As with many great organizations, this hospice was first the idea of one person. Brenda Eng, a registered nurse in Vancouver, worked for several months at Helen and Douglas House in Oxford, England. This pediatric nursing consultant with the British Columbia's Ministry of Health and oncology nurse at BC Children's Hospital felt this service was one needed in BC.
Eng came home in the fall of 1988, enthused about the idea of creating a much hospice. She met with people like George Jarvis, a local advertising and marketing executive, as well as people in the healthcare industry. The Human Understanding Growth and Sharing (HUGS) Children's Hospice Society was formed with a goal to create a children's hospice that would serve all of British Columbia.
Even with such a good cause, it wasn't easy to get going. For the next few years, Jarvis and Eng worked tirelessly trying to get people interested. Then in March of 1991, the Canuck Foundation (presently known as the Canucks for Kids Fund) - the community services branch of the Vancouver Canucks Hockey Club - was on board with the idea.
The hockey club's involvement seems to have triggered something. In the following months organizations like the Loewen Group, the Vancouver Sun Children's Fund, the Variety Club and other prominent groups became interested in HUGS and all of them brought money with them. Substantial amounts of money.
Remember on Monday when I told you that the last owner of the Tait House, Elizabeth Wlosinski, had willed the mansion to the city on the conditions it be used for a purpose that would benefit the community? The City of Vancouver had found such a purpose. They arranged for a dollar lease for fifty years.
It took another three years of renovations before Canuck Place was able to open its doors on November 30, 1995 and welcome those who needed to be there.
From the home of a lumber baron to the residence of perhaps the most notorious white power organization in history to a private hospital to a place where children and their families can come for help - somewhere I think that Tait, Parr and Fee are proud.
The information I related here comes from the Canuck Place Children's Hospice website. And if you are interested in seeing what the interior looks like, visit this link.
Friday, I want to look a little at the history of the Canuck Hockey Club and I have seen some great old photos that I will have to include!
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Tait, history, Canuck Place Children's Hospice, Glen Brae Manor British Columbia,Parr and Fee,Brenda Eng