I recently had a call from County resident Ralph Margetson. Some of you will be familiar with Ralph as he is a Second World War veteran who landed on the beaches of Normandy with his regiment, and then went on to push through Europe until Germany surrended. As many did not come home from that war, Ralph makes sure these soldiers are not forgotten. Every Remembrance day he recounts stories of the war through the local media. The other day, he told me he did not understand why County residents are not writing more letters to object to the major service cuts to our local hospital that QHC is proposing. One of Ralph’s sons was born in the old hospital and he was the first baby transferred to the new hospital in 1959.
I didn’t have an answer for Ralph as I am also puzzled about the indifference by some residents to the “gutting” once again, of our local hospital. The last thing Ralph said to me was that he is 95 years old and he won’t be able to write any more letters. Thank you Ralph for making sure that we will never forget those who never came home from the wars.
I hope that many businesses,organizations, individuals and our mayor and council share the same love for their County hospital as Ralph and they will voice their concerns.
In his book, “This House of Healing PECMH”, author Alan R. Capon records the history of our local hospital and the trials and tribulations of County residents who worked so hard to keep PECMH viable for almost 100 years. This will change very soon if these proposals become a reality. If you don’t have a copy of the book, visit the library.
This is the third time in 15 years that we have had to muster to keep our hospital from being plundered. The first time was in 1998. At that time James Taylor, the first mayor of the single tier council for Prince Edward County made a very profound statement. I quote from Mr. Capon’s book: “For a hospital is the heart and soul of any community. It is more than bricks and mortar, systems, administration, sophisticated equipment and dedicated people. It symbolizes the very lives of its citizens spanning generations of families and friends. Any threat to cripple our hospital is heartless and hostile. Our hospital must remain intact and energized-not eviscerated.”
Somehow this statement is lost on the Ministry of Health, the SELHIN and QHC administration and board. Remind everybody about how important the local hospital is. I know Ralph would be pleased to hear it.
Fran Renoy, Picton
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