One dollar ticket for a fundraiser put on by the Bulkley Valley District Hospital to raise money to form the nucleus for the new hospital building. Prize was a new Ford Sedan supplied by Henry Motors in Smithers. Drawing to take place on March 30, 1928 at a Grand Ball being held in the Smithers Town Hall.
1. Administrative 2. Board of Trustees 3. Sisters of St. Ann 4. Bulkley Valley District Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary 5. Bulkley Valley District Hospital Society 6. Construction and engineering records 7. Legal records Fonds is organized into seven series: Other records not organized under these serie…
A board of directors was elected and included: E. E. Orchard, Charles Reid, L. S. McGill, James E. Kirby, and David Jennings. Dr. Hankinson was appointed medical superintendent. Dr. Hankinson and the Board of Directions went on to hire additional medical staff. Miss G. E. Eveleigh, R.N., was hired as matron and anesthetist, and Miss M. E. Williams, R.N., and Miss S.C. Smith, R.N., were hired to tend to patients and assist Dr. Hankinson. All three women were veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, having served during the First World War. Other staff included a cook and an orderly. Both Dr. Hankinson and Mr. A.F. Dunn (Hospital Secretary) worked without compensation. The Hospital officially opened on September 1, 1920.
By 1964, there was a shortage of doctors and the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons suggested an internship program that would send 3rd year medical students to remote locations. This would alleviate the work load taken on by the Sisters (who worked without compensation) and nurses of the Hospital. The Sisters of St. Ann endorsed this plan and the Hospital Board approved subsidization for these students.
Despite construction costs being quoted from $24,000 to $30,000, the actual cost came to well over $60,000 due to terrible weather conditions that delayed shipments and prolonged construction. While the Provincial Government agreed to pay one-third of the cost, and the Oblate Order loaned the Sisters $17,000, the amount owing still placed the Sisters in financial uncertainty. The Sisters provided care for Indigenous patients, which the Department of Indian Affairs paid for thus subsidizing the operating costs of the Hospital. However, since most Indigenous patients attended the nearer Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton, B.C., the income received from Indian Affairs did not alleviate the financial burden.
Despite the economic limitations put forth by the Great Depression, the citizens, local clubs and businesses of Smithers donated money, building materials and their time in support of this project. J. H. Kirby donated three lots located on the hill overlooking the town. Sister Mary Osithe sketched out the first plans for the new Hospital, which were translated, free of charge, by BC Government Architect Henry Whittaker and his assistant, Mr. Hargreaves, into a final design. The foundation for the new Hospital was in place by the end of August, 1933, and on October 29, 1933, a corner stone was laid. In 1934, the first patients were moved into the new building from the original location on Second Avenue and King Street. The Hospital’s new board consisted of representatives from the Catholic, Anglican and United Churches, the provincial government, the Ladies’ Auxiliary, the town commission and the Sisters of St. Ann. The new Bulkley Valley District Hospital (Sacred Heart Hospital to the Sisters) was officially opened on June 2, 1934.
From 1962 to 1968, there was a constant stream of letters between the Sisters in Smithers and Victoria imploring that a new modern facility was needed and that the original 1934 building should be completely abandoned. By 1968, the Provincial Council of the Sisters of St. Ann met in Victoria, B.C., to discuss their future in Smithers. Mother Superior Kathleen Moroney advised the BC Health Minister, the mayor of Smithers, and the secretary of the Bulkley-Nechako Regional Hospital District that the Sisters of St. Ann would relinquish control of the Hospital by June 1969. The Bulkley Valley District Hospital Society was then formed and negotiations regarding the transfer to the new Society were undertaken. While the transfer of ownership happened on October 30, 1969, most nuns did not leave until June 1969.
In 1933, the Hospital Board through Bishop Bunoz, bishop of the Yukon and Prince Rupert Vicariate, invited the Sisters of St. Ann to build a new hospital and take over the management and operation of the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. On May 37, 1933, an official agreement was signed by the Hospital Board and the Sisters of St. Ann, transferring all current holdings to the Sisters. The Sisters agreed to build a new hospital for $25,000. The planning for a new hospital began immediately.
In 1948, both the Federal Government and B.C.’s Provincial Secretary, George Pearson, promised separate funding opportunities to aid in building additions to existing hospital facilities. The Sisters took advantage of this opportunity and planed a new nurses’ residence. Plans were drawn by BC Government Architect, Henry Whittaker, and George Adomeit was contracted to build it. The new Nurses’ Residence was opened on May, 1949.
In 1957, the new Administrator, Sister Mary Lucita, began plans for an addition to the Nurses’ Residence. The Sisters requested that Night Avenue between Queen Street and Columbia Drive, as well as the T-shaped lane behind the hospital be closed so the Hospital could be further expanded. In addition to this, the original 1934 section of the Hospital was in desperate need of repair and the Hospital was no longer meeting ever increasing patient needs. While extra funding was pursued for such expansions, the Sisters of St. Ann were no longer able to raise their portion of the required funds and had to cease such fundraising endeavors.
In 1973 the Bulkley Valley District Hospital launched a building a renovation project, planning to add a major wing with new facilities for many departments while renovating a portion of the 1955 wing. The original 1934 Hospital building was demolished.
Sister Mary Kathleen was appointed as Administrator in 1953. She determined that a new wing should be added onto the Hospital and Henry Whittaker drew up a plan for the new addition. In June 1954, a BC Health Minister approved a 30-bed reinforced concrete addition. The building was to include an emergency operating room, not exceed $215,000, and would feature the first elevator in Smithers. The New Steel Concrete Memorial Wing opened on March 30, 1955.
The Bulkley Valley District Hospital continued to expand, gaining a surgical department in 1921, an ambulance in March 1922, and the first x-ray machine in 1923. A log building was erected at the corner of First Ave and King Street to house the Hospital’s nurses. In September of 1925, the Board of Directors endorsed a proposal for a new, more modern hospital introduced by Dr. Hankinson. However, fundraising did not begin in earnest until four year later, in 1929, and by this time Dr. Hankinson had left Smithers, B.C. for Prince Rupert, B.C. During this time, fundraising for the new Hospital proceeded slowly as a result of the Great Depression and outside sources of funding were considered.
The Bulkley Valley District Hospital was established in 1920 by the Smithers’ Citizens Association, with the guidance of Dr. Cecil H. Hankinson, a medical graduate from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. The first Hospital occupied a pre-existing building (originally an electrical shop) on the corner of Second Avenue and King Street that was renovated to meet current medical demands, housing 13 beds, an operating room, an office, a kitchen and a dining area.
The formation of the Bulkley Lodge Society through the Smithers Society of Concerned Citizens in 1982, replaced the need for extended care beds in the BV District Hospital, reducing the number of beds needed in the Hospital. Today, the Hospital acts as an acute care facility with 25 beds, servicing communities from Houston to Hazelton, B.C.
Records that were created both by the original Board of Directors (1920 – 1934) and Sisters of St. Ann (1933-1969) were passed on and kept by management until their donation to the Archives. Records in this collection from the Ladies’ Auxiliary were kept by Jean Maskiewich whose sister-in-law, Jean Kilpatrick, was the former Treasurer of the Auxiliary. Maskiewich then donated these records to the Archives.
Scope and Content
2. Board of Trustees
3. Sisters of St. Ann
4. Bulkley Valley District Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary
5. Bulkley Valley District Hospital Society
6. Construction and engineering records
7. Legal records
Fonds is organized into seven series:
Other records not organized under these series include a reports and orders ledger, a physicians journal and day book, donations for the Hospital’s first x-ray machine, x-ray reports, event programs and donations for a L.B. Warner memorial.
Series contains records created by the Board of Trustees of the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Records include by-laws, meeting minutes, statements of revenues and expenses, miscellaneous letters, British Columbia Health Association activity bulletins, a medical manpower plan and invitations to …
Series contains records created by the Board of Trustees of the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Records include by-laws, meeting minutes, statements of revenues and expenses, miscellaneous letters, British Columbia Health Association activity bulletins, a medical manpower plan and invitations to monthly meetings and the official opening of the expanded hospital.
Series contains records reflecting the period of time when the Sisters of St. Ann operated the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Records include correspondence, donations, insurance records, permits and specifications for a hospital addition, and a bill of sale from the Benevolent and Protective Or…
Series contains records reflecting the period of time when the Sisters of St. Ann operated the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Records include correspondence, donations, insurance records, permits and specifications for a hospital addition, and a bill of sale from the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
The Bulkley Valley District Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary was formed on June 11, 1920, after the Hospital Board was founded. Mrs. A. Kilpatrick chaired the first meeting and was the first Auxiliary member appointed on the Hospital Board. The first Auxiliary executives included Mrs. James MacDonald (President), Edith O’Neill (Vice President), Mrs. W.F. Boyer (Treasurer), and Mrs. David Jennings (Secretary). Twenty-three women paid their memberships of $1.00 at the first meeting. From 1920 to 1934, the Auxiliary provided the Hospital with linens, towels, etc., made gowns for surgeons and nurses, pneumonia jackets, bath robes, baby clothes and night shirts, and often helped pay the nurses’ salaries. They also hosted fundraising events for necessary furnishings and equipment for both the Hospital and Nurses’ Residence.
Scope and Content
Series include records created or collected by the Ladies’ Auxiliary, including donations and hospital accounts and a history of the Ladies’ Auxiliary.
Series includes records pertaining to architectural and engineering work done on the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Series includes architectural drawings, engineering drawings, a schedule of hardware, and Whittaker & Wagg records for an addition to the Hospital in 1954. Whittaker & Wagg records…
Series includes records pertaining to architectural and engineering work done on the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Series includes architectural drawings, engineering drawings, a schedule of hardware, and Whittaker & Wagg records for an addition to the Hospital in 1954. Whittaker & Wagg records include material specifications, electrical specifications, correspondence and an architectural drawing.