All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Sunday, August 1st, 2021

History of hospital needs to be on display

Picton's original hospital, on Hill Street, is now a nursing home.

I was recently contacted by Fred and Sherry (Shortt) Newcombe of Northport. They had been cleaning out a barn and discovered a picture and diploma of Sherry’s great aunt Gladys (Everleigh) Hart.

The interesting fact about this discovery was that the diploma (in pristine condition) indicated that Gladys had graduated from the first class (three students) of the Nursing School of our original hospital which is now Picton Manor. From the first graduation in 1922 until the last in1944 when the training school was dicontinued,75 women earned their diplomas.

The fact that PEC Hospital had a nursing school was quite amazing because in 1922 the hospital had only 26 beds. In his history of the hospital Al Capon stated that in 1933 over 1300 individuals attended the nursing graduation at the Picton United Church. I decided to take Gladys’ photo and diploma to PECMH hoping that it might be displayed with other archival items. To my disappointment there was only the nursing cap and cape of 1942 nursing graduate Greta (Marvin) Spriggings on display beside the nursing desk on the second floor. Many of the nursing graduates like Gladys and Greta who nursed at our local hospital were from the County and in actual fact a few are still living here.

At one time photos of the former Chiefs of Medical Staff, Administrators and Board Chairs were displayed on the first floor. Not so today. At present in the x-ray corridor there is art displayed that is for sale. While this art is certainly very pleasing to the eye, none of it depicts the history of the hospital. There are however two pen and ink drawings of the original and present hospital. Both of these drawings were done and donated by local artist Ruby Young.

You only have to read Al Capon’s well documented history of our local hospital titled “This House Of Healing PECMH” to realize what a rich history our hospital has. The community of Prince Edward County certainly owes Mr. Capon a debt of gratitude for his extremely well documented history of PECMH.

I believe the hospital auxiliary that was formed in 1934 has chronicled their history over the last 78 years. In addition Mr. Capon devoted a chapter in his book to detailing the history of the many volunteers that have helped to keep their hospital vibrant. It is hoped that someday there will be a designated area highly visible to the public in our hospital where the history of PECMH will be displayed.

Good examples of where this has been done well are Belleville and Kingston hospitals. A good start here at PECMH is the Donor Wall recently installed by the PECMH Foundation. Unfortunately at the present time there appears to be limited space. It is very easy to become complacent about our hospital history post amalgamation in1998 but then does this not negate the tireless efforts of those who have worked so diligently over the last 92 years to preserve our local hospital.? I believe it does.

-Fran

Filed Under: Uncategorized

About the Author: Fran Renoy has lived in the County for forty years so considers herself almost a native. Both she and her husband Bill consider themselves very fortunate to live in beautiful Prince Edward County. She worked at PECM hospital for thirty years as a x-ray technologist,retiring in 1998.She has a very strong passion for her local hospital and encourages others to speak up and not be afraid to do so if they feel that services are being eroded.

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  1. Lori Smith says:

    I completely agree. I did not realize that the photos had been removed. Perhaps the waiting room for emergency has enough wall space?

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