Alert Bay Auxiliary celebrates 70 years

“We are the oldest volunteer service on the North Island.”

The Cormorant Island Hospital Auxiliary, in Alert Bay, is celebrating their 70th year of volunteering on the North Island.

To mark the occasion the group hosted a community barbecue and an unveiling of a new name for the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store.

“We are the oldest volunteer service on the North Island,” said Anne Sennin of the Cormorant Island Hospital Auxiliary, adding “the ladies and men of today, you couldn’t be a more hard working group.”

Over the years the Auxiliary has raised $350,000 dollars to provide for various health care needs and they are currently saving up $35,000 to purchase an ultra sound machine. “It is a lot of money but it will be utilized in the community so we can see more of what is not working,” laughed Sennin.

The event was attended by Village of Alert Bay Mayor Michael Berry, and the clinical coordinator of the Cormorant Island Health Centre.

“I just want to say congratulations to this group of people and the ones from before, before, and before,” said Berry, who then noted that the 70 years the auxiliary has been active is one year less the incorporation of the Village of Alert Bay.

Auxiliary member Joyce Wilby is currently working on a book which chronicles the entire 70 years of the society’s history. She used the auxiliary meeting minutes records, which the society had kept since their second year, as well as the photograph archives kept by the Alert Bay Public Library, to compile the history.

“It’s a big job to sort it out,” said Wilby. “I think the amount the ladies have been able to provide for the hospital has been a great surprise.” She said even though they had small gatherings over the years raising little money here and there it has “amounted up to quite a lot”.

Wilby hopes to have the history published next month.

The celebration also included an unveiling of a new name for the thrift store as it had lacked an official name.

The sign on the building now reads C.I.A. (Cormorant Island Auxiliary) Boutique Thrift Shop and included an informative sign which details an overview of the Auxiliary’s history.

“It’s the best shop in town,” said Berry, adding “all of these wonderful volunteer people that put countless hours of time into making this a really wonderful place to shop and to gather.”

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