Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 39 > Page 4 - Dr. Austin MacDonald, Down North

Page 4 - Dr. Austin MacDonald, Down North

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/6/1 (334 reads)

beds we'd need, or anything like that. I knew we could find out all that from the Department of Public Health in Halifax, based on the population. And I knew what we would require in the way of instruments, dressings, food, bedding, beds, nursing care, and all the rest of it. They wanted to call another meeting, and they wanted me to get down on paper what these things would cost. So Marie and I went to work on them. We came up with a figure. We'd need about 2000 dollars worth of instriiments and--things were cheaper then. This in? cluded a 32-volt lighting plant. That would run lights and a fridge. (Marie: 1951 the first power came down.) You had to have some electric light. And a water pump. And in the meantime, the women, and a lot of the men, had turned out. This was in June. They went from house to house, and asked people for donations towards the new hospital, and they came back with $3200, I think it was. And $3200 would finance the thing, as far as bringing it to opening day. It was a tremendous amount of money, then. Okay. Next thing they had to think about was staff. Now, Marie was a public health nurse, and had quite a lot of experience in various branches of nursing. So she of? fered- -if they got one other nurse and a couple of good maids, or maid-cook, who could take instruction like that--that she would help train them to be sort of nurse's aides. And this is the staff we had at first. Marie was matron for the next 6 years. There was just no other nurse available down there. Euphemia Mac? Kinnon from Whycocoraiagh, we persuaded her to come down the first winter. She was a trained nurse. And we had Janet MacDonald, Janet Dowling, as a housekeeper and a cook the first year. And Janet was a very cap? able girl. She would, you know, help with patients, or do anything. We could see that she had a great deal of natural abil? ity that could be used, both in nursing and everything else. So we persuaded her to go away to the Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax for a year and a half, trained obstetrical nurses at that time. She gradu? ated, and she was a very, very valuable nurse with us for all the years we were there, till her retirement. She had a na? tive sound common sense and ability that most of the young ones didn't have. But who looked after the laundry? (Marie: Sadie Warren.) Mrs. Matthew Warren--she was a very good laundress. (Marie: With a gas? oline washer.) In her kitchen. The hospi? tal people had to buy the washer, you see, and install it in her kitchen--so it would be as safe as a gasoline washer in your kitchen would be, which wasn't very safe. But it worked, anyway. And she never lost her house! (Marie: Cecil Rideout was the janitor.) And looked after my horses. Then, for women who were going to have ba- bies--you, know, they might live 10, 20, 30 miles away. Well, they couldn't come there with horses once they were in labour. So we had to persuade a couple of women in Neil's Harbour who had good homes, you know, to take these women in as boarders, say, a week before they were due to have their babies. So they would be close to the hospital when their time came. And See life as it was in Cape Breton during the nineteenth century. Nova Scotia Highland Village The Highland Village shows examples of dwellings built in Scotland, the first homes built with ba? sic tools in Cape Breton, as well as buildings that exemplify the settlers firm foothold in the new land. More than half the planned buildings are completed and work goes on. Come'see us grow. Highland Village Day August 3 • 24th year of this festival, featuring tradi? tional Scottish entertainments VHS Tapes * Movie Rentals * VCR Rentals - B&BVideo; - YOUR Panasonic i'EALER Island Gateway Plaza, Pprt Hawkesbury 625-3150 OPEN JUNE 15 to SEPT 15 10 to 6 DAILY Highland Village is located at lona on Route 223, which leaves the Trans-Canada about 7 miles east of Whycocomagh. It is a scenic alter? native paved route eastward to the Sydney ar? ea. Two short ferry rides pro? vide pleasant breaks in the drive. The view from the village is (4)magnificent and worth the drive! ' Sydney vii'l FREE ESTIMATES 562-0421 95 Johnstone St., Sydney -? SYE/nEY 200 Sydney Vinyl Siding Congratulates Sydney on Its Bicentennial!
Cape Breton's Magazine
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