Hospital auxiliary celebrates half-century of accomplishments

PORT HARDY - Formerly Women's Hospital Auxiliary, organization has raised $1.5 million since its inception in 1962.

  • May. 12, 2011 3:00 p.m.

PORT HARDY – The hospital auxiliary celebrated Health Care Auxiliary Day May 10 and it has a lot to celebrate.

Since 1962 the intrepid group has raised about $1.5 million for medical equipment.

The group started as the Women’s Hospital Auxiliary and had the unusual situation of having no hospital to support, said Sylvia Frankforth, president of the current auxiliary. So the women joined the North Vancouver Island Medical Society to provide care for local residents, including starting a medical clinic and enticing a doctor to come to the community. A decade later, around 1972, a 10-bed hospital opened where the seniors centre is currently located. Another 10 years later the current 25-bed hospital was built in Port Hardy.

Along the way, the auxiliary has purchased everything from beds to monitors, ice machines and defibrillators, whatever was needed to ensure the comfort of patients, said Frankforth.

“People usually think the government outfits the hospital with all this equipment, but it’s not,” said Frankforth.

The society’s efforts have benefitted the hospital, Eagle Ridge Manor, the ambulance station and the fire department.

“Most of the money comes from the little thrift shop,” said Frankforth of the store the society runs on Main Street. “We are thankful to all the people from Port Hardy and the surrounding communities that have donated.”

In the early 1990s the group registered as a society and changed its name to the Port Hardy Hospital Auxiliary Society to better represent its male volunteers. Now the group is hoping to attract a few more younger members so current members can pass the torch.

“We are always looking for volunteers,” said Frankforth. For more information or to get involved call her at 250-949-7607.