The Beta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha fraternity was formed at Western University in 1942. The inaugural banquet for the chapter took place at the London Hunt and Country Club on February 18, 1942. This fonds contains lecture papers, certificates and member records.
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.
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.
From 1915, the group formed at Western University had gone by the name The Student Body and in 1921 officially accepted the new name The Hippocratic Society. The society arranged scientific meetings as well as taking on the role of supporting other student organizations and initiatives such as the Gazette, the Honour Society and the U.W.O Medical Journal.
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.
Mary Hussey was born February 16, 1872 in Ashton Township, Huron County, Ontario to Thomas Hussey (1841-1902) and Mary Dalton (1840-1926). One of her sisters, Elizabeth Hussey (1870-1959), also joined the Sisters of St. Joseph community in London and took on the name Sister Euphemia. Mary entered the congregation at Mount Hope, received the habit on August 15, 1895, and took her final vows on August 18, 1897 at Mount Hope in London, receiving her religious name Sister Philomena. She was placed in charge of St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Chatham, Ontario. She was elected General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph in London, Ontario in 1923 and held the position until 1935.
In 1925, Mother Philomena and Sister St. Philip Traynor made a pilgrimage to Rome. While she was General Superior, she and her Council revised the Rule according to Canon Law and established a Book of Customs for the community. She also oversaw the opening of the nurses’ residence at St. Joseph’s Hospital, London in 1927 and a convent in Maidstone in 1930. During her tenure, new missions opened in Paincourt, Maidstone, Leamington, and Windsor. She also arranged for Sisters to teach at St. Patrick’s School in London. In 1935 she ended her term as General Superior, was elected General Councilor, and became the assistant to the Superior at the House of Providence in London. After she retired from office, she was appointed Local Superior at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London. She died at St. Joseph’s Hospital on December 5, 1950. Her funeral Mass was held in the Chapel at Sacred Heart Convent, London and student nurses from St. Joseph’s Hospital formed a guard of honour.
In 1930, the Sisters of St. Joseph opened Killam General Hospital, which remained open the longest of the four hospitals which they started in Alberta. Two years later, St. Paul's Hospital began in Rimbey. The hospital in Stettler had opened in 1926 and closed a year later, while the hospital in Galahad had opened in 1926.
In 1930, the F. E. Nichol home was purchased by the Sisters for the construction of the hospital in Killam. At this time, there were no grants from the provincial government for the construction or operation of the hospital. Killam General Hospital was given this name to demonstrate that all patients would be treated, no matter with which religion they were affiliated. Sister Jane Frances O'Rourke took charge of the hospital soon after opening. Sister Loyola Donovan followed as Superior and Administrator. In 1945, the hospital had 15 beds.
By 1946, the people in the community had observed for some time that a larger hospital was needed, and thus a wing was added to the hospital. In 1958, the Alberta Hospitalization Plan was put in place, and the Killam General Hospital was one of the first of Alberta's voluntary hospitals to adopt the idea of inviting lay persons of the community to help with hospital management.
In 1959, Sister Mary Lourdes Therens became the new administrator for the hospital. In 1963, during her time as administrator, a new hospital, chapel and residence for the Sisters was opened.
The Flagstaff Beaver Auxiliary Hospital was built and originally owned by the county, which had wanted a long-term care hospital. It was a separate corporation with its own board of directors.The county asked Sister Lourdes and Sister St. Bride if they would operate the hospital for the county. They agreed to do so, and it was administered along with Killam General Hospital as one facility but two separate corporations. There was an Administrator who was a Sister who oversaw a Director of Nurses position in each hospital. These positions were also filled by Sisters. The Auxiliary Hospital and General Hospital were connected by a corridor with double doors that were always left open. The Convent was also attached to the building. The Auxiliary Hospital shared the kitchen and boiler system with the General Hospital and the county paid a certain amount for this shared usage. The lab and x-ray departments were shared between the hospitals, and patients from the General Hospital went to the physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments which were at the Auxiliary Hospital. The Auxiliary Hospital provided long-term care and was known as the geriatric wing. The Auxiliary Hospital had 50 beds, and the Killam General Hospital had a small nursery.
In 1970, Sister Mary Kevin Moran became the new administrator for the complex. There was some lobbying for the Killam General Hospital to be turned over to the county, but the Sisters resisted this for twelve years. In the end, the county turned the Auxiliary Hospital over to the Killam General hospital.
The Killam General Hospital was in operation from 1930-1990 under the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1990, the Sisters withdrew from operation of the Killam General and Flagstaff Beaver Auxiliary Hospitals. In 1990, the hospitals were renamed the Killam Hospital Complex. At this point, the hospitals had 30 active beds and 150 chronic beds. In 2002, ownership was transferred to Alberta Catholic Health Corporation. The Convent was rented to home care for five years and is now also owned by the Alberta Catholic Hospital Corporation. The former Convent houses doctors' offices today. The hospital complex was later named Killam Health Care Centre.
Born July 2, 1867. Died 1920. Son of Thomas Frazer Kingsmill and Anne (Ardagh) (Burris) Kingsmill. Henry Ardagh Kingsmill married Inez Ethelyn Smith (1870-1956), an American singer, in 1902. They had two children: Sidney Ardagh and Eleanor.
He graduated with a medical degree from Western University in 1895, and served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps. His name is on a campus plaque honouring Western University's soldiers of WWI. He died during a soldier's flu epidemic in 1920 at the age of 53.
Frederick Winnett (F. W.) Luney was the oldest child of Isabella and James S. Luney, born in 1892 in Middlesex, Ontario. He had three younger brothers: Oswald S., Russell H., and Willford R. In 1914, Luney graduated from the medical program at the University of Western Ontario. On May 12, 1916, he enlisted with the Canadian military in the Army Medical Services division, where he held the position of Lieutenant. Dr. Luney served as an intern at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, where he was appointed Senior Pathologist in 1917, a position he held until 1927. He was also appointed to the Institute of Public Health (London, Ontario) in the Division of Pathology and Bacteriology. On June 29, 1918, he married Cora E. Spettigue in London, Ontario. In 1927, Dr. Luney began work at St. Joseph’s Hospital (London, Ontario) as Director of Laboratories. In 1928, he established the Clinical Pathology Laboratory, known later as the Department of Laboratory Medicine (from 1960 to 1986). Dr. Luney was Secretary of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Nominating Committee from 1928 to 1930. From 1929 to 1961, he held the position of Clinical Laboratory Chief. Through experimentation on animals, Dr. Luney made great advances in blood transfusion techniques, and even pioneered a new blood transfusion apparatus, a “two-person multiple syringe” that allowed blood to flow directly from donor to patient. On March 19, 1945, Dr. Luney directed the opening of the Blood Bank Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He placed Sr. Leonarda Kelly, R. T. in charge of the department. Between 1941 and 1942, Dr. Luney was appointed the fourth President of the Ontario Association of Pathologists, a non-profit medical society committed to representing patients and pathologists, and promoting excellence in the practice of pathology. During his tenure at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Dr. Luney was a member of the First Library Committee (1931), Chief of Staff (1941-1943, 1952-1954), and a founding member of the Historical Committee (1950). He retired in 1961, after 34 years of medical service. In 1970, Dr. Luney established the Dr. F. W. Luney Fund, donating $5,000 for the purchase of supplies for the St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Library. In addition to his work at both Victoria and St. Joseph’s, Dr. Luney established private pathology consulting services to smaller medical centres in St. Thomas (Ont.), Tillsonburg (Ont.), Chatham (Ont.), Sarnia (Ont.), and Brantford (Ont.). He was also an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario for 44 years. Dr. Luney died on February, 1987.
Katherine Joan McKeough was born on August 21, 1920, in Stratford, Perth County, Ontario, the daughter of Christopher James McKeough and Katherine Mary Devlin. She received her habit on October 15, 1945, at Sacred Heart Convent and took her final vows on January 3, 1951. She was given the religious name Sister Angela Felix and after the Second Vatican Council in 1962, she reverted to her baptismal name.
Sister Angela Felix spent her life in hospital ministry. She then attended the University of Western Ontario in London and earned a diploma in psychiatric nursing and in 1952 was appointed to a supervisory position in psychiatry at St. Joseph’s Hospital, London. She was named an instructor at the School of Nursing in London for two years. In 1956 Sister Angela Felix received a diploma in nursing education and in 1965 completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Then in 1967 she earned a Masters of Science in Adult Psychology at Boston University in Massachusetts. She held other positions at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London besides clinical supervisor in psychiatry, such as assistant to the executive director and supervisor of patient services. She held memberships in the Ontario Group Psychotherapy Association; the Canadian College of Health Service Executives; the American Society for Hospital Nursing Service and Administration. She served as board member of the London Psychiatric Hospital, the Catholic Hospital Association of Canada, and St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Chatham and Sarnia. She was President of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada from 1985 to 1986, was a member of the Administrative Council of the Catholic Religious Conference and Vice-President of the Catholic Religious Conference of Ontario.
In 1971 Sister Katherine was elected to the General Council of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London and was named coordinator of health care for the Community and in 1979 she was elected General Superior. She died on April 13, 2006.
Julia Cecilia Moore was born on November 30, 1911, to Francis (Frank) Joseph Moore (d. 1938) and Julia Camilla Coughlin (d. 1965) in St. Thomas, Ontario. Active in the St. Thomas community growing up, Cecilia was a summer lifeguard at Alma College Pool, and served as recreational director at her alma mater, St. Joseph’s High School, during her college years in the 1930’s. Having obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and French from the University of Western Ontario, Cecilia went on to obtain a high school assistant certificate in English and History from the Ontario College of Education in Toronto. Cecilia entered the congregation in London, Ontario in 1935 at Sacred Heart Convent and received the habit and religious name of Sister Julia on August 25th, 1936. She professed her first vows on August 25th, 1938, and her final vows on August 25th, 1941 in the Chapel of Sacred Heart Convent. Sister Julia began teaching at St. Michael’s School in London, with teaching assignments at Roman Catholic high schools in St. Thomas and Sarnia, during which time she completed a Master of Arts Degree in French at Laval University. She eventually became the principal at Catholic Central High School in London. After two years as a principal, Sister Julia was elected General Superior in 1959. She held the position until 1971, then served four years as a General Councilor.
Her leadership had an impact on many aspects of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s involvement in education, health care, social work, retreat work and missions in Peru and Northern Canada. Mother Julia was also named Health Care Coordinator of the community, serving five hospitals and two chronic care hospitals. She was the Superior of the community of Sisters at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and a member of the pastoral care team, during which time she studied theology and scripture during a sabbatical year at Regina Mundi College in Rome. In 1979, Mother Julia returned to Mount St. Joseph where she directed retreats, and served as a spiritual director as well as a historian for the Congregation, and a consultant for the archives department. Mother Julia’s work, Beginnings in London Diocese 1868-1879, was presented to the Canadian Catholic Historical Society in 1978 and published by the London Roman Catholic School Board. Mother Julia died on October 5th, 1995.
In 1960, Mount St. Joseph Centre opened to treat emotionally disturbed boys. It was located at 354 King Street West, Hamilton, which was the former site of Mount St. Joseph Orphanage, which had been closed by the Sisters of St. Joseph due to the declining number of orphans in residence. A shift in views occurred in the 1950s, and the Welfare Protection Agency began placing more children into foster homes rather than keeping them in large orphanages.
Mount St. Joseph Centre was a private, charitable, and non-denominational organization, operated by a board of directors. The Sisters of St. Joseph sat on the board, along with professionals and laypersons. Sister Eugenia Callaghan was the Administrative Director of the Centre. Other Sisters worked there as teachers and child care workers. All of the Sisters who worked at the centre had living quarters on the third floor.
Due to its success, more space was eventually needed, and in 1975, boys aged 6 to 12 remained at 354 King Street West, while boys aged 13 to 17 moved to 66 Canada Street, otherwise known as “Canada House”.
Mount St. Joseph Centre’s board of directors defined “emotionally disturbed youth” as children who had difficulty adjusting to everyday life, and thus needed special attention. The boys were described as being in conflict with their families, communities, and themselves.
A child entered the centre after first trying community-based, out-patient counselling services. If this treatment did not prove helpful, then a team of representatives from the Children’s Aid Society, Board of Education, Probation and Court Services, treatment centres, counselling services, and the Regional Children’s Centre met to discuss the child’s case. If it was determined that the child’s needs could be better met by residential treatment, they were sent to Mount St. Joseph Centre. It is important to note that children were never taken away from their parents. Instead, the centre offered a place for boys to live and receive treatment. If the child did not have a family, then the Centre worked with the Children’s Aid Society to find an appropriate family for them.
The therapy was based on everyday positive relationships with staff members. If a boy acted out, he was provided with explanations and clarifications about his behaviour, and encouraged to try new responses. This type of therapy was used to instill self-esteem into the child, as well as re-adjust his thinking about how to better respond to social interactions. The children were encouraged to join community activities, like sport clubs.
In 1967, the Department of Health promulgated the White Paper, which outlined the necessity for residential treatment centres. As a result, Mount St. Joseph Centre was accredited as a Schedule IV institution under the Revised Mental Health Act of August, 1968. This Act provided financial support for children in residential treatment centres, but not for additional educational services. In 1971, it was decided that the Public School Board would assume the responsibility for the educational programme at the centre.
On September 5, 1980, Mount St. Joseph Centre moved from 354 King Street to 69 Flatt Street, Burlington. They subsequently changed their name to Woodview Children’s Centre. The Sisters were not involved with the Centre once it moved.
With a now vacant building at 354 King Street, the Sisters put together a committee to determine what to do with the property. There were discussions about creating a seniors’ day centre and also a pastoral care centre for aging priests. The seniors’ day centre was to be in partnership with Providence House, a facility for the care of the aged, which was an institution which had been founded by the Sisters. It does not appear that these projects came to fruition.
In 1982, the Cool School leased two floors of the former Mount St. Joseph Centre. The school offered alternative education to assist troubled youth and those with learning disabilities. Other tenants included a pastoral counselling centre, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation and a bereavement group sponsored by the Sisters.
Founded by Dr. Crane in 1934, the club met weekly at the YMCA. It facilitated medical lectures and discussions on medical subjects for physicians in London and the surrounding area.
Dr. Edwin Seaborn was born on May 14, 1872 in Rawdon, Quebec to Reverend William Minter Seaborn and Aquile Rondeau Seaborn. The family moved to London, Ontario in 1879. Seaborn graduated from Western University Medical School in 1895. After graduation he taught Anatomy at the Medical School, becoming a professor of Anatomy and Surgery and the Chair of Anatomy by 1916. In 1916, Seaborn was appointed commander, at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, of the No. 10 Stationary Hospital established by Western University. The unit served in England from 1916 to 1917, and France from 1917 until demobilization in 1919.
In private practice in London after the war, Seaborn also carried out medical and zoological research. His research included an extensive study of Ochronosis, a rare disease, and a study of the Maskinonge species of fish. Seaborn was also interested in local history. He was very active in the London and Middlesex Historical Society, and served as president in 1936. Through his involvement in the society, he obtained access to the diaries, letters and reminiscences of various area residents, including early pioneers, farmers, merchants and doctors. Seaborn combined his love of medicine and history, to write The March of Medicine in Western Ontario, which traces the history of medicine in Western Ontario. In 1938, the University of Western Ontario presented Seaborn with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
In 1904 Seaborn married Ina Matilda Bucke, daughter of prominent physician, Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke. They had one child, Ina (Dee-Dee) Jessie Helene.
Edwin Seaborn retired in 1948 and died in London, Ontario in November, 1951.
In London, the health care complex now known as St. Joseph’s Health Centre (originally St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Marian Villa), was administered by the Sisters until 1993. St. Stephen’s House, a transition home for alcoholics, was run by the Sisters until 2004. In Chatham, St. Joseph’s Hospital was administered by the Sisters until 1993, and since 1998 has been part of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.
In January 1995, the Sisters donated their residence at 430 London Road to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Sarnia to be used as a hospice. St. Joseph’s Hospice in London came under the direction of the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society whose expertise in operating the ten-bed hospice in Sarnia was integral to their involvement. A residential facility was opened in 2014.
This shift in hospital control came about in 1987, following the election of a completely new General Council of the Sisters of Joseph, when hospital ownership and sponsorship were raised as key issues. The Society was formed in 1993 in response to a decision made by the Sisters to cease direct administration of the health care institutions founded by them by establishing each of their hospitals as separate corporations and having lay people take over the administration. Therefore, they formed the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society to take up the particular role of Sponsor to ensure the ongoing stewardship of the treasure of Catholic health care into the future. The Society is the overall governing body. It connects the hospitals back to the Church to maintain Catholic identity. It has both canonical and civil law obligations. It governs the hospitals and hospices formerly administered by the Sisters in London as well as hospices in Sarnia, and London. The Society also addresses social and health needs and serves as a catalyst to implement solutions.
St. Joseph’s Health Care Society now administers St. Joseph’s Health Care (London, Ont.), St. Joseph's Hospice of Sarnia and Lambton, and St. Joseph’s Hospice of London.
Some important dates in the history of the transfer of hospital administration:
July 6, 1993: St. Joseph’s Health Care Society formed in London.
1985: Bluewater Health Foundation formed.
January 29, 1998: Signing of Strategic Alliance Agreement between St. Joseph’s Health Care Society on behalf of St. Joseph’s Hospital Sarnia and Sarnia General Hospital. Ownership of hospital later transferred to Lambton Hospitals Group.
February 1, 2018: Chatham Kent Health Alliance formed, amalgamating Sydenham District Hospital, the Public General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham.
The St. Joseph’s Health Care Society is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Society approves the appointment of institutional board members, upper management, and auditors and annual audited financial statements.
The Society is responsible to:
• approve the appointment of board trustees who are committed to the mission and values of St. Joseph’s Health Care Society;
• ensure the provision by board members, staff, and administrators of health and pastoral care services to reflect Roman Catholic values; and
• foster the Catholic Church’s philosophy of health care through sponsorship of a health leadership program.
In 1890 a meeting was held between Reverend Paul O.F.M of St. Joseph’s Parish Chatham, Reverend Mother Ignatia Campbell, and Mother Aloysia Nigh, along with some of the prominent doctors of Chatham. They decided that the community was in need of a hospital and the sisters agreed to run it. A boarding house, formerly the Salvation Army Barracks, was leased until funds could be secured for a new hospital to be built. The hospital was officially opened in its temporary quarters on October 15, 1890 with Mother Aloysia as its head, assisted by Sisters Francis and Martha. Construction began at the hospital’s long-time site of 519 King Street West on the Thames River with the laying of the cornerstone in 1891. Construction was completed in 1892. Over the years, wings were added onto the hospital to accommodate the growing community of Chatham and, therefore, the growing demand for hospital services.
In 1972, the amalgamation of services occurred between St. Joseph’s Hospital and Public General Hospital as ordered by the Ministry of Health for financial reasons. Legislative changes, increasing government control, and the decline of Sisters in the health care field led to the gradual withdrawal of the Sisters from the hospital. The last year that a sister was a hospital administrator was in 1984. In 1992, the Sisters withdrew from residence at the hospital, and in 1993 the ownership of the hospital was changed over to the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society. The hospital is now Riverview Gardens, a long-term care facility.
In 1927, following the Congregation of St. Joseph’s exit from Stettler, Alberta, Archbishop Henry Joseph O’Leary decided that a hospital was greatly needed in Galahad, AB. His request for one was granted by the General Superior and her Council, and in 1927, the Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in Galahad, AB. At this time, the only building available to the Sisters was a small 2 story teacherage. The building, which had no plumbing, consisted of only 6 rooms and came with little to no equipment that could be used for medical purposes. The Sisters were thus frequently required to improvise and make-do with what was available. During these early years in Galahad, the government provided no financial aid to the Sisters; consequently, they depended on funding provided to them by the community and via bank loans.
Throughout 1927, increasing numbers of settlers arrived in Galahad, AB. At times, this led to crowding within the existing hospital and to a heavier workload for the Sisters. Sister Jane Frances O’Rourke and Mother Patricia Coughlin are said to have played crucial roles during this time. Due to the growing role of the hospital and because of space constraints, plans for a new hospital building were soon underway.
In 1927, Mr. Hugh Taylor, (the sole real estate agent in Galahad, AB), offered the Sisters four and a half acres of land on which to build their new hospital. Following this acquisition of land, bids were tendered and the C. Gordon Company of Vegreville won the construction job. The Wheatland Municipality contributed $2,500 to construction costs. The new building, which consisted of two stories, a brick interior and large grounds, was officially opened by His Grace Archbishop O’Leary on September 3rd, 1928.
In 1932, the average number of patients was 20, and most were from the towns of Galahad, Forestburg, and Alliance. The first doctors to work in the hospital were Dr. Maynes and Dr. A.J. Cook. In 1947 Sister Loyola Donovan became Administrator and Sister Genevieve Casey became Superior of the Galahad Community.
In 1953, having conferred with the community, the Sisters advised that a new building was once again needed. They requested that a new structure be built - one that could house 45 beds and a 10 bed bassinet nursery. In 1953, having won the contract, Burns and Dutton started work on the project with Mr. Alex Fellows in the role of Construction Superintendent. The cost of the new building was estimated at $250,000.00, and was funded through a long term loan from the Bank of Montreal in Forestburg. In September 1954, the new building was officially opened and blessed by Monsignor Carleton.
In 1955, renovations to the old hospital were undertaken. Upon completion of the renovations, the building became living accommodations for the Sisters. During this time, the Chapel was also relocated nearer to the new hospital and was later blessed by Archbishop MacDonald in May 1955.
In 1962, an Advisory Board was established that included local business men and district farmers. This Board was meant to advise and assist the Sisters with matters regarding the hospital as well as Provincial and Municipal affairs.
On August 4th, 1973, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Galahad was granted full accreditation.
Toward the end of the 1970s, many physicians were leaving rural practice and vacancies created by retirees were not being filled. In the meantime, the Sisters also faced staffing problems. Since Vatican II, more professions and apostolates had become available to Sisters, which resulted in a decline of Health Care apostolates. All of these changes led the Congregation of St. Joseph to re-evaluate their ownership of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Galahad.
On August 31st, 1978, the Sisters of St. Joseph gave up their ownership of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Galahad. Thereafter, ownership was transferred by the Department of the Ministry of Health to Flagstaff-Hughendan Hospital District #55.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of London had been invited by the Sarnia City Council in 1942 to open a hospital in Sarnia. Initially, the Sisters faced opposition on the part of the Ministerial Association, the Derry Orange Lodge, and some medical personnel. Construction of the hospital began in 1944, and after numerous delays due to shortage of materials and labour during WW II, one floor was finally opened in 1945 to meet the acute need for hospital beds. St. Joseph’s Hospital was fully operational with 150 beds on March 1, 1946. The formal opening ceremony for St. Joseph’s Hospital was held on October 18, 1946. The Honourable George A. Drew, Premier of Ontario cut the ribbon. Bishops J.T. Kidd and J.C. Cody (Coadjutor, Bishop), and priests from London and Detroit were present. Officials from other hospitals were also present.
The entire million-dollar project was funded by the Sisters of St. Joseph. They received no financial assistance from the government and only a $10,000 grant from the City of Sarnia. The units were filled with both Canadian and American patients from Port Huron and the state of Michigan.
The Sisters carried out active nursing roles and administrative duties, notably Sister Pascal Kenny who served as the first Administrator of the hospital. She had previous experience working in operating rooms and administration and was a member of the American College of Hospital Administrators and of the Board of Governors of the Ontario Hospital Association.
In the early days, nursing, technical, and domestic staff were difficult to find. Many of the staff were mothers of families who could only work occasionally. Students from St. Joseph’s Training School of Nursing in London helped fill the nursing rota, and were hired permanently after graduation. Because of the nursing shortage, innovations were made such as the central distribution of medicines and central surgical supply rooms.
By September 1948, St. Joseph’s Hospital was better able to provide for patients. A detoxification centre was opened and many alcoholics were treated at the hospital. A clinic for cancer patients was also held regularly at the hospital, overseen by a team from the London Cancer Clinic, who did follow-up checks and therapy. The Auxiliary Radiotherapy and Follow-up Cancer Clinic, the first of its kind in Ontario, was opened in conjunction with the Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation.
The late 1950’s saw increased demand for hospital services, which led in 1959, with the advent of government sponsored coverage, a seven-storey, two million dollar addition and an increase of 150 active treatment beds. In 1960, a 45-bed paediatric wing was added. An Intensive Care Unit was opened in 1967, and an Employee Health program was established. The late 1960’s saw the addition of a Social Service Department, and in 1969, a diagnostic radioisotope service. This time period also saw the establishment of District Health Councils.
In the 1970s, the hospital needed to update its facilities to meet accreditation standards, as well as to comply with the Sisters’ own standards of care. Because government funding was decreased, Sisters needed to do more independent fundraising. This decade also saw the Ministry of Health deciding to amalgamate hospitals and rationalize services in Lambton County. This became a political issue which meant many hours were spent on discussions with the District Health Council, the Mustard Report, and other tasks. St. Joseph’s Hospital also became embroiled in a confrontation with the Ministry of Health on contentious issues regarding health services, which conflicted with the Catholic faith. The end of this tumultuous period saw the closure of the paediatrics unit and the doubling of obstetrical unit beds.
From 1979 onwards, diminishing numbers of Sisters able to take on the responsibilities of hospital management led to the hiring of qualified laypersons, beginning with Frank Bagatto as the Executive Director in June, 1979.
In the 1980s, quality assurance became a major focus, and new services such as the chiropody and palliative care were added. The new Chronic Care Facility was financed and completed. In November of 1983, A Memorandum of Understanding between St. Joseph’s Hospital, Sarnia and Sarnia General Hospital was drafted to form the basis for the future planning of each hospital.
St. Joseph’s Hospital was officially re-opened as St. Joseph’s Health Centre on October 12, 1990. This was the amalgamation of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Continuing Care Centre (formerly the Chronic Care Facility), Sarnia-Lambton Workers’ Treatment Centre, and a Day Hospital. The name change reflects a concomitant change in service provision and governance. St. Joseph’s Health Centre no longer served as exclusively as an in-patient treatment centre for the critically ill. It also provided long-term care beds and outpatient treatment. Assets were transferred from the Sisters of St. Joseph to the newly incorporated body of St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Sarnia. The board of directors of the corporation was now the hospital board, and six Sisters formed the General Administration as members of the corporation which was an un-shared capital corporation. Ownership lay with the corporation while the Sisters maintained final authority over decisions.
In January 1995, the Sisters donated their residence at 430 London Road to St. Joseph Health Centre to be used as a hospice. On January 29, 1998, the St. Joseph’s Health Centre joined in partnership with the Charlotte Eleanor Engleheart Hospital and the Sarnia General Hospital by signing the Strategic Alliance Agreement. In April 2003, ownership of St. Joseph’s Health Centre was given to the Lambton County Hospital Group.
The St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Chatham dates back to 1901 when it was discovered that secular nurses would be needed to help out the Sisters of the Congregation in the hospitals. Doctors gave the lectures at the school. From 1903 onward, graduates could be given diplomas. Sister Monica Coyle became Directress of the School. The Alumnae Association of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which started in 1915, raised funds for the school. The last graduating class from the school was in 1970. After the closure of the nursing school, training was delivered by St. Clair College, and nurses did their practical training at both Chatham hospitals (St. Joseph's Hospital and Public General Hospital).
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.