Manitoba Historical Society
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MHS Centennial Organization: Carman Health Auxiliary

In 1903, two women took the initial steps towards construction of a hospital in Carman, when they canvassed the community for $200 to start building construction. This led to the formation of a Women’s Hospital Aid Society in January 1904, attended by 10 charter members. They raised funds in numerous ways: by deploying collection boxes in the community; organizing concerts, plays, skating benefits, charity balls, bazaars, and socials; catering paid functions, selling candy and refreshments; and sponsoring a “tag day” at the Carman Fair. They also organized showers to collect linen for use at the hospital. The Carman General Hospital was completed in 1905 at a cost of $6,500 along with donations from the provincial government, the Rural Municipality of Dufferin, and the Town of Carman. The women immediately set about “scrubbing out the new building” to make it sanitary for medical purposes, then embarked on a three-year fundraising campaign to purchase further supplies. Group members were also responsible for hiring and discharging domestic staff, doing the laundry, and setting visiting hours. In their spare time, they mended hospital linens, canned fruits and vegetables for the kitchen, improved the grounds, and bought gifts for patients spending the holidays in the hospital. By 1948, there were plans for a new Carman Memorial Hospital, and the group committed to furnishing a three-bed ward in the new building, which opened in 1949. This building was replaced by the present hospital, which opened in 1982. The Carman Health Auxiliary continues to fundraise on behalf of medical care in the Carman area, helping to buy needed medical equipment and “extras” for the facility to improve the care of its patients, an annual student bursary, gifts for staff and patients, and a gift to the New Years baby.

An MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented by President Gordon Goldsborough to the Gwen McClement of the Carman Health Auxiliary on 23 April 2006.

Page revised: 15 May 2011

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