A new addition to the Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) archival museum represents the rescue of four plaques that were taken down during renovations to the hospital entrance and never put back.
Doris Riedweg of the Langley Memorial Hospital Heritage Committee said the plaques, which honour people for contributions to the construction and operation of LMH, had been languishing in storage for 16 years before they were finally re-mounted, on a sturdy, hand-finished wooden panel.
The only problem, she said, was the sheer weight of the metal plaques makes it impossible to hang the panel on a wall, so it is currently a standing exhibit in the room that houses the archive collection.
There are four names on the plaques.
Dr. Chapin Key, “whose efforts in planning, supervising equipping and furnishing, made this building possible,” Marion R. Ward for her contribution toward the operation and building of the hospital, Harry B. Devine, the first hospital administrator from 1947 to 1964 and Stewart M. Chapman, who was administrator from 1964 to 1979.
The new exhibit arrived in time for the Saturday (July 14) garden party to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Langley Memorial Hospital at Michaud House which houses the LMH archival museum.
It was July 14, 1948, when what was known as the Cottage Hospital, a one-storey building with 35 beds, opened on Fraser Highway, two miles east of the town of Langley Prairie.
It meant an end to long trips to larger cities to get medical care for local residents.
The site would become known as Hospital Hill
Riedweg, who worked with 13 other volunteers on “Hospital on the hill,” a book about LMH history, said the closing of the cottage hospital and the opening of the 1965 building that is now called the south tower was a “real highlight” in the evolution of the Langley hospital from a small community facility to something bigger.
“It’s a good time to celebrate” when the community is coming together to raise money for a new ER and MRI machine, Riedweg said.
“It’s always been a community hospital.”
The LMH archival museum is open by appointment only, which can be arranged by contacting Riedweg at 604 534-3384.