Thunder Bay

Former nurse wants Thunder Bay to remember Port Arthur General Hospital

A retired nurse in Thunder Bay, Ont. is trying to create a monument to the old Port Arthur General Hospital.

'It's just a vacant lot. And I think that's sad,' says Shirley King of effort to create monument

The Port Arthur General Hospital in Thunder Bay, Ont. was demolished in 2010, but the stone plaques from the very top of the building were saved. (Remembering the General)

A retired nurse in Thunder Bay, Ont. is trying to create a monument to the old Port Arthur General Hospital. 

Shirley King trained at the hospital in the 1950s, when it still held a nursing school. 
Though the hospital closed in 2004, and the structure was demolished in 2010, King said it's important that people remember the building, and its history. 

"I think it's important because it played an important role in the community," she said, adding that now that the building is gone, there's nothing to remind people of the many significant events that happened there.

"There's nothing there," she said. "It's just a vacant lot. And I think that's sad."

When the building was being dismantled in 2010, King asked construction workers to save three heavy stone plaques that were part of the facade. 

The blocks are engraved with a 'G', an 'H' and the medical Rod of Asclepius.

King is holding them in storage while she tries to raise enough money to have the plaques made into a monument, located in a courtyard at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. 

Although she has been working on the effort for several years, King said she is still far short of raising the $60,000 she needs for the project.

But she said she's not discouraged.

"I'm determined it will happen," she said. 

A fundraising dinner is being held on Saturday November 7 at Bight Restaurant in Thunder Bay, in support of the Remembering the General campaign. 


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