Tag Archives: hospital

Happy Birthday, Sir Wilfred Grenfell


February 28, 1865

Photo Credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives. IGA 13-62 Wilfred Grenfell Painting.

Photo Credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives. IGA 13-62 Wilfred Grenfell Painting.

Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, was born February 28, 1865. He was an English physician and missionary, famous for his work among Labrador fishermen. Dr. Grenfell came to Labrador in 1892.

During more than 40 years of service in Labrador and in Newfoundland, he built hospitals and nursing stations, established cooperative stores, agricultural centers, schools, libraries, and orphanages, and opened the King George V Seamen’s Institute in St. John’s, in 1912. Grenfell cruised annually in the hospital steamer Strathcona II, keeping in touch with his centers of missionary work.

Over the years Grenfell received many awards from universities and other institutions. In 1907 he was appointed a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George; in that year Oxford University awarded him the first Honorary Doctorate of Medicine ever granted by that University and in 1928 he was chosen as Fifth Honorary Knight for Life of the Loyal Knights of the Round Table.

Grenfell’s health failed during the 1920’s and he suffered a heart attack in 1926 and again in 1929. He retired in Vermont, U.S.A.  in 1935 at the age of 70. He made his last trip to Labrador in 1939 after his wife died from cancer. He brought her ashes to be interred on Fox Farm Hill overlooking St. Anthony. Grenfell died two years later at his home in Vermont and his ashes were brought to Labrador and placed next to his wife’s.

Recommended Archival Collection: The records of the International Grenfell Association (IGA) were donated to the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL) by IGA representatives in June 1985.   More at The Rooms: http://www.exhibits.therooms.ca/panl/exhibits/

Recommended Reading: Grenfell of Labrador: A Biography. Ronald Rompkey. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991.

The Janeway Child and Rehabilitation Centre – An Impossible Dream Hospital

An Impossible Dream Hospital

The Old Janeway Hospital;

In August 1966, the Charles A. Janeway Child Health Centre opened and became a referral centre for all sick children in the province and became an affiliated hospital of Memorial University of Newfoundland Medical School. Before Confederation, child health care in Newfoundland and Labrador was below standards when compared to other Canadian provinces.

After Confederation some improvements were made particularly in public health but Dr. Cliff Joy, a pediatrician in 1958 felt that the hospital treatment of children was below standard and the province lacked a central referral centre for sick children. He advocated for a central free standing Child Health Centre in the Province.

In 1960 the Americans closed Pepperrell and made the base hospital available to the Province. The Newfoundland Medical Association, the Premier, the March of Dimes and the Rehabilitation Community wanted the Pepperrell hospital to be a Rehabilitation Centre.  Dr. Joy persisted and because of several events and the support of a several prominent Canadian and American pediatricians was able to persuade  Premier Joey Smallwood to make the Pepperrell Hospital a Child Health Centre.

Please join The Newfoundland Historical Society on Thursday, March 30 for the Newfoundland Historical Society’s monthly lecture. In this lecture, Dr. Rick Cooper will trace this story of the Janeway hospital, and the development of child health care in Newfoundland.

Born in St. John’s, Dr. Rick Cooper has been a pediatrician at Memorial University since 1974. He has conducted extensive research on the development of child health care in Newfoundland during the twentieth century, and has a forthcoming publication on the history of the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre (Boulder Publications).

Location: Hampton Hall, Marine Institute, Ridge Road, St. John’s

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017

Time: 8pm

Admission is free.

Parking: Free parking is available in front and to the west of the building.

Please circulate this notice to family, friends and colleagues.

The NHS hosts FREE lectures on the last Thursday of the months of September, October, November, January, February, March and April. For more information:

Tel: (709)722-3191

E-mail: nlhistory@gmail.com