The Campbell River Auxiliary Society is celebrating its 60th anniversary today and the public is invited to attend an open house in honour of this milestone.
A group of visionary ladies met on Nov. 3, 1955 to consider the formation of a Women’s Auxiliary to the new hospital to be built in Campbell River.
From this humble beginning the Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary Society was formed May 25, 1956.
The Campbell River and District General Hospital was opened on Sept. 7, 1957 – two years later.
The first Thrift Shop opened in 1962 on 11th Avenue in the old Credit Union building. After moving the shop many times, in 1967, the auxiliary members decided to construct their own building.
The hospital board gave permission for space to build on hospital land.
Since the auxiliary did not have the capacity to borrow money, five of the members took out personal loans of $2,000 each to fund the project.
The building was opened in 1968.
It was estimated to take a minimum of four to five years to repay the loans from Thrift Shop revenue but the debt was repaid in just two years.
With ever-increasing customers and generous donations of goods, the building had to be expanded in 1988.
That is the building they occupy today at 415 – 2nd Ave., located between the hospital and Yucalta Lodge.
The first gift shop, called the Sunshine Shop, was opened in a very small hospital space in 1977.
The hospital expansion of 1990 provided the current space for the gift shop for the auxiliary to stock and manage.
The Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary Society continues to operate the gift shop and Thrift Shop with 100 per cent volunteer labour.
Their proceeds support the hospital by purchasing updated equipment, education programs in the medical field, provide care, comfort and respect for everyone who utilizes the Campbell River Hospital.
Today is the Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary Society’s 60th anniversary.
The public is invited to come by the gift shop and/or the Thrift Shop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (May 25) to celebrate the occasion.