AUXILIARY NOTES: Celebrating a milestone

Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary celebrates its 65th anniversary in the community.

We all need a little perspective on Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary’s 65th anniversary.

The year 1948 was nine years before White Rock’s incorporation as a city and six years before construction of the first hospital on North Bluff Road. It was the year of the hit songs I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover, The Woody Woodpecker Song and the number one hit, Buttons and Bows, by Dinah Shore.

The Aug. 30, 1948 minutes of Surrey council include references to a $3,200 proposal to hard-surface Stayte Road, to an offer of $850 as the purchase price of two municipal lots and to the request for $17 to compensate for 17 New Hampshire poultry killed by unknown dogs, pursuant to Bylaw 912. The latter claim was settled at 75 cents per bird, or $12.75, the maximum allowed.

Life was different then; it was a simpler world.

The community needed a hospital – the doctors and patients went to New Westminster for care – and the expanding community needed to get involved. No Facebook, no email – just party-line telephones, if you were lucky enough to have a phone.

In 1948, Ruth Bruels and Geraldine Fraser started selling second-hand “superfluous” items to raise funds.

And on Nov. 16, 1948, the first Auxiliary donation was made to the hospital, in the amount of $1,000.

A little house was donated by three doctors and the first “Superfluity Shop” was opened March 18, 1950 on Vidal Avenue. Little household items, clothing and pieces of furniture were picked up by the husbands and delivered to the store for the ladies to sell.

The shop flourished for 30 years, but it became too old and too cold, and was last used in filming the 1982 movie Butcher of Burquitlam before being torn down.

A tire shop became available on Prospect Avenue and, with the vision of Diane Perrie and her executive, the Auxiliary raised the funds to purchase the property. With some major renovations over the years and some innovative Convenors, this shop is still the major fundraiser for the Auxiliary.

The Gift Shop started small, right beside the cafeteria. It sold mostly candy and magazines, but there were always hand-knitted baby outfits and stuffed toys available.

Alice Traill took over the Gift Shop in 1982, convinced Dixie Kerr to join her, and together, they did the buying for the shop for more than 20 years. During that time, a major renovation gave the Gift Shop a prestigious spot in the entrance to the hospital.

Baby outfits have been knitted since 1955. The Flower Power group has made our flower arrangements since 1996.

Betty, Janet and their fellow volunteers now run the shop, which carries the most unique gift items, jewelry, knitted baby outfits.

The Gift Shop is certainly a place to shop for Christmas and birthdays, as well as for patients.

The Auxiliary started in neighbourhoods and the names of the groups were likely created over a glass of wine. Goodwill (now Kay Hogg Goodwill Group) and Ruth Bruels Group are each 65 years old, and the Semiahmoo Group is 64 years old. Newer groups of the Auxiliary also have great energy and creativity for fundraising.

The hard work and focus of the Auxilians is the reason for this success, but truly, each member is there for friendship, to stay active, as well as to improve our hospital.

New members, and new ideas are welcomed.

After 65 years, we reflect on the enormous achievements. A million dollars to each of the MRI and maternity projects, and over $10 million donated overall, raised a nickel or dollar at a time, from the Gift Shop, the many group projects, or from your donations to the Superfluity Shop, which are always needed.

Oh, yes, about perspective…

We would not have the hospital that we have today without the 400 existing Auxiliary volunteers, and without the thousands who have donated countless hours over the past 65 years.

Members will meet June 5 for their AGM, and will have a special celebration on June 24.

Marylou Kirstein is a past president of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary. The group writes monthly in Peace Arch News.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First Police Board meeting Thursday a ‘pivotal moment’ in Surrey’s history, mayor says

The 10 a.m. “virtual” meeting Aug. 6 will be live-streamed and details on tuning in will be available at surrey.ca/policeboard

BC ACORN report calls on Surrey to help renters

Report contains steps on how the City of Surrey can “ease” the city’s housing crisis

Keno machine shutdown was no tech glitch, it was $50K prize for Surrey woman

Ticket checked at the Panorama Shell store in Surrey

Parking facility for 100 trucks coming to North Surrey at cost of $30M

‘It’s often difficult to find suitable parking for large transport trucks,’ says association boss

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at Maple Ridge Seniors Village

Fraser Health is on site implementing outbreak protocols at the seniors care facility

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Gangster Jarrod Bacon released from prison for third time

Parole board continues to express concerns about Bacon’s behaviour

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read

l -->