Tangible evidence of the prestige of the Canadian Legion, and the sympathetic attitude of the public toward disabled war veterans, is revealed in the new Veteran's Unit of the Essondale Mental Hospital which was officially opened by Premier S.F. Tolmie Wednesday afternoon.
The opening of this building, stated to be the only one of its kind in the Dominion, coincided with the annual convention of the B.C. Provincial Command of the Legion. Members of the legion inspected the building costing $625,000, which will accommodate 150 of their less fortunate comrades whose mentality is affected due to war services.
Col. William Wasbrough Foster,( 1 ) of Pacific Engineers, general contractors for the new unit, stated the building was rated by the Dominion Mental Hygiene survey board as the most modern of its kind.
Premier Tolmie gave credit to the Canadian Legion for starting the agitation to provide special treatment for war veterans.
New features introduced including the cafeteria system which permits the inmates to select diet to their own liking, was commended upon by the Premier.
The unemployment problem would be alleviated if home products were used in other construction work in the same degree as in this building, Dr. Tolmie said. He understood that 75 per cent of the materials were produced in B.C.; 15 per cent came from eastern Canada and the Empire, and 10 per cent from the United States.
Other speakers were Hon. Ralph Bruhn, Minister of Public Works; Hon. Nels Lougheed, Minister of Lands; P. Philips, Deputy Minister of Public Works, H. Whittaker, chief government architect. A pleasing feature of the ceremonies was the presentation of diplomas to members of the nursing staff by Mrs. Lougheed, wife of the Public Works Minister.
The graduates are: Miss M. Wright, Miss Hazel Lipsey, Miss Mary Gould, Miss Berthe Dunham, Miss Mary Brice, Miss Ellen Dudgeon, Miss Ethel Poland, Miss Dorothy Broadman, Miss Dorothy Davy, Miss Doretta Mathieu. Music was supplied by the Boys' Industrial School Band.
[ In 1949 an addition to this building was opened, and the building was renamed the “Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine” ]