FOCUS - OCTOBER 2018 29 216 Queen Street Port Perry, Ontario L9L 1B2 Tel: 905-985-2171 Fax: 905-985-4572 …Port Perry’s only locally owned and operated Funeral Home Since 1846… Myles O’Riordan FUNERAL DIRECTOR/OWNER Susan O’Riordan KNOWLEDGE EXPERIENCE SUPPORT 905-985-8000 • IAN McDougall P.Eng. WARD 1 Elect cal hospital. The hospital auxiliary, the Foundation, service clubs, businesses, volunteers, private donors, and the “wonderful store” Camille’s Closet on Mary St., have all supported Port Perry Hospital over the decades. From these humble beginnings, Shirley and Toots have witnessed his- tory as the local hospital has evolved into a “modern, impressive hospital,” Shirley described. Toots is very proud of the fact that it is now a teaching hospital. Toots and Shirley told the story of picketing with placards to protest against the threat of the closure of the maternity ward. “That would have been the beginning of the end,” Shirley predicted. It was her sister Marilyn who organized the success- ful public fight to save it. The New Life Centre at Lakeridge Health Port Perry has been used as a model for other hospitals. The reno- vated obstetric wing is “better than ever,” says Shirley, with the addition of much needed new equipment such as panda warmers. A happy local tradition was the staff all joyfully singing “Happy Birthday” to babies born by C-section Shirley shared. They reminisce about the time when both the doctor and the anaes- thesiologist had to travel by snowmo- bile during an ice storm to get to the hospital to deliver a baby. Visiting rules used to be very strict: no children allowed! Shirley remembers her father holding her up to the window of the Community Memorial Hospital to see her mother who was a patient. She was only five years old. “I was in awe of the equipment, the gadgets and the stark whiteness of the room,” she recalls. This expe- rience led to Shirley’s decision to devote herself to a career in nursing. Both women sung the praises of candy stripers, the young women who volunteered in hospital wards. In the early 1970s, Toots’ daughter Mary Lou Malcolm and Alice Lee, (who still works as a nurse at the hospital today,) were candy stripers. They did a lot of practical work to help the nurses, including making beds properly, to earn their caps. “It wasn’t just about refilling water jugs,” Shirley said. Up until about 15 years ago, nurses were still distilling, steriliz- ing and bottling water to be used in the operating room and ER. Shirley writes about this in a memoir entitled Central Supply Room in the fascinating book of stories which she helped to compile, Stitches in Times, The Growth of Community Memorial Hospital. Toots and Shirley both commend- ed the staff of Port Perry Medical Associates “for going above and beyond” to provide medical care to the community during the year long hospital closure. “I was so thrilled to see it finally reopen yesterday,” Toots said with a happy smile. “I think everyone slept better last night knowing that our hospital is back open,” Shirley added. Ribbon cutting, January 7, 1953, left to right: Frances Hincks; Hon. Arthur Welsh; Herb Brooks, Chairman of the Board; Noreen Malcolm. By Lynn Campbell, Focus on Scugog