That our boys who lie "In Flanders Fields" are not forgotten was emphasized on Saturday, June 3rd, when the people of Berwick and vicinity assembled to pay one more tribute to their memory by the opening of the Kings Memorial Hospital and dedicating it to the boys of Kings County who gave their lives for their country in the Great War. While the majority of the people present were from this County, other parts of the province were also represented, including Halifax, Dartmouth, Windsor, Middleton, Digby and Yarmouth.
The opening exercises began at 1.30, and while the weather was rather doubtful yet nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the speakers or the listeners. The occasion was too near their hearts for anything but the deepest interest and attention. In his opening address, Rev. G. P. Raymond, President of the Hospital Association, said this was a day and a time that had been treasured up in talk and promise for a long time. That the hospital had been born out of a time of distress and sorrow, and it had been mad possible by two deciding factors, the enthusiasm of the women and the very generous contribution of Mr. S. B. Chute. Many others had contributed largely in time and labor, as well as in money, but these two leading factors had made the hospital possible. He then read a telegram from the Valley Medical Association extending their hearty congratulations on the opening of the hospital and wishing it every success. Mr. Raymond said it was due to our lads that we do something that would stand as a lasting memorial, and that in this hospital, again and again, would we do honor to their memory by the saving of lives and the alleviation of suffering.
Dr. McNally, Chairman of the Building Committee, then gave a short address, giving the history of the hospital since its inception in 1919 when the idea was conceived and put into effect by the Local Council of Women. At the outset it was called the Western Kings Memorial Hospital and so it reads in the charter, but to all intents and purposes it is a memorial to the boys of Kings County. He said it is essentially a Kings County institution. The architect, Mr. L. R. Fairn, of Aylesford is a native Kings County; the contractor who erected the building is a resident of Kentville; the matron, Miss Neily, is a Kings County girl, from North Kingston; and the money that has made it possible has come almost wholly from Kings County. He said the funds had been collected largely by pledges to be paid in two, three and four years and these pledges were being paid in very well. As the hospital stands today, wired and with the water system complete, it cost about $35,000 and of this amount about $5000 more is needed. He expressed no doubt that Mr. Raymond "being of a persuasive turn of mind" could secure this amount as he went around among the people there assembled.
Mr. Raymond then solemnly dedicated the hospital "to the glory of God and in loving memory of the boys who gave their lives for their country". Mr. Winfield gave the dedicatory prayer, touching the hearts of all present by his earnestness, the people joining with him in the Lord's prayer at the close.
The President announced that funds had been raised by Kings County people in the United States for the erection of tablets having the names of all the Kings County boys who gave their lives, these tablets to be placed in the halls of the hospital.
Mr. Raymond then introduced Miss Neily, the matron, who has had several years experience in the Sanitorium in Kentville, expressing pleasure in being able to secure her services. He stated that the hospital would be open for work immediately and patients would be received the first of the week.
Before introducing the speakers, the President said the committee had invited quite an array of speakers some of whom had not been able to come. His Honor, Lieut. Gov. Grant expressed regret that owing to a previous engagement he was not able to be present. Dr. Boyle, President of Kings College, is ill in the hospital in Windsor. Judge Margeson, one of the Berwick boys, was not able to be present owing to illness, and had hoped until the last minute to be able to come.
He then introduced General Thacker, D.O.C., M.D. No. 6, Halifax, who gave an interesting address, disproving his assertion that men listened to him because they had to, and not for any graces of oratory. He expressed great pleasure as a soldier in having an opportunity to pay respect to those who had given their lives for their country, men with no thought more remote than that they should take part in a war, but who, at short notice, were taking part in the most devastating war the world has ever known. Men who endured mud, and filth in France and were exposed to guns, bombs and poison gas and were even searched out in hospital billets by long range guns and areoplanes. Men who left their peaceful lives, not with a view to fame or advancement, but inspired with a sense of duty and patriotism that makes a man live for his country in time of peace and die for it in time of war. These men, he said, were worthy of any memorial and he was glad that their names were to be inscribed on the walls of the hospital. It was seemly that men who had given their lives for their country should have their names perpetuated.
Dr. Black, of Windsor, was noticed in the crowd and called to the platform. Mr. Raymond introduced him as a medical leader in Windsor, and the representative of Hants County for years. Dr. Black said he had just come to wish them "God Speed" in their work. He said he had been in the medical profession for nearly sixty years and if he had his life to live over again he would choose the same profession, that in no other profession could one render a grander service to his fellows. He said they, in Windsor, had been pioneers in the small hospital, and when the enterprise was first mooted, they had met with a great deal of opposition. But when the hospital was in good working order, public opinion had changed so much, that they had no difficulty in raising money to build a surgical annex, with Dr. Keddy in charge as Chief Surgeon, and to build a Nurses Home at a cost of $8000. He gave many expressions of good-will and kindly wishes for success in the undertaking.
Dr. P. N. Balcom, known and loved as "old Dr. Balcom" could not be prevailed upon to speak. The President bore testimony to his unfailing interest and support, and the hearty applause of the people showed that he knew whereof he spoke when he called him "the beloved physician."
Mr. Thomas Lawson, another generous contributor, and public spirited man spoke along very practical lines. He suggested a scheme whereby the hospital might become self-supporting. He thought if the Hospital Association would start a soap factory and a match factory, sufficient profit could be made to support the hospital, neither of these commodities being manufactured here. Mr. Lawson has been a pioneer in many ventures and still has the vision.
While "Onward Christian Soldiers" was being sung, the President asked "some honest men" to take an offering. The Kentville Quartette had intended to be present and furnish music but they had been detained.
Dr. Cutten, President of Acadia University, then gave an earnest address. He expressed his interest in any memorial for men who had given their lives for their country, but particularly for these boys, for many of the boys were not only recruited by him, but had been, or were at the time of enlisting, Acadia students. He told of one of the Kings County boys who had gone to a cemetery "over there" to see if he could find any names from here, and how he had found one who had been a student at Acadia, and later at McGill, lying between two Lords of England, and it was fitting that it should be so, for nobody is more deserving of honor than these, our boys. He said that, personally, he was in favor of a utilitarian memorial, and he knew of nothing better than a hospital. In Wolfville, they had erected a new gymnasium in memory of the sixty three Acadia students who were killed. He congratulated the Association on having such a beautiful hospital building, which when the names were inscribed on the walls, would stand as a lasting memorial to the boys who were killed.
Rev. Arthur Hockin claimed the privilege accorded to Methodist ministers, the privilege of saying "Amen" to anything with which they agreed, and he wished to say "Amen" to what Mr. Raymond had said about the women. He spoke of the good work the hospital would do in bringing men and women and children back to health.
Lieut. Col. (Rev.) Dr. MacDonald, of Wolfville, was the next speaker. He said the Chairman had kept him until the last thinking it would be raining so hard by that time that the people would be all running away. However, nobody showed any such tendency and gave Dr. MacDonald marked attention. He wittily referred to the idea of the match factory, saying he had always understood that the neighboring grove, the Camp Grounds, was a match factory. Having been a Chaplain overseas, he spoke from the heart when he referred to the boys who had given their lives. He said he esteemed it a great honor to participate in any memorial to the boys who fell, but a greater honor when the memorial was a hospital. It was life coming out of death! Victory coming out of defeat! He said there were three reasons why we should have memorials to our boys who gave their lives in the Great War. (1). We owe it to them. It was not their fight alone, but they went gallantly into it. They did not lose their lives, they gave them. They did not love war, they hated it, and we owe it to them to perpetuate the memory of these brave and gallant men. (2) We owe it to ourselves. They went from our schools, our farms, our stores. There were heroes in our midst and we did not recognize them. He submitted this, that whenever a gallant deed is done and men and women fail to recognize it, they do violence to their own souls. He said we should not weep for these boys who did a gallant deed, but rather weep for those who were wealthier because of the war, weep for the profiteer. (3). We owe it to the future generations. As the Grecians, after Thermopylae, had their boys learn the names of the three hundred men of Leonidas, so should we have our boys and girls familiar with the names of our men who gave their lives for their country. These men, he went on to say, are not dead but living, and while we may consider the 65,000 as a great loss to Canada, if we look at this in the right way, they are a great asset to our country.
The opening exercises closed with the National Anthem.
The situation of the hospital is ideal. It is somewhat apart from the town, on an elevation, and surrounded with trees, having just the privacy and quiet a hospital requires, and is very light and airy. The building itself is a grey stucco with white trimmings. Inside, everything is immaculate. The rooms have been furnished by various private individuals and organizations. The Reception Room, on the right as you enter, has been tastefully furnished by the "Work and Win Club" of Berwick. The Operating Room, thoroughly up-to-date, with the most modern equipment, knee action sinks, white tile floor with plate glass centre, electric sterilizer, etc., was furnished by Dr. P. N. Balcom, of Aylesford, The Children's Ward, furnished with adjustable bed and crib, toys, etc., by the children of Kings County. The Women's Ward, "Agnes F. Lawson Memorial Room," by Thos. Lawson and family. The Men's Ward, by S. B. Chute. Maternity Ward, Aylesford Hospital Aid, Dining Room, Berwick W.C.T.U. Private rooms were furnished by United Victory W. C. T. U., South Berwick, Hospital Aids, Cambridge, Somerset, Welton's Corner, Morristown and by the Masonic Lodge.
There yet remain to be furnished two bedrooms and a sitting room in the lower flat for the help, and also the laundry. In the laundry are required an electric washer, electric mangle and electric irons, etc. These are greatly needed at once.
No great effort was made to make money on a large scale, at the opening, as the exercises were short but from the offering taken as an afterthought, and from the sale of ice cream, lunches, etc. by the Local Council of Women, about $250.00 were taken in.
June 7, 1922
HAZEL G. WOODWORTH
The death of Hazel G. Woodworth, at the age of seventeen years, occurred at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Woodworth, Berwick, on the afternoon of Saturday, June 3rd. She had been in an indifferent state of health for several years, but had taken a turn for the worse a few weeks ago, from which it became apparent that she could not recover. She endured her suffering with uncomplaining fortitude and christian resignation to the divine will. The funeral took place on Monday, the service being conducted by Mr. A. N. Marchant, of Halifax. Miss Woodworth was of a very bright and happy disposition and will be much missed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Besides a father and mother she leaves three brothers and three sisters to mourn their loss. The brothers are Norman, of Wilmington, Del., Frank, of Yarmouth, and Bruce, Berwick. The sisters are Mrs. Ritchie, Pennsylvania; Florence, in Boston, and Mrs. R. O. Sullivan at home. The family have the sympathy of the entire community in their deep sorrow. (Kentville and Windsor papers please copy).