“Happy Birthday to Us!” – Winchester Hospital turn 75

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Winchester District Memorial Hospital opened on December 8, 1948.

Submitted by Jane Adams

More than 75 years ago, an entire community came together to plan for the new Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH). It all began with a letter to the editor of the Winchester Press by Dr. J.J. McKendry in 1944. Dr. McKendry outlined the problems he was having getting his seriously ill patients cared for due to hospital overcrowding and long waiting lists. He suggested that perhaps it was time that Winchester Village had a hospital. The Council of the Village of Winchester formed a committee and planning began – everything from choosing the right location to gaining financial support. Four years later, WDMH opened its doors. 

While the hospital officially opened on December 8, 1948, the WDMH Auxiliary was already hard at work. On August 3rd, 25 ladies from Winchester, Elma and Russell met in the town hall to start planning, with Mrs. C.R. Robinson elected Auxiliary president. Membership quickly rose to almost 1,000 volunteers in the first year and they got to work, making curtains and hospital linens, and helping to create a beautiful new hospital close to home for their neighbours.

In 2023, we are excited to be celebrating the 75th anniversary of WDMH and the WDMH Auxiliary. We are also recognizing 45 years of caring next door at Dundas Manor Long-Term Care Home.

“This is a wonderful milestone, and we are grateful to our community for everything you have done to support our hospital and Dundas Manor over so many years,” notes Cholly Boland, CEO at WDMH and Dundas Manor. “We are planning some fun events and walks down memory lane over the next 12 months to celebrate together!”

“The WDMH Auxiliary is proud to have supported our local hospital for more than 75 years,” adds WDMH Auxiliary Co-Chair Elinor Jordan. “It’s going to be a fun year of celebration.”

If you would like to provide comments or suggestions about hospital services, please contact Cholly Boland, President and CEO, Winchester District Memorial Hospital at 613.774.1049 or by email at [email protected].

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