Our Club was honoured to have best-selling author and local poet laureate emeritus Marty Gervais speak about his latest book.
Amazing Grace tells the history of Grace Hospital, and through his marvellous story-telling, Gervais introduced us to some of the key characters: Fred Martin, who convinced Henry Ellis to sell his estate which would become the start of Grace and “unsung hero” Alice Brett, the administrator from 1933 to 1950 who moved from Ottawa and managed to get the hospital out of debt within 3 years, oversaw two expansions and opened Faith Haven, a home to help unwed mothers. He also touched on our Club’s instrumental involvement in the formation of Grace Hospital: Marty read a passage (page 21) about how our (then newly-formed) Club was able to raise $75,000, a huge sum in 1919. “The Windsor Rotary Club eagerly stepped forward to help in November and committed its support and set December 9th, 1919 as the goal, initiating what the newspaper described as a whirlwind campaign to raise $75,000 and equip the facility with 40 beds”.
After the many interviews and hours of researching, Marty understood that he was writing about “health care workers who loved their history, loved Grace Hospital and truly believed that ‘Grace is the place’.” He also gave credit to the nurses, who are “the ones who champion you at every step, and the ones who care.”
Marty ended with a reading of his new poem, written in response to the global pandemic, “A Dance of Self Isolation.”
During Fines and Happy Bucks, Major Paul Rideout made the announcement that he and his wife Kelly will be transferring to The Salvation Army Maritimes division, and will be relocating to Halifax. We’ll be sad to see them go, but wish them well as they move on to this new opportunity.