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Pessoa/organização
London Health and social services

Bucke, Richard Maurice

  • Pessoa
  • 1837-1902

One of seven children, Richard Maurice Bucke was born on March 18, 1837 at Methwold, Norfolk, England to parents Horatio Walpole Bucke and Clarissa Andrews Bucke. His parents emigrated to Canada in his first year and settled in London, Ontario. At 16 Bucke left home and moved to the United States, where he worked in several locations as a labourer. In 1856 Bucke travelled to the Sierra Nevada where he joined forces with the prospectors Allen and Hosea Grosh. Hosea died within the year of blood poisoning, and in 1857 Bucke and Allen Grosh were lost in a snowstorm. They went 5 days and 4 nights without food or fire, until they arrived at a small mining camp. Grosh died of exhaustion and exposure, while Bucke recovered, despite losing one foot and part of the other to severe frostbite.

Upon his return to Canada in 1858, Bucke enrolled at McGill University to study medicine. He graduated in 1862 with the distinction of being the gold medalist of his year and winning a prize for his thesis, "The Correlation of Vital and Physical Forces." After spending time in Europe for post-graduate studies he returned to Sarnia to take over his late brother's medical practice. He was summoned to California in 1864 to give evidence in the Comstock Lode Litigation before returning to Canada in 1865 where he married Jessie Maria Gurd and settled down to practice medicine in Sarnia for the following ten years. Bucke and his wife had 8 children: Clare Georgina (1866 - 1867), Maurice Andrews (1868 - 1899), Jessie Clare (1870 - 1943), William Augustus (1873 - 1933), Edward Pardee (1875 - 1913), Ina Matilda (1877 - 1968), Harold Langmuir (1879 - 1951) and Robert Walpole (1881 - 1923). His first born, Clare Georgina, died at 10 months old, and his eldest son, Maurice Andrews, was killed in an accident in 1899.

Bucke was appointed Medical Superintendent at the new mental hospital in Hamilton in 1876, and after a year he was transferred to the Ontario Hospital in London where he served for 25 years. Bucke read Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" in 1867 and claimed it to be one of the most important events of his life. He travelled to New Jersey to meet Whitman in 1877 which marked the beginning of a long, close friendship between the two men. Upon Whitman's death in 1892, Bucke became one of his literary executors and was a pall bearer at his funeral.

Bucke was one of the first of his time to depart from orthodox therapeutics at the Asylum. By 1882 he had abolished the medicinal use of alcohol in the Asylum and by 1883 he had discontinued the use of physical restraints and initiated an open-door policy. He also pioneered many surgical "cures" for lunacy, including gynaecological surgery.

Bucke was an active writer, and his many noted works include several psychiatric papers, "Walt Whitman, a biography of the man," "Man's Moral Nature," and "Cosmic Consciousness," the last of which has been held in high esteem for many years and reprinted many times since its publication.

Bucke was one of the founders of the University of Western Ontario's Medical School and in 1882 was appointed Professor of Nervous and Mental Diseases, as well as elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Bucke delivered the opening academic lecture of the year at McGill University by request of the medical faculty in 1891. He became President of the Psychological Section of the British Medical Association in 1897, and the following year he was elected President of the American Medico-Psychological Association.

Bucke died suddenly after slipping on the veranda of his home and striking his head on February 19, 1902. He is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, London, Ontario.

Hellmuth College

  • Entidade coletiva
  • 1869-1976

Hellmuth College was originally granted by the Crown to the English Church Corporation. The Anglican Bishop Hellmuth directed the building of a young ladies’ college which opened September 23, 1869. The college went bankrupt, and the land where Hellmuth College was situated was put up for sale and subsequently purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph of London on June 10, 1899. A year later, on April 29, 1900, the property was blessed and the name was changed to Mount St. Joseph. In 1900, approximately 108 school age children moved from Mount Hope to Hellmuth College, and the site also became an orphanage. On April 3, 1914, the Sisters moved to Sacred Heart Convent after its purchase from the Religious of the Sacred Heart. After the move, Mount St. Joseph became exclusively a home for orphans, and the remaining children at Mount Hope were moved to Mount St. Joseph in 1914. There were as many as 370 children cared in the orphanage at any time. Mount St. Joseph Orphanage had a fire on April 14, 1925, which was attributed to defective wiring, however only the roof was lost. The orphans were moved from Mount St. Joseph to Fontbonne Hall in 1953. In 1967, Fontbonne Hall came under the direction of Madame Vanier Services of London and the Sisters withdrew. In 1954, the Sisters built a new Motherhouse next to the old Mount St. Joseph building. The former orphanage building was renamed Fatima Hall, and became the home of the Mount St. Joseph Academy, a private girls’ school, from 1954 until 1959 until a new wing for the school was added to the new Motherhouse building. The building was also used for a Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten which ran from 1954 until 1975. The building was also used from 1957-1967, the Fatima Hall High School and Aspirancy was founded for girls to introduce them to religious life. The former orphanage building was demolished on May 28, 1976.

House of Providence

  • Entidade coletiva
  • 1869-1985

The property which became Mount Hope originally belonged to William Barker, formerly the mayor of London. It was bounded by Grosvenor, Burlington (now Richmond), George and Thomas (now College). It was originally a school for the Religious of the Sacred Heart from 1857 to 1867, but found to be unsuitable for education due to its size and location. It was bought by John Cooke Meredith from the congregation in 1867. It was then sold to Francis Smith on May 1, 1869 for the sum of $9,250. The property was then purchased by Bishop John Walsh on May 10, 1869 for the same price. It officially opened as the new Mother House and orphanage for the Sisters of St. Joseph on October 2, 1869.

Seventeen orphans – fifteen from Toronto, and two from London – arrived at the opening of Mount Hope. By June 1870, elderly men and women from Victoria Hospital and the Municipal Home for the Aged also came to live at Mount Hope. The number of orphans living at Mount Hope grew to fifty. The women residents assisted with domestic duties and the men did gardening and other tasks.

The former Barker residence had beautiful grounds with broad shaded walks hedged with privet or bordered with flowers, as well as rose bushes, shrubs on the lawn, and many trees including pine, catalpa, birch and maple. The rear grounds were filled with apple, pear, plum and black English cherry trees. The orchards made way for the new brick building added to the Barker house. Inside the building, there was a chapel, a parlour, various workspaces, kitchen and bake room, refectories, and accommodation for the Sisters as well as dormitories for orphaned girls. The floors were bare wood kept scrubbed white and clean. The house was heated by wood stoves and lit by coal oil lamps, with a good oven in the basement where the Sisters made their own bread. Water came from a single well and was hauled from the river in barrels. A frame building at the rear of the house held a school room, sleeping quarters for resident men, a laundry, and dormitory for boys. In the laundry, wooden tubs and washboards were set around the walls, and an iron boiler rested on a big heater in the middle of the room. The stable housed a horse and cow at the rear of this building. Not far from the frame building was a two-storey brick building used by the Religious of the Sacred Heart as their poor school.

On December 18, 1870, a mass was celebrated at Mount Hope Chapel, at which time Sister Ignatia Campbell was installed as the General Superior. Through the efforts of Justice McMahon K.C., the Congregation was incorporated through an Act of the Legislature on February 15, 1871. The first reception for novices took place at Mount Hope Chapel on March 25, 1871.

Mount Hope was expanded to provide more room for the Sisters and for the poor, elderly and orphans. The sod turning took place on June 20, 1876. Bishop Walsh provided the security for any debts, and Mother Ignatia Campbell borrowed from the banks and private individuals. The building took two years to complete and was opened on October 7, 1877. The citizens of London helped to liquidate the debt incurred in construction by donating to collections and working at picnics and bazaars for many years. The newly extended building was christened the Mount Hope Mother House, Orphanage and Home for the Aged.

The new building was a Gothic design, four storeys high, built of white brick trimmed with red around the windows and porches. A large, airy bright basement contained the kitchen, store rooms, refectories and school rooms. The first floor had parlours, a community room and the novitiate, while the second floor held rooms for the Sisters. The chapel was on the north wing opposite the Bishop’s parlour and contained statues of St. Joseph and of the Sacred Heart, which were purchased in France and given to the Sisters by Bishop Walsh. This floor also had rooms for elderly women who preferred to live with the Sisters although they had independent means. The cupola on the third floor was surrounded by rooms for orphan girls, and a lamp that always stayed lit hung in the hallway. The fourth floor held the children’s dormitories. There were also dormitories for elderly women, and elderly men were housed in the remodeled former boys’ dormitory, by then a two-storey brick building.

Improvements were made with the installation of gas in 1878, and in 1887 when machinery was brought in for the laundry. In 1880, Mount Hope provided shelter to over 200 people, its only source of revenue being the salaries of Sister teachers and donations.

By the late 1890s, there was overcrowding of elderly and orphan residents. Many elderly residents required medical care. It was decided for health reasons that the elderly and orphans be separated. In 1899, the orphans – first the school-age children, beginning with the girls and then the boys and the infants – moved with the Sisters to set up their new Mother House at the former Hellmuth College for Young Ladies, which was renamed Mount St. Joseph Orphanage. The elderly residents stayed at Mount Hope, which was renamed House of Providence in 1899.

The House of Providence was a charitable institution which operated under the Charitable Institutions Act.

By the 1940s, the Sisters decided that a new facility was needed since the House of Providence was not able to properly accommodate the growing number of residents and chronic care patients. Additionally, area treatment hospitals were also encountering an increased number of chronically ill patients occupying beds, which were needed for active treatment patients and emergency care. A new addition would allow the Sisters to care for chronically ill patients from London and its surrounding areas, freeing up space in the area’s treatment hospitals. Approval for the new chronic care hospital was given by the Government of Ontario in 1948, and after grants were given by both the Federal and Provincial governments, the construction of St. Mary’s Hospital commenced. On May 1, 1951, St. Mary’s Hospital opened, located on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Richmond Street and one side of the House of Providence. Subsequently, chronic care patients were moved to St. Mary’s.

Following the construction of St. Mary's Hospital and despite financial difficulties, the staff of Sisters, under the leadership of Sister Patrick Joseph Gleeson, decided to renovate each floor of the House of Providence to make it comfortable for elderly patients. The renovation included the expansion and brightening of the small, dark rooms as well as the creation of sitting rooms. The Chapel was also renovated and expanded to make it wheelchair accessible. These renovations were completed in 1952.

Various changes occurred in the administrative structure during this time when the government was taking a more active role in social welfare, and the House of Providence made an effort to become more involved in the local community. During these changes, Sister Consolata became General Superior of the House of Providence and St. Mary's Hospital in 1956. Her interest in aiding the sick made her well liked among the patients. Father McCabe, Director of Catholic Charities, formed an Advisory Board to examine any financial or social issues pertaining to the House. Other committees were created to aid the Advisory Board, including the Recreation Program Committee, which was involved in the day-to-day activities of the patients, and the Budget Committee which was responsible for the annual operating budget.

Other individuals also became involved in the operation of the House. The residents themselves were responsible for entertainment at every social evening. A group of community members formed the House of Providence Guild, which was concerned with residents maintaining hobbies and life interests. The Catholic Family Centre helped the House of Providence conduct interviews for the admission process in order to ensure that adequate care could be provided for each resident. Some doctors, nurses, and other members of staff volunteered their time and services. The Sisters continued to care for the poor. Even when residents did not qualify for pension or welfare, the Sisters would admit them. Indeed, the Sisters themselves would take on financial responsibility for room and board as well as any other service residents were provided.

In May, 1962 a plan for a new facility to accommodate the need for more hospital beds was approved, and in January of 1966, Marian Villa was built on the other side of the House of Providence, supplying an additional 214 beds. The House of Providence still housed 58 beds, but residents from the House of Providence building were gradually relocated to Marian Villa. At Marian Villa, the Sisters were dedicated to providing both residential and extended health care to elderly residents. Additionally, the Sisters placed great emphasis on high quality long term care and viewed residents in a familial manner.

The Barker House was torn down in 1963 when Marian Villa was built, and the 1877 extension was demolished in 1980 when the addition to St. Mary's Hospital was built. By 1969, the House of Providence was deteriorating, and it was decided that is was necessary to build an additional fifth floor to Marian Villa in 1976. The House of Providence was demolished in August 1980. In 1981 a new chapel was opened, and kitchen and laundry departments opened for use by both Marian Villa and St Mary’s Hospital in October, 1982. In 1987, a secured special care unit, containing 14 beds, opened in Marian Villa to provide care for the elderly residents with mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

On June 24, 1985, Marian Villa, St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital were amalgamated and named St. Joseph’s Health Centre. Today, Marian Villa and St. Mary’s Hospital form the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.

Mount Hope Motherhouse

  • Entidade coletiva
  • 1869-1980

Mount Hope was the first Catholic institution in the Diocese of London to offer refuge and a home for the sick, infirm, destitute, and forsaken. The property that was originally the Barker House, was purchased by Bishop John Walsh and opened in 1869 as a Motherhouse and orphanage for the Sisters of St. Joseph. By 1870, the number of orphans living at Mount Hope grew. The elderly also moved to Mount Hope from Victoria Hospital and the Municipal Home for the Aged. The residents helped with domestic duties, gardening and other tasks. In 1877, the original building was extended and renamed Mount Hope Mother House, Orphanage and Home for the Aged. The only source of revenue were the salaries earned by Sister teachers and donations. By the late 1890s, Mount Hope became overcrowded. For health reasons, the orphans were moved to a new location and the elderly stayed at Mount Hope which was then renamed House of Providence. In 1951, St. Mary’s Hospital was built on one side, and in 1966, Marian Villa was built on the other side. The elderly were moved from the House of Providence to Marian Villa over time. In 1980, the House of Providence was demolished.

St. Joseph's Hospice

  • Entidade coletiva
  • 2012-

Prior to the move to the current location on Windermere Road in London, Ontario, St. Joseph’s Hospice administration was located on Talbot Street. The building in which it was housed was known as the Great Talbot Street Estate, and had been purchased by the hospice in 2003. Therapeutic gardens and a memory walkway were part of the grounds. This location served as a resource centre, but did not provide residential care, while recognizing the need for it. St. Joseph’s Hospice came under the direction of the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society whose expertise in operating a ten bed hospice in Sarnia was integral to their involvement in the London hospice proposal.

On July 17, 2012, John Callaghan of the St. Joseph Health Care Society met with Sister Margo Ritchie, Congregational Leader and John Mockler, Business Administrator of the Sisters of St. Joseph. He was looking for property to purchase for the building of the first residential hospice in London. The Sisters did not have any property for sale. The meeting closed with the recognition that there were approximately 17 vacant suites at the Sisters’ residence at 485 Windermere Road. A casual comment was made that maybe they should create a hospice at this location. Sister Mary Diesbourg, Local Leader of the Sisters’ residence, was invited to join further conversation.

What began as a casual comment led to another meeting. This time, Peter Whatmore of CB Richard Ellis, the realtor searching for a site for the hospice, joined in the conversation. During this meeting, there were discussions about the pros and cons of housing the hospice in the Sisters’ residence. Those in attendance recognized that both Mr. Callaghan and the Sisters would need to consult with their respective constituents.

By August 2012, with the approval of the Congregational Leadership Team, the Sisters began an intense discernment process. They held a meeting with John Callaghan on August 22, 2012 at which time he was to bring responses to the many questions which the Sisters had.

The Congregational Leadership Team and other committee members were pro-active in learning more about hospice services, their potential impact on the day to day life of the Sisters in residence and also the capacity of St. Joseph’s Health Care Society to oversee St. Joseph’s Hospice.

The question and answer format became a very important part of the continuing dialogue between the Sisters and St. Joseph’s Hospice throughout the entire construction period. It was important at the beginning of the dialogue since it required the Sisters to consider and discuss the reality of sharing. This included use of gardens, recognition of the Sisters’ Horarium, entry and exit points, and the use of chapel and food services.

At the same time, another process was in motion. The Suites Committee - which had been formed in early 2012 to look for a short to medium term solution to the Sisters’ extra space issue - was first asked their opinion about a possible “partnering” with the hospice in two existing building wings, the East and North wings in the third floor of the residence. They had previously submitted a plan to the Leadership team in June 2012 that saw the Congregation housing guests, students and retreatants. The new idea of Hospice called the Sisters to rethink their plan regarding usage of space.

When the Leadership team agreed to look more seriously at the hospice idea, the first group with whom they consulted was the Suites Committee. Next, a small focus group of Sisters was involved in the discussion. Following these initial consultations to test the idea, the whole community at 485 Windermere Road met on several occasions to discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of partnering with the hospice in their home. The next step was to open the conversation to the whole Congregation. What they were really seeking was the movement of spirit in this communal decision. They looked at the long range actuarial of the community, the implications of sharing space and other possible uses of the space. The short time frame for decision-making was at first seen as an obstacle to good processing. In the end, the timeframe for decision-making was adequate.

Some considered the disruption to the life of the Sisters as an obstacle to having the hospice share the space in the Sisters’ residence. Often this comment came from Sisters living outside 485 Windermere out of concern for their friends. Some wondered if having people die on such a regular basis might further deplete the Sisters’ own sense of energy. Another concern was that they had moved into this new residence only six years prior, and the thought of renovating an almost brand new building seemed unimaginable.

In the end, after much discussion and the raising of all possible questions, the Sisters whole-heartedly endorsed inviting the hospice to share their space. Most compelling was the fact that they needed a long-term plan since they knew they could not administer another use of their empty space. Sisters felt that the hospice was in keeping with their charism. St. Joseph is the patron of the dying; and the Sisters have always wanted to be part of responding to an unmet need. In their history they saw a pattern of having people live with them from the earliest days at Mount Hope, when they shared their home with orphans and the elderly. The Sisters wanted to be part of creating something innovative in London. In short, the communal movement of spirit evoked a positive response to this venture.

On October 30, 2012, the Congregational Leadership Team wrote to John Callaghan expressing their whole-hearted support for this partnership. The hospice would become a tenant within their space. More significantly, both St. Joseph’s Hospice and the Sisters of St. Joseph knew that a possibility that was mutually beneficial had opened up before them.

In November 2012, the first official meeting of the representatives of the Sisters of St. Joseph and St. Joseph’s Hospice took place. In December 2012, there were three preliminary designs being considered for the new hospice, with the design by Alison Haney of Cornerstone Architects selected in early 2013. At the same time, Wendy Wilson was hired as the project manager for St. Joseph’s Hospice, and McKay Cocker Construction Ltd. was selected as the construction firm with Anita Verberk as the firm’s project manager. The two project managers worked closely together during construction. McKay Cocker Construction Ltd. also brought on board Pat Sullivan as the site superintendent. Initially, the proposed project completion date was set for October 2013 with an opening date for November 27th, 2013 and an open house on December 7th and 8th. It was anticipated that the hospice would receive their first resident by January 2014.

The construction firm did their site set-up in May 2013 to begin construction in June 2013, and kept to its schedule, but near the end of construction there were issues with parking and city zoning. There was an approximately 90 day wait for approval from the City which delayed the official opening.

As construction continued on the site, key personnel for the hospice were recruited. In May 2013, Dr. Joshua Shadd was hired as the hospice’s Medical Director with responsibilities in overseeing all clinical aspects of the hospice. In October 2013, the hospice hired Shirley Nieman as their Director of Residential Services and Julie Johnston as Executive Director.

Construction concluded on the ten-bed hospice in November 2013, with John Callaghan officially announcing to the Sisters on November 15th that construction was complete. The hospice administration moved from the Talbot Street location to the new location on December 6th and 7th of 2013. The hospice staff arrived on December 9th to unpack their office equipment. The move was undertaken by Campbell Bros. Moving. An official tour for the Sisters took place on December 16th, followed by the official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 13th, 2014. The first resident was received on the morning of Thursday, February 20th, 2014.

St. Mary's Hospital, London, Ont.

  • Entidade coletiva
  • 1951-1985

The Sisters of St. Joseph built St. Mary’s Hospital at 200 Grosvenor Street in 1951. It received its first 35 patients on April 3, 1951 from the House of Providence. It was created to serve the special medical and nursing needs of the chronically ill. The Sisters assigned to St. Mary’s Hospital in 1951 were: Sr. Patrick Joseph as Superior; Sr. Leonora Doyle as Superintendent of the Hospital; Sisters: Irene Redmond, Austin Gurvine, Christina Dewan, Alberta Kenny, Lutgarde Stock, Bernandine Boyle, St. Matthew McMurray, Gervase Martin, Roseanne Sheehan, Ludmille (Isabel) Girard, Carmela Reedy, Justina Mahoney, Vincent de Paul Cronin, Genevieve Anne Cloutier, Dolores Sullivan. Its physiotherapy department was especially well-known for its efficiency, modern equipment, and well trained staff.

Many patients at St. Mary’s were there for long-term care and were encouraged to make the hospital their home. Some of the programs that facilitated this were the Patients’ Council, a patient newspaper called Between Friends, and fund-raising events for charities and the hospital. The hospital’s budget was often strained. In 1959, the Ontario Hospital Commission Insurance was created which provided welcome financial relief for many hospitals, including St. Mary’s. It was difficult for administrative and medical staff to adjust with extra patient evaluations and paperwork required to qualify for insurance.

In 1960, the hospital re-organized its staff in preparation for the Canadian Council Accreditation Survey which the hospital passed. The hospital maintained its accreditation over the years despite inadequate facilities which were addressed in 1979-1981 with a large building project. The old laundry and what remained of the Mount Hope Chapel were demolished to make way for a new chapel, laundry, and kitchen which connected the hospital with the neighbouring Marian Villa. In 1979, the Pastoral Department was created at the hospital. A Sister or priest worked part-time to co-ordinate the Sisters who volunteered for pastoral visits to patients.

In 1985, St. Mary’s Hospital merged with St.Joseph’s Hospital and Marian Villa to become St. Joseph’s Health Centre. In 1986, rehabilitation services were added at St. Mary’s Hospital for acute injuries, amputees, neurological, orthopaedic, and chronic pain. In 1997, it became part of the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.

Fontbonne Hall

  • Entidade coletiva
  • 1953-1967

Fontbonne Hall, located at 534 Queens Avenue in London, Ontario, was a residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph from May 1951 to September 1953. The building, which was built by William Spencer in 1856 and had previously served as a former Knights of Columbus residence, was purchased to provide more room for the Sisters who had been living at Sacred Heart. On September 11, 1953, all children were transferred from Mount St. Joseph Orphanage to Fontbonne Hall due to changes in government policy that required improved boarding care. A total of 41 children were moved. As a result of this policy change, children under the age of two were placed back with the agency that had referred them. The building was officially opened on December 20, 1953. Fontbonne Hall was more like a foster home than an orphanage, as the new government policies required. In addition, the Sisters operated a Day Nursery School at this location which was licensed from 1954 until 1965 for the children of working families.

In 1963, the decision was made to change Fontbonne Hall’s focus to care for emotionally disturbed children in order to fulfill a growing community need. In June 1965, the Fontbonne Hall Board disbanded and in October 1965, the orphanage came under the direction of Madame Vanier Children’s Services which operated under the Catholic Charities. In June of 1967, the Sisters of St. Joseph withdrew. In 1968, Fontbonne Hall became the first private treatment centre licensed in the province of Ontario under the children’s mental health services legislation. In June of 1972, the contract at Fontbonne Hall was terminated, but the residents of Madame Vanier Children’s Services were allowed to stay until their new quarters were ready. On August 4, 1972, the new facility located at 871 Trafalgar Street was opened for the children’s care, and Fontbonne Hall was closed. The building at 534 Queens Avenue was reopened by the Sisters of St. Joseph under a new program called Internos, which served as a group home for teenage girls.