August 27, 2017 7:42 pm

More than 100 years of history of Ross Memorial Hospital to be preserved

Two men are sorting and organizing over 100 years of history of the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay.

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A passion project has been launched by two volunteers to document the history of Ross Memorial Hospital which opened its doors in 1902 as a 32-bed facility in a quaint town in the Kawarthas.

A great deal of archival material on the history of the Lindsay hospital was collected several years ago as part of the facility’s 115th anniversary.

Since then, the files, documents and photos were stored away but former chief of medical staff Dr. Robert Drury felt they should be properly identified and organized.

The material includes such things as staff reports, personnel records and even early bills.

The 32-bed hospital was opened on Kent Street in Lindsay in 1902.

Ross Memorial Hospital

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“We have a whole series of receipts, where you paid your bill and got your receipt, and it’s really interesting who signed it, and it was the superintendent, which is the equivalent of the CEO of a modern hospital signing receipts for a 40-cent bill,” says Drury.

Drury called on his friend Max Radiff to help document the history of the hospital which opened in 1902.

Radiff is a former history teacher and mayor of Lindsay who had trained as an archivist at the National Archives of Canada.

When organizing an archive, Radiff says it’s vital to recognize what is valuable as an archival record and what is not. Since he is not from Lindsay, he added that he has no sentimental attachment to the material.

When organizing an archive, Radiff says it’s vital to recognize what is valuable as an archival record and what is not. Since he is not from Lindsay, he added that he has no sentimental attachment to the material.

“I got no problem saying, ‘We got too many copies of this stuff, Rob. What do we need eight copies of the same thing? Let’s keep two — standard archival procedure is two — and let’s dispose of the rest,’ says Radiff.

READ MORE: Without Archives there would be no history

Drury says the mass of material presented them with a historical mystery. The RMH nursing school produced a book listing all students which included a photo of each when they had graduated from the program. But one student, Irene Lytle, had no photo.

He says they eventually found a copy of a newspaper article which explained the young woman had died of typhoid fever before she graduated.

The RMH nursing school produced a book listing all students which included a photo of each when they had graduated from the program. But one student, Irene Lytle, had no photo.

He says they eventually found a copy of a newspaper article which explained the young woman had died of typhoid fever before she graduated.

But one student, Irene Lytle, had no photo. He says they eventually found a copy of a newspaper article which explained the young woman had died of typhoid fever before she graduated.

“Obviously, not a pleasant outcome but it does talk about the reality of being a nurse, being a physician, a health-care provider, in that era,” Drury said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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