Graham Island Gift Store [Old Hospital annex]

Graham Island Gift Shop [we recently found this mimeographed page probably written by Hugh Smith, developer of the Gift Shop in the 1970s]

The building to the east of the “old hospital” [now the McKenzie Apartments] has been used for a variety of purposes for the past sixty-odd years; the School Board and Credit Union offices to Nurses’s Residence and hospital annex; and has played an important and integral part in the history of Queen Charlotte City. This building is today the Graham Island Gift Shop. Here are a few excerpts from its long and interesting history:

In August of 1909, Dr. J.W. Cross and his Nurse, Miss Lauder [“Honeybunch”], utilized the building which was built on a lot donated by the Townsite Company, with materials provided free of charge by the Moresby Island Lumber Company; the company carpenters, and George Carmichael, actually finished the construction. The formal opening of the then new Hospital was in the summer of 1909, under the guidance of the new Hospital Association.*

As there was only a $300 per year subsidy from the Provincial Government for a doctor, the Doctor supplemented his income — he was also the Government Agent. The “Gift Shop” building was back then , as it is now, the Government Agent’s Office. At another time, it was the residence for the hospital’s nurses. At still another, the building was used as part of the hospital, with beds lining the present”white room” of the Shop, and the Hospital Association had its meetings and coffee in the “green room” at the rear.**

The new and present hospital was built in 1955, after the costs of operating the old hospital proved to be too much for the community, and the United Church of Canada was asked to take over. On April 11, 1955, officially: “The Skidegate Inlet General Hospital signed over and relinquished control and ownership of all assets, goodwill, and cash of $5.77” to what was later the Queen Charlotte Islands General Hospital, run by the Church.***

The little building was used for a time as a school board office and credit union office; then as apartments; on October 23, 1970 the Gift Shop opened its doors to the public in the same building.

*K.E. Dalzell “The Queen Charlotte Islands”

** Mrs S. deBucy

*** minutes of the meetings of the Hospital Association.

2000 update

The annex is gone after it was turned into an apartment for quite a while … it was situated behind the spectacular Red rhododendron, which we can still see every summer. The new Hospital referred to has been demolished for the newest hospital … opened October 2016.