Happy 100th Birthday Chilliwack General Hospital

The first Chilliwack hospital officially opened February 28, 1912 completely free from debt. The women of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary raised $5000 of the total expenditure of $10,000.In addition to fundraising, the Auxiliary women gathered supplies for the hospital wards. They supplied feathers and made pillows. They put notices in the paper for donations of fruits, jelly, vegetables, furniture and bed linens.

The hospital was located at western portion of the city. The hospital was two storeys with three wards, doctors’ preparatory room, reception, operating room, toilet and bath rooms, kitchen, orderly’s room, matron’s room and a nurses’ sitting room. The hospital had room for between 13 patients but could accommodate 20 patients if required. It had no elevator and patients had to be carried between floors.

Chilliwack Museum and Archives ADD.MSS.781
Chilliwack Hospital in 1912 with First Matron Mrs. Johnson Wemp. Image courtesy of Chilliwack Museum and Archives ADD.MSS.781

Indefatigable in their work are the members of the Hospital Auxiliary. The president, Mrs. Henry Eckert, and the secretary, Miss Grossman, along with the other members, have done noble work in pushing along the work. To them, the thanks of the public is due and they can rightly take credit for the building being ready and open today.

The Chilliwack Progress, March 6, 1912

Chilliwack General Hospital has expanded significantly from its humble beginnings. The women of the Auxiliary wish the hospital a happy birthday as they continue together in their work to support health care in the community.

British Columbia History Online

Many aspects of British Columbia history are not found, or are sketchily covered, in online sources. The British Columbia Historical Federation has begun a project to build an online encylopedia of British Columbia history.

A brief history and timeline of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary has been added to the online encylopedia by author Andrea Lister.

Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The Auxiliary’s  book, Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years, 1911-2011, will be for sale at the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market at Heritage Park. Look for it at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives booth and pick up a copy of the book as a Christmas present for someone you know.

Fri,  November 18 – 10am to 9pm
Sat, November 19 – 10am to 6pm
Sun, November 20 – 10am to 4pm

The 37th Annual Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market, presented by the Chilliwack Arts Council  is a traditional highlight of the Chilliwack Christmas shopping season.

Admission is $2 with children ten and under admitted FREE.

Auxiliary joining Chilliwack Museum in celebration

The Chilliwack Museum and Archives is celebrating its 4,000-square-foot, half-million-dollar expansion with an open house. The museum will celebrate its new addition with an open house on Oct. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. Staff will give behind-the-scenes tours of items and records rarely seen by the public.

The Chilliwack Museum and Archives has kindly given the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary some space to sell their book Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years, 1911-2011, ($20.00, ISBN: 978-0-9868333-0-4) by Andrea Lister.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Chilliwack Museum celebrates archives expansion.

Service and Constancy of Effort

“”If you continue to give the service and constancy of effort which you have given in the 27 years since your inception, you will continue to merit the wonderful support that you have had in the past,” said Mayor C.A. Barber, Saturday afternoon, on officially opening the attractive new Hospital auxiliary dining hall at the fair grounds.”” (Chilliwack Progress, August 31, 1938, p2).

The Lions Club Hall, formerly the Auxiliary Dining Hall, photo by Robin Lister

The Auxiliary Dining Hall was used for many years to serve the fair meals. They sold the hall to the Chilliwack Light Horse Breeders and Riding Club in the 1950s but continued to use the building until they stopped catering fair meals in 1965.

The Auxiliary ladies will be at the 139th Annual Chilliwack Fair, August 5, 6, and 7, although not to serve meals; they will be conducting a recruitment drive. Be sure to drop by and say hello.

Read more about the Auxiliary and their involvement at the Chilliwack Fair in their book, Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years, 1911-2011, for sale at the Thrift Shoppe, Chilliwack Museum, and at the 2011 Chilliwack Fair.

Pies, cakes, cold meats, and salads

Catering the meals served at the refreshment tent at the fall agricultural fair was a main fundraiser for the Chilliwack Auxiliary for 54 years. They started serving meals out of a 20 by 20 foot tent in 1911.

Chilliwack Progress, September 2, 1915

The Auxiliary ladies will be at the 139th Annual Chilliwack Fair, August 5, 6, and 7, although not to serve meals; they will be conducting a recruitment drive. Be sure to drop by and say hello.

Read more about the Auxiliary and their involvement at the Chilliwack Fair in their book, Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years, 1911-2011, for sale at the Thrift Shoppe, Chilliwack Museum, and at the 2011 Chilliwack Fair.

Thank you, thank you very much

President Donna Goodey

The Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary Centennial Planning Committee would like to thank everyone for attending our successful Centennial Celebration, Saturday, May 14, 2011, where we celebrated 100 years of service. We enjoyed seeing Mayor Sharon Gaetz, Councilman Stewart McLean, Site Director Elma Pauls and Clinical Coordinator of Redesign Project, Elsie Duncan in attendance. The Chilliwack Hospital Service League, as well as past members, and members from the Abbotsford and Mission Hospital Auxiliaries were also present.

The 100th anniversary cake, made and decorated by Terry Grier, was delicious and completely edible, even the dogwood icing branches! The poster depicted the Auxiliary donated $5,000,000 to the Chilliwack General Hospital over the past 100 years for equipment and patient care and comfort items.

Author, Andrea Lister, of the Auxiliary’s 100 years, Commitment to Caring signed books and greeted guests. The book chronicles the early fundraising efforts starting in 1908 and through the formation of the Auxiliary in 1911 to the present. The book includes interesting facts and stories about the Auxiliary, Service League and how they have supported the growth of the Chilliwack General Hospital for the past 100 years.

HiQ

Barbershop quartet HiQ took guests through decades of song.

'Elvis' Steve Elliot entertaining

Elvis’ (Steve Elliott) rocked the room with an entertaining act.

Everyone who attended had a wonderful time and I’m sure the event will be the ‘talk of the town’ for some time to come!!

Centennial Committee