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Reunion of George Brown Memorial hospital

The reunion was organized as part of the Centennial celebration
People who were born from 1931 to 1960 in the George Brown Memorial Hospital which is now known as Burns Lake Native Development Corporation gathered during the Burns Lake Centennial celebration. Tom Woodall, Pamela Blair, Grant Johnson, Evan Johnson, Bob Peebles, Robbie Nutter, Jack Brown, Bonny Gibson, Teresa Wojdak, Donna Unger, Karen Sirfalk, Debbie Marsh, Brenda Schroeder, Debbie Anderson, Wayne Anderson, Della Weymer, Colleen Anderson, Marie Hiebert, Ray Orr, Chenn Bergen, Harold Eakin, Gerry Lindaas, Marvin Strimbold, Randy Miller, Lana Miller, Moira Lindaas, Lori White, Carroll Airey, Louise Miller, Otto Miller, Jane Dean, Martha Geortzen, Laureen Williams, Rose Bergen, John Bergen, Ginny Schreiber, Betty Lavallee, Alfred Horning, Sandy Long, Gordon Long, Jamie Long, Ross Johnson, Dave Reynolds, Steve Orr, Brenda Hiebert, Jake Hiebert, Pete Hiebert, Linda Peterson, Bob Peterson, Ivy Hickey, George, Judy Payne, George, Conrad Amendt, Florence Dupuis, Lynn Olinyk, Louis Fisher, Sandra Cutsforth, Pauline Redwood, Debbie Blair, Shirley Hallgren, Mary Jane Ritchie, Joan Adams, Linda Mackay, Bobby Reynolds, Bonnie Burns, Sally Wiebe, Johnny Johnson, Mary Andersen, Sivert Andersen, Larry Reynolds, Sam Moroski, Gerald Anderson, Diane Anderson, Rick Schritt and Raymond Horning. (Saddman Zaman photo/Lakes District News) We apologize if names are spelled incorrectly some hand writing was hard to decipher.

The Centennial celebration of Burns Lake reunited people who were born at the George Brown Memorial hospital during the years of 1931 to 1960. Approximately 85 people gathered on Aug. 20

Former Burns Lake resident Tom Woodall said, “I do not believe there has ever been a reunion of this nature before. It is not a recurring event. It was one of a kind coinciding with the centennial, an idea that came to mind as another way to celebrate the 100.”

Woodall said, he is no longer a resident of Burns Lake and does not know personal histories of those in attendance. “I can only assume they were from Burns Lake and the surrounding areas during those years. Grassy Plains, Southbank, Ootsa Lake, Pendleton Bay etc,” he said.

He said, there were many people who could not attend the Centennial celebration and expressed how much they would have liked to have been at the old hospital for the photo.

He mentioned, “One person was born just outside the building, not able to make it inside. They wanted to know if they still qualified, but as it was they couldn’t attend the celebrations anyway.”

It was a great opportunity for everyone to meet and see people may not have seen for many years.

Woodall said, “It was common for many in attendance to have reacquainted with school classmates from 50 or more years prior who were also born at the old hospital. Sad as it is, an inevitable part of life, many of us will not see each other again.”

“It was a unique gathering and unique venue where once upon a time we all had that one thing in common; being born in a landmark of a historical building,” he said.

Burns Lake resident Brenda Schroeder said, “It was just by word of mouth we gathered up anybody that was born here. My mom and sister was actually born here.”

The history of this heritage building has been archived by the Lakes District Museum Society –

The George Brown Memorial Center [former WMS Hospital] is the building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Highway 16 was originally Burns Lake’s second hospital.

Construction on the new building started in 1931 with funds from the Women’s Missionary Society of the United Church, residents, and others. The new 19-bed hospital opened on July 9, 1931.

It served as Burns Lake’s hospital until Aug. 15, 1960.

Seniors Citizens Association records suggest the old building was purchased for $36,000 in September 1973.

The building was abandoned by the buyers in the fall of 1974.

In September 1977, Burns Lake Native Development Corporation created Burns Lake Ventures Ltd. to buy the building for $15,435.03.

Burns Lake Native Development Corporation and the community development association moved into the old hospital building in February 1980.

The building was renamed the George D. Brown Memorial Centre in honour of George Brown, a local First Nations leader who was instrumental in creating the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation.