This week's post features two Lethbridgians who identified deficiencies in medical and emergency services and worked to address these problems to improve services for others in the community. Marie Elizabeth van Haarlem was a Lethbridge nurse who grew her small maternity practice into a fully complemented private hospital with thirty beds. Scottish-born William Hardy reorganized the Lethbridge Fire Department into one of the first integrated fire and ambulance services on the continent.
Van Haarlem Private Hospital
|Marie van Haarlem holding the infant Margaret Livingstone. Galt Archives 19961044001|
Lethbridge nurse Marie Elizabeth Van Haarlem opened a maternity hospital in 1910 and took over the operation of the former Wimpole Hospital at 7th avenue and 12th street in 1914. The Van Haarlem Private Hospital operated first as a maternity hospital and then as a general hospital. A wing was added during the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic. Over the next decade the Van Haarlem Hospital added a laboratory, x-ray room, and grew to thirty beds. Van Haarlem sold her hospital to the Sisters of St. Martha and it was renamed St. Michael’s Hospital. Over 2000 babies were delivered at the Van Haarlem Hospital during its time of operation. Van Haarlem continued her medical career as a public health nurse.
|William Hardy, centre, in front of the old Fire Hall #1. Galt Archives 19981071015.|
By Sven Andreassen
Sven Andreassen is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia's Master of Archival Studies program. He has been volunteering in the Galt Archives since the summer and curated this exhibit.