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A hospital built to remember 3 young men lost to war


Here is another in a series of 3 stories that bring perspective to our local military history. Michael Dawe explains the history of the Red Deer Memorial Hospital.

The origins of the Red Deer Hospital go back to the beginning of the last century. Great Britain and her colonies became embroiled in the Boer War in South Africa. A number of young men from Red Deer and area went overseas to fight for the Empire.

On July 1, 1900, 22-year old Angus Jenkins of Red Deer was killed near Watervaal when his outfit was ambushed by a group of Boers. He was the first Red Deer resident and the first member of the Lord Strathcona Horse to be killed in action. Shortly thereafter, the community learned of the death of Archibald McNichol. In September, word came that Charles Cruickshanks had been killed near Bad Fontein.

On October 21, 1900, a large public service was held at the Methodist Church in memory of these three young men. At a subsequent public meeting, it was decided to build a hospital as a permanent memorial to them.

Early in 1901, an eight-member hospital board was formed with George W. Greene, a local lawyer, as the first chair. A public fundraising campaign was launched.

The board was given the money which had been collected at the memorial service for the Patriotic Fund. By January 1902, $1100 in pledges had been collected in the community. Lord Strathcona sent a cheque for another $1000.

The Victorian Order of Nurses promised $2000 and donated the plans and specifications for a 13-bed facility. Later, the hospital board passed a resolution officially affiliating the hospital with the V.O.N.

Initially, the board wanted to build the hospital on a site on the north side of the river, east of the Gaetz Avenue traffic bridge. However, Edward Michener and John T. Moore offered generous financial assistance towards the purchase of property on the top of the South Hill. In the spring of 1903, work began on this site.

The pace of construction was slow. Work on the superstructure did not get underway until August. There was a continual shortage of funds. Town Council was asked for an exemption from taxes and either a donation of money or a loan. In response, Council offered to pay off, with a donation of labour, any debt left after the completion of construction.

Finally, in April 1904, the building was ready for occupancy. A member of the V.O.N., Miss Wright, was hired as matron with a salary of $50 per month. The hospital board set the admission fees for patients at $7 for public wards and $10 for private rooms. Patients were expected to supply their own medicines and surgical dressings.

The first patient, W.N. Snider, was admitted to the hospital with a case of typhoid fever on the same day that the matron arrived for work. He unfortunately suffered a relapse and passed away on July 7th. On April 25th, Dr. Henrietta Denovan, assisted by her husband Dr. Howard Denovan, performed the first surgical operation. On May 3rd, the hospital board established a fee schedule for the use of the operating room.

The Women’s Hospital Aid Society gave the hospital a tremendous boost in raising funds to furnish the building. In October 1904, a young women’s organization, the Alexandra Club, was formed to also support the hospital. One of their more successful fundraising ideas was the creation of women’s hockey teams, the Stars and the Skookums.

The hospital board raised additional funds by selling “admittance tickets” at a rate of $5 per year for individuals and $10 annually for families. Local businesses were offered this form of hospital insurance for their employees at a cost of $1 per month per person.

Red Deer, although still a small town of only 1000 residents, now had the only hospital between Calgary and Edmonton.

Read about our region’s connection to the Lord Strathcona’s Horse.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Board Member Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) Musician, Photographer, Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

Central Alberta

Red Deer Woman to be honoured for helping other women through her photographraphy



From the Central Alberta Soroptimist Club

Central Alberta Soroptimist Celebrate International Women’s Day

Soroptimist International of Central Alberta is please to host their International Women’s Day Garden Party on Sunday, March 8 from 2 to 5 pm at the Penhold Memorial Hall in Penhold.  Tickets are $25.00 each and available on Eventbrite.  Our guest speaker will be Councillor Teresa Rilling from the Town of Sylvan Lake.

sylvan lake town councillor

Soroptimist International is a women’s organization that goes to great lengths to promote concerns, challenges and achievements of women everywhere. With the multiple award programs of the organization, deserving women and girls in the community are recognized and honoured.

“We are very pleased this year to present Ashley Jackson with our “Ruby Award: Women helping Women”, said Sherri Smith, of Soroptimist International.  Ashley Jackson Boudoir is a Red Deer portrait studio that focuses on female empowerment.  This award honours a woman that has worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and volunteer work, and Ashley says that sums up her life’s goal in one magical sentence!

The club will also present the first “Live Your Dream Award” to Adra Mckenzie, a single mom of two boys from Lacombe.  She is enrolled at Burman University taking her Bachelors BioMedical Sciences with the intention of one day becoming a pharmacist.  The second “Live Your Dream Award” will be presented to Cheralee von Gunten, a single mom of four from Red Deer.  She is currently enrolled at Athabasca University taking her Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies.  She intents to pursue a career in writing, or in a field that contributes to addressing women’s issues.  The third “Live Your Dream Award” will be presented to Lindsey Steeves, a single mom of two from Eckville.  She is currently enrolled at Grant MacEwan University completing a Correctional Services Diploma.  Her goal is to obtain a career that will allow her to support her children and pursue a career within the Correctional System of Canada.

The Violet Richardson Award (for young girl volunteers) will be presented to Santera Ogles of Blackfalds, a Grade 10 student at Ecole Secondary Lacombe Composite High School.  Her volunteer effort include the Red Deer Regional Hospital, JS McCormisk School and fundraising projects for Safe Harbour.

For more information about the International Women’s Day Garden Party or Soroptimist International, call Sherri Smith at 403-391-7912 (cell) or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre thrilled with Provincial Funding announcement



Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

Mark Jones of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre comments on the Province’s financial commitment to children

From the Province of Alberta 

New funding model for child advocacy centres

The Government of Alberta is introducing a consistent and equitable funding model to help vulnerable children across the province get the help they need.

Child advocacy centres provide a safe place for children and youth who have experienced abuse. The centres allow clients to tell their stories and access support throughout the entire process of disclosure, investigation, the judicial phase and healing journey.

The centres bring together multi-disciplinary teams to provide a coordinated and child-friendly approach that minimizes trauma, supports healing, and increases the likelihood of offender conviction.

A new funding allocation model will replace the previous system of annual grants, which created uncertainty and inconsistency between centres. A three-year funding cycle will ensure an equitable and sustainable approach, emphasizing government’s continued commitment to supporting the most vulnerable Albertans.

“Child Advocacy Centres show the power of public, private and not-for profit organizations working with caring citizens to support children and families affected by abuse. This new funding model will ensure fairness across the province and give families certainty in accessing the supports they need.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services

“We are grateful for the support of the Government of Alberta. Child Advocacy Centres are the result of a strong community response working to end child abuse through collaboration of services and resources. This funding allows us to continue to help children and youth who have experienced abuse efficiently access the services and supports they need, under one roof.”

Allison McCollum, chair, Zebra Child Protection Centre

“This long-term funding model allows us to plan for the future of our centre in a thoughtful way. While we are disappointed to receive less funding than before, we understand the need to ensure equity across the province and we will look to take a leadership role in collecting data and information to inform government decision-making over the next few years.”

Karen Orser, CEO, Calgary Child Advocacy Centre

Government will provide $3.4 million per year for 2020-23 to support child advocacy centres in Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Lloydminster and Fort McMurray. Funding has been set aside for centres in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, should they become operational.

2019 2022-23
Zebra Child Protection Centre (Edmonton) $712,000 $1,037,050
Calgary and Area Child Advocacy Centre $1,979,000 $1,306,850
Caribou Centre Child Advocacy Centre (Grande Prairie) $150,000 $202,350
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (Red Deer) $150,000 $303,530
The Little Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (Lloydminster) $115,530 $126,470
Care Centre for Children and Youth (Fort McMurray) $133,000 $160,200

Total funding amounts will not change, but will be distributed based on the new model, which takes into account previous base funding, the volume of clients served, and the intensity of need based on a community’s child intervention caseload. The three-year grants will also include data collection obligations, allowing for funding based on consistent metrics across the province. The funding allocation model does not affect co-located government staff from Children’s Services and Alberta Health Services.

New funding model reduces red tape

Because grants will no longer have to be renewed each year, the new funding model will reduce the administrative burden on centres and government staff. This is part of government’s ongoing commitment to reducing red tape and making processes more efficient.

Quick facts

  • In 2008, there were 14,403 substantiated cases of child abuse in Alberta.
  • 36 per cent of adults in Alberta have experienced some form of abuse in their youth.
  • Alberta’s Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act requires anyone who believes a child is at risk to report their concern.
  • Albertans should know the signs of abuse and neglect, and report any concerns to the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-387-KIDS (available in multiple languages, 24 hours a day), or contact a local Children’s Services office, Delegated First Nations Agency, or law enforcement.
  • The funding in each centre will be directed towards multidisciplinary triage, forensic interviews, victim advocacy, court preparation, and service coordination (medical and mental health referrals).
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february, 2020

sun12jan(jan 12)2:00 pmsun22mar(mar 22)5:00 pmAnne Frank: A History for Today opening at Red Deer MAG(january 12) 2:00 pm - (march 22) 5:00 pm mst Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery Address: 4525 - 47A Avenue, Red Deer

sun02feb(feb 2)7:00 pmsun15mar(mar 15)8:00 pm7:00 pm - (march 15) 8:00 pm Festival Hall, 4214 58 St, Red Deer, AB Event Organized By: Country Pride Dance Club

tue25feb5:30 pm7:30 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InLearn about Type 2 diabetes5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

wed26feb7:30 pm11:00 pmCeltic Illusiion7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

thu27feb5:30 pm7:00 pmMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

fri28febsun01mar54th Annual Sport & Outdoor Show4:00 pm - (march 1) 9:00 pm

fri28feb6:00 pm11:00 pmFriday Family DanceFamily Dance6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

fri28feb7:00 pm11:00 pmBattle of the Bands for Crime Prevention7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Burgundy's Food & Stage, 5008 48 ST Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre