Half-mast flag at NHH honours auxiliary volunteers lost

By Cecilia Nasmith

A new annual tradition at Northumberland Hills Hospital was on view Monday, as the Canadian flag outside its main entrance was lowered to half-staff in honour of dedicated auxiliary volunteers who have passed away in the last year.

In conjunction with the reading of these names at the Northumberland Hills Hospital Auxiliary annual general meeting last week, this new annual tradition will recognize the exceptional commitment of these volunteers throughout the hospital. In 2018-2019 alone, the NHH press release noted, they gave more than 42,000 hours of their tie to provide important service that kept the hospital going.

'This generosity of spirit lives on in the hundreds of active volunteers who continue to support NHH each and every day,” the press release added in extending the thanks of the hospital for their dedication to its patients and their families.

The press release listed nine members lost in 2018-2019 who, in some cases, had been active for decades.

Ann Baxter, who died Oct. 22, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 2002 and given 16 years of service,

Marjorie Comerford who died Dec. 27, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 2004 and given 13 years of service.

Jean Cunningham, who died July 21, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 1983 and given 35 years of service.

Marg Dennis, who died Sept. 8, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 2000 and given 14 years of service.

Mary Jubenville, who died June 23, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 2002 and given three years of service.

Connie Sherwin, who died Sept. 24, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 2003 and given 15 years of service.

Agnes Stuart, who died June 28, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 2001 and given 16 years of service.

Mary Catherine Villanyi, who died Jan. 14, 2019, had joined the auxiliary in 2010 and given eight years of service.

Gerry Walker, who died Dec. 13, 2018, had joined the auxiliary in 1994 and given 23 years of service.

A number of past auxiliary members were also remembered, including the incredible Margaret Gear who was a life associate member of the auxiliary. Her 63 years of service predate even the establishment of the auxiliary's Petticoat Lane thrift shop, which recently celebrated its golden anniversary.

The other life associate member celebrated was Muriel Edwards, who served for many years but whose exact dates of service could not be confirmed.

Other past members of distinction who were celebrated were Dorothy Hubicki for 35 years (1976 to 2011), Catherine Ramsey for 13 years (2002 to 2015) and Shirley Elizabeth Parker for 10 years (2002 to 2012).

For more information on the auxiliary, check the Volunteers tab at