Auxiliary says goodbye to their own ‘Dr. Ruth’

A woman who created a million-dollar legacy at Campbell River Hospital is saying goodbye to the community she helped for 50 years.

Ruth Bundy

A woman who created a million-dollar legacy at Campbell River Hospital is saying goodbye to the community she helped for 50 years.

Ruth Bundy, one of the founders of the Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary in 1956 when it was known as the Women’s Auxiliary, was recognized for the many contributions she made to the hospital at a farewell tea Monday.

Not only did Bundy create the Hospital Auxiliary but she was one of five volunteers who took out a second mortgage on her home to build the existing Thrift Shop in 1962, which brings in money for the auxiliary to turn over to the hospital for patient care.

Bundy said, “we didn’t have much money in those days but we took what we had.”

As the hospital auxiliary grew there came a need for more organization.

Bundy became the first director of volunteer services, a position she held for 23 years. She also served on the first Campbell River Hospital Foundation Board.

“Ruth is a warm person, caring, driven and a fighter for volunteers and patients here at the hospital,” said Althea Vermaas, co-ordinator of volunteer resources for the hospital.

Vermaas said Bundy also fought hard to bring in specialized equipment needed in the hospital.

“A lot of times we’d get the specialists to come here but they didn’t have the equipment they needed to do the job,” said Vermaas. “So the legacy she created is in the millions of dollars.”

Bundy, who moved to Campbell River from Squamish in 1950 with her husband Larry, is moving to Kelowna to be closer to Sharon, one of her three daughters.

Sharon said her mother has always been eager to help out wherever needed.

“She’s just always been that way, it’s her way.”

The 40-plus friends who joined Bundy at her farewell tea agreed, labelling “Dr. Ruth”, as she was lovingly called, as very caring and always ready with a big, warm smile.