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Memory Lane Celebrates Sisters’ Legacy at Providence

On Nov. 30, 2011, Providence Healthcare paid tribute to their founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. They held a reception and unveiling of Memory Lane, a hall on the second floor dedicated to telling the story of the House of Providence and how it evolved into Providence Healthcare. The reception was followed by several speeches and then all were invited for a first viewing of this hall made possible by BMO Financial Group. What follows are some highlights of the event.

"Our story begins with you," said Peter Kilty, Chair of the Providence Healthcare Foundation, looking directly at the over 30 Sisters present, "you are at the heart of what we stand for."

Referring to the early Sisters, Josie Walsh, President and CEO of Providence, spoke of how today’s TV heroes were dull compared the early Sisters, "How much I admire these remarkable women."

"Memory lane is a path along this wall but it does not end in the year 2011, it will continue. You are the people who will make possible the memory lane for the future," said Sr. Thérèse Meunier, Congregational Leader.

"In the years to come people will recall the resident who smiled, the person who went out of their way to assist, the staff who gave extra time, those who listened, the volunteer who was understanding, the friend and family who cared, the donor and board member who offered their time and resources."

"You, our God, have given us memory so that we might have roses in December" said Sr. Mary Anne McCarthy, Director of Mission and Values, in her dedication.

"May the patients, residents, clients, families and visitors enjoy time spent in relaxation and remembering as they journey through Memory Lane in the years to come."

All guests were invited to the second floor where Memory Lane lay behind a large orange ribbon. As the group, Peter Kilty, Jennifer Stewart, Alexandra Dousmainis-Curtis, Josie Walsh and Michael Beswick gathered around her, Sr. Thérèse Meunier cut the ribbon and Memory Lane was officially opened. Sisters and guests roamed the hall, framed against history brought alive in many creative ways.

Large murals line the hall of Memory Lane from floor to ceiling, showing internal and external views of Providence Healthcare in an earlier time. Four videos framed in wooden boxes show slides that also tell the story. Shadow boxes with artifacts like a 1857 building spike, an accounts book, a harmonica, a butter marker and a chopping knife tell of life at Providence at the time. A cornerstone metal box is placed on an aerial view of the building. A 1906 grandfather clock gifted to a previous superior, Mother Louisa Clancy, looks at home. In a glass case stands a figure in the replica of a nursing habit, the habit sewn by Sr. Barbara Grozelle. Sisters and guests roamed the hall, framed against history brought alive in many creative ways.


 
Murals line the hall of Memory Lane from floor to ceiling.
 

Video slideshows tell the story.
 

In a glass case stands a figure in the replica of a nursing habit, the habit sewn by Sr. Barbara Grozelle.

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