October 14, 2015
When a community comes together for a cause the results can be astonishing. We saw it happen on October 7. Five doctors in one room, at one table, lined up in a row, smiling – three months ago it wouldn’t have been possible. Three months ago even those of us who pushed hard to build and staff the Chetwynd Medical Clinic and Wellness Centre were putting on a brave face.
An idea shared, and somebody said, “Let’s do it.” Within days a volunteer army of 20+ workers spread the word, developed the details, assigned the tasks, and went to work. Wow!
Those of us who came to smile and laugh and enjoy the food and communicate to the doctors that we absolutely do appreciate their service in our community don’t really know what went on in the background to get the food on the serving deck, the tables spread, the decorations, the live background music.
Typically, a caterer supplies the food for a price. I don’t know everything of every detail but this I was told by one who had a part in the project: those delicious mashed potatoes and the carrots didn’t come from IGA or Safeway or Super Value. They were pulled out of the good Chetwynd soil in the garden of one of the volunteers. Believe it! And washed and peeled and boiled and mashed by the same volunteer.
When a community comes together for a cause the results can be astonishing. On October 7 the results were astonishing.
This also I was told by an insider (we made a monster pile of dirty dishes, dirty cutlery, dirty tablecloths – all 89 of us): those dirty dishes, knives, forks, spoons, goblets – they were all washed by volunteers after the partygoers went home!
This is the kind of town with the kind of people that make good neighbours. This is why we can have hope when the going is rough. This is why I like my home town.
Did the doctors feel appreciated? Did their faces show it? Absolutely! Even gentle, white-haired Dr. Bond in his 47 years of practicing his craft had never experienced anything like the outpouring of appreciation that they received.
Our youngest recruit, Dr. Banas, now believes he can have a life – something that appeared a little doubtful only three short months ago. And his belief is well grounded. How things change!
Our stalwart anchor, Dr. Venter, Chief of Staff at the Chetwynd Hospital – he also was smiling.
Yes, Dr. Schreve has moved on to other vistas and was here only as a locum. We will miss him but change happens in life. We wish him and his wife much happiness in their new setting – which reminds them of the home of their youth in South Africa.
The locums are, and always will be, important in our health-care delivery system. Dr. Clark (obviously on call during our celebration) graced our community for a short while and will leave with an important memory: Chetwynd is a great place to spend a few days, weeks, even years. That message will get out to other potential locums and potential full-time recruits.
We cannot relax our efforts to recruit and retain but be sure of this: a community that is able to come together to say “Thank you” is a community that will hang on to its people.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor