Page 26 - Dr. Austin MacDonald: How We Got the Hospital Down North
ISSUE : Issue 40
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1
And hadn't gotten any money, because we didn • t pay them any rent for that proper? ty. And they didn't ask for any rent. But when we decided one night to go ahead and build the hospital--once we got the permis? sion to use park land--Buchanan and one other backed off. But he and Gladdie were very close friends, and they just decided they weren't going to get caught for a bunch of money. Which was more reasonable than we were doing • we were putting our necks in the sling for a lot of money. Our board was about 20 members. Well, over half of them didn't want to name it Buchan? an, because Buchanan had backed off at the last minute and left us to carry on with? out him. Anyway, I talked about the money value of what they had done for us up to that time. And the service Gladdie had giv? en. He painted rooms, he did all kinds of stuff like this, you know, over those years. Anyway, with a lot of grousing here and grousing there, they finally approved. And we called it Buchanan Memorial Hospi? tal. Most people thought it was the right thing to do. Those people had started that community. They had done more, individual? ly, for that hospital, with the property that they loaned us, than any other peo? ple, and • it's named Buchanan Memorial. I think that's the way it should stay. It wasn't all sweetness and light, you know, in this 10-year campaign to get that hospital built. We had our arguments and our disagreements and everything. I'm not going into any of those. I don't think they have any place in it any more. (And you yourself, did you ever serve down there again after 1955?) Well, I did for the winter of 1960. I got home, finished the exams in Montreal in November. Dr. Mac- Millan was M.L.A. at that time. And there was ' session of the House opening in the new yfear. So he wanted to borrow the young doctor I had at Neil's Harbour. So he went with MacMillan, and I stayed down there for the winter. So, I put in one more win? ter of it. But it was very different from the early winters, because by this time we had good winter roads, and you could go anywhere any day you wanted to. There was no more emergency abdominal surgery--in a few hours you could have them on a decent operating table with an anesthetist. That was the hazard of so-called "kitchen sur- gery"--not having a qualified anesthetist. They're the people that keep the patient a- live, not the surgeon. And by this time, Sydney had qualified medical anesthetists, see. North Sydney had. And of course, Hali? fax had a host of them. So, the whole pic? ture changed. (It's interesting how much it is really a community story; it's not your story.) No, it's not my story. I'm just part of the community. (I meant to ask you: why did you become a doctor?) That's difficult to say. I guess all my growing up years, my mother used to say, "I hope you'll become a doctor." So I suppose it caught on after awhile. Later on, I would have preferred another field, which was geology. But in those years you could borrow money to get to university if you were going to be a doctor or a clergy? man or a lawyer, but no way did it pay for sending somebody to college to hammer rocks with a pick! I did a year of geology in college, and I liked it very much. I really would like to have gone on into that. For photographs and help in preparirig this article, our thanks to Mrs. Janet MacDonald Dowling, NeiTs Har? bour, and to Fred Winiams, North of Smokey Archives, Cabqt High SchoolT (26)
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