Preeceville Hospital Auxiliary celebrate 80th anniversary

The Preeceville Hospital Auxiliary celebrated its 80th year with its annual May tea and bake sale, as well as a special cake at the Preeceville Club 60 on May 11.

“Through everyone’s generous support through donations, memorials and attendance of our functions we are still striving to keep our out patient department, lab and palliative room the best they can be,” said Elaine Christopherson, president of the auxiliary.

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“We are a team of hard working dedicated volunteers who consist of a wide variety of community members and are currently seeking new members. Members do not have to have a past background with hospital and we welcome anyone who is interested,” she said.

Purchases made by the auxiliary in the past year include: stickers and toys for children in the emergency; an otoscope diagnostic set (used for looking into ears); a Hyfrecator 2000 (used for cautery); supported the Preeceville Musher Rendezvous; LifePak 15, cart and accessories (a heart monitor); a tea kettle, coffee pot and folding chairs for the palliative family room; bursaries and a receiver for the television in the palliative room.

“We also have a sleep chair for the palliative family room on order and we are purchasing a memory foam mattress for palliative,” concluded Christopherson.

Other items purchased in the last year included: Bronslow Hickle Paediatric bags for the emergency room (contain everything required for a medical emergency with a child), a bladder scanner, a vein finder, an ECG machine and a Centrifuge machine for the lab (laboratory device that is used for the separation of fluids, gas or liquid, based on density.)

April 12, 1939 saw the formation of the Ladies Hospital Guild. There were 35 women who met every second Monday with the purpose of raising money for building a hospital. Over the years, monies have been raised with organized suppers, rummage sales, bazaars, whist drives, fowl suppers, bingos, teas, raffles, concessions at softball tournaments, meals at sports days and circuses, galloping teas, and dances. Currently the auxiliary still has raffles, a May tea. the Christmas auction and has hosted a Victorian tea.

The group also receives many donations and memorial donations.

In the early years $1,500 was donated to the Hospital Board. During the war years, members sewed sheets, gowns and diapers. They also knit and sold baby garments.

In 1942, the guild joined the provincial Hospital Auxiliary. Items purchased included: an anaesthetic table, six patient trays, bedside rockers, bassinettes, a dressing cart, biopsy forceps and a sewing machine.

In 1943, the group sponsored a Well Baby Clinic organized by public health. In 1944, the guild donated monies towards a new sterilizer. In 1947, the nurse’s residence was furnished and equipped. In 1948, a new wing was added to the hospital so the guild helped with furnishings and linens. In 1950, a crib and furnishings were purchased for the hospital waiting room. A resuscitator was also purchased that year. In l951, surgical instruments, an incubator, suction machines and gowns were purchased.

In 1959, meetings started with the guild prayer, a practice that is still maintained today.

In 1965, the guild furnished a room at the Lions Hostel. The sponsorship of the candy striper program started in 1967, which continued until 2010 when it was handed over to Hostel (nursing home) Guild.

In 1968, a Red Cross Blood Donor clinic was sponsored. This was also the start of raising money for the proposed new hospital. In 1970, the guild donated monies toward a heart monitor and then paid the balance later. Also purchased in the 70s were: bedside tables, over bed tables, a Geri chair, a bookshelf, corner cupboards for the bathrooms, a playpen, a children’s high chair and a patient lift.

In 1975, the guild contributed half the cost of an incubator. The guild changed its name to Preeceville Hospital Auxiliary in 1976, and also purchased an Annie dummy doll and a baby dummy for CPR teaching.

In 1981, the auxiliary donated towards the Preeceville Developmental centre and also applied for a grant for the centre. In 1989, money was donated towards a new x-ray machine and the auxiliary helped purchase a fetal monitor and Bili light. The auxiliary helped deliver meals on wheels during the 1990s. These years also saw the purchase of a recovery room bed, special mattresses, a baby warmer, an ice machine and contributions to fixing up the east patio. In 1994, the auxiliary outfitted and decorated a palliative care room.

Starting in 2000 the building fund project began with the auxiliary. Following the renovations, the auxiliary again equipped and decorated a new palliative care room and the adjacent family room and purchased an overhead lift for the palliative room. The auxiliary has purchased sheepskins, a Sequifix restraint, pillows, chairs for patient rooms, stacking chairs, nebulizers, a bariatric bed and commode, bulletin boards for patient rooms and shelves for patient bathrooms. The auxiliary supplies the wool for the knitting of prayer shawls for palliative patients and their families. The pop machine at the hospital is a service the auxiliary has looked after for many years.

Auxiliary members organize the students from Preeceville and Sturgis to make patient meal tray favours for special days and they provide flowers for patients on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Educational sessions with health related topics have been held at meetings over the years. Each year a bursary is given to a student entering the health care field and also a bursary is given in memory of Marie Phoenix and Esther Paul to a student entering the BSc Nursing program.

The auxiliary donates to the Be Cripps Memorial Fund annually. The auxiliary also maintains a donation and memorial board for donations of S100 or more. The current executive is: Elaine Christopherson, president; Agnes Murrin, vice-president; Darlene Medlang, secretary; Margaret Neitling and Karen Berezitzky as treasurers and Grace Predy, sick and visiting.