auxiliary Auxee Talk newsletter, March 2019)