On June 2, 2002, Ignace will be celebrating the centennial of Mary Berglund’s birth. Mary died on June 22, 1995 but her legacy lives on in Ignace’s Mary Berglund Community Health Centre.
Mary was a registered nurse, but her duties were far beyond that of a nurse. In “Ignace: A Saga of the Shield,” authors Betty Dyck and Mary’s daughter, Elinor Barr, wrote, “Throughout the 30 years’ continuous dedication of Mrs. Berglund, Ignace enjoyed a rather unorthodox but reasonably efficient system of maintaining health services at a minimal level.
“Mrs. Berglund found herself acting as general practitioner—not by choice, but by demand. . . . She sutured wounds, pumped stomachs, gave injections, administered drugs, presided over childbirth, and maintained death vigils.
“People treated her like the old country doctor, making merchandise payments when money was scarce.”
Mary’s patients and people who knew her are asked to contribute their thoughts, which will be compiled in a commemorative collection of this wonderful woman.
Brief recollections can be sent to Dennis Smyk, Box 989, Ignace, Ont., P0T 1T0, by fax (1-807-934-6667), or e-mail to email@example.com.
Ignace Public Library’s Museum Committee is organizing the celebration, which will kick off on Mary’s birthday, June 2.
Displays and activities are being planned for a week-long celebration so if you’re in or passing through Ignace the first week of June, be sure to stop by the library, which is located right on the highway next to the municipal office and travel centre.