Wednesday, December 17, 2014

John Alexander Renton

John A. Renton was the son of John Renton AKA Jack Renton 
He was apparently murdered, still unsolved.

Found these Vancouver Sun newspaper articles from the time

1932 September 20

1932 September 21

After this date nothing appears to be mentioned.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Philip Windsor

Mentioned in an Order-in-Council dated the 7th of August, 1951.

    Philip Windsor,( 12 June 1916 — 12 June 1952 )  Philip attempted suicide, while at Port Alberni; he was sentenced to six months at Oakalla prison, in Burnaby. While there he was classified as possibly mentally ill and sent to Essondale for investigation.
       Philip’s parents were: Philip Pellow Windsor ( 1892  —  1966  ), and Elizabeth Johnston,( 1893 — 1949 )
          Philip was determined, and it appears that about five months after his release,
he hung himself in a room  at the Dunsmuir Hotel in New Westminster, B.C., on his birthday.

ca.1910 Thompson's Livery "First Cars for Hire". Building was converted by Sam Thompson and became Dunsmuir Hotel. On 8th Street. Below on 8th and Columbia is the Central Hotel (with flag), the C.P.R. station and (left) no sign of the B.C.E.R. depot which was extended to the corner c.1911. According to John Thompson of White Rock, who is the grandnephew of Samuel Hevelock Thompson, these vehicles and buggies all belonged to Samuel Thompson. Sam Thompson is seated in the buggy drawn by one horse.   photo: NWPL 1839
Dunsmuir Hotel, ca.1950 42 Eighth Street. 
   photo: Croton Studio.  NW Archives: IHP10162-001

Eighth Street and Front Street. - ca. 1982.
Photograph shows a view of Eighth Street looking up towards Columbia. This photo was taken before the construction of the Skytrain station. Wosk's Department Store (former BCER depot) is on the right and the Hotel Dunsmuir (demolished in 1982) is visible on the left.
photo: NW Archives IHP9212

 4 June 1952  The Vancouver Sun

Windsor, Phillip, late of 324 Richmond Street, Steveston. Passed away June 12, 1952, age 36 years.
Survived by his father P.P. Windsor; 2 brothers, Norman Windsor and George Windsor ; 1 sister, Mrs. Grace Elizabeth Sturgeon, neé Grace Elizabeth Windsor ( 1918 ― marriage1983 ) all of Steveston. Funeral services will be held in Columbia Funeral Chapel, New Westminster, Monday June 16 at 3:30 p.m. Rev. J.H. Armitage officiating. Internment at Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, B.C.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

William Morris Freeman

Order-in-Council 17th of February 1958 William Morris Freeman, charged with two counts murder, Burnaby, remanded to Oakalla prison. Sent from there to Essondale for a psychiatric evaluation.

He murdered his wife, Audrey Mae Freeman and daughter Pauline Anne Freeman, at their home on 4421 Darwin Avenue, in Burnaby

Audrey Mae Freeman neé Audrey Mae Hearn ( Vancouver, B.C. 12 February 1925 - 29 January1958 )    parents: James Francis Hearn,( 1897-1981 ) and Dorothy Lillian Jones, (1)Dorothy Lillian Hearn (2)Dorothy Lillian Jackson ( 1899 – 1985 ) who were married from 1923  until 1940 when they divorced.         
Pauline Anne Freeman ( Vancouver, B.C. 6 February 1953 – 29 January 1958 Burnaby, B.C. )   

William Morris Freeman ( Vancouver, B.C. 25 November 1924 – 22 April 1958 Essondale, B.C. ) parents: James Freeman, and Hilda Pearl Russell.  Two and half months later he hung himself with a sheet from the top step of a ladder while washing windows.



29 January 1958  The Vancouver sun
Mother, Tot Slain in Bloody Affray

      A four-year-old girl and her mother are dead following a bloody knife-axe affray in a neat Burnaby home early today. The father and a second daughter, eight are in hospital suffering from stab wounds.
RCMP said the husband went berserk, attacking his wife and children and then tried to kill himself.

Dead are: Mrs. Audrey Freeman, about 32.
Pauline Freeman, 4.
In hospital are William Freeman, about 36, and Doreen Freeman, 8.


Police said circumstances indicated Freeman's stab wounds were self-inflicted.
He was forced into a strait-jacket to be taken to hospital.
Mrs. Freeman was reported to have been struck several times with an axe.
Pauline was stabbed through the heart.
Doreen suffered several stab wounds but none were serious, police said.


    Investigators believe the family was eating breakfast in the kitchen of their home at 4421 Darwin, when the grim attack broke out.
The wife apparently was attacked first with an axe, followed by the knifing of the two girls.

Mother, Girl, 4, Slain in Burnaby

Doreen ran out of her home to that of a neighbour, Robert Gatter, 4415 Darwin. She was taken from there to Burnaby General Hospital in the same ambulance in which her father lay strapped into the jacket.

Discovery of the tragedy was made by Freeman's partners in Crest Painting Contractors, Norman Thompson, 1106 Cottonwood, Burquitlam, and George Farquhar, 432 Third Street, New Westminster.
Thompson and Farquhar heard screaming and raced upstairs to find the grisly scene, police said.

Police said that Pauline appeared to have been stabbed while she was in bed in a back bedroom.
Mrs. Freeman was found lying in the front bedroom in a semi-conscious condition and moaning.


Freeman, when police arrived on the scene, was standing in the front hall.
Mrs. Robert Lang, 4275 Moscrop Street, two doors from the Freeman home, said that Mr. Gatter came to the back door of her home and said" You better come quick. "I think Mrs. Freeman is ill."
Mrs. Lang told Mr. Gatter to call a doctor, who lived nearby.
Mr. Gatter said "I went into the kitchen of the freeman home. "I saw Bill standing in the doorway of the kitchen.
"Blood was streaming from a wound in his neck.
" I asked what's the trouble, Bill?"
"He replied, I've had it. I've had it."
" I heard a girl screaming in the bedroom.
"I saw Doreen siting on her mother's bed, holding her side.
"She appeared to be hurt.
"Mrs. Freeman was lying on the floor. She was covered with blood. I was certain that she was dead.
"the smaller Freeman child was also lying on the floor.
"I was quite certain that she was dead."
Mr. Gatter said that Freeman had driven off his partners with a knife when they burst into the house from the basement.
Police said Pauline was pronounced dead on arrival at Burnaby General Hospital.


    Freeman was reported to have a stab wound in the head and three other wounds in the chest. They said that they expected him to survive
the Freeman home, a neat stucco bungalow with green trim was built by Freeman himself. The family had lived in it for about a year.
Mrs. Lang said that Freeman worked late at night to finish the house for his family
Mrs. Freeman died in Burnaby General Hospital at 10:15 a.m., just about two hours after the tragedy was discovered.
Mrs. Lang said Mr. Gatter came out of the Freeman house and one of Freeman's partners was weeping as he sat on the steps.
Carl King 4445 Darwin Ave., said that Freeman had painted his home about six weeks ago.
Mr. King said that at that time Freeman appeared to be worried about financial matters and business troubles.


25 April 1958 The Vancouver Sun
Man charged in Slayings, Suicides

New Westminster ― A 34-year-old man charged earlier this year with the murder of his wife and daughter, hanged himself at the Provincial Mental Hospital at Essondale.
He was William Morris Freeman, formerly of 4421 Darwin Ave., Burnaby, scene of the double slaying on January 29.

NOTE: a very sad story all around. No idea what happened to Doreen Freeman, who must have been permanently affected by all of this trauma.

Czeslaw Pupkowski AKA Chester Pupkowski

Order-in-Council of the 28th of May 1956 Czeslaw Pupkowski, charged with murder, committed to trial at Victoria 19th of April 1956. Sent to Essondale from Oakalla prison, since he is possibly mentally ill.
26 March 1956 The Vancouver Sun
Victoria Man Charged With Murder

Victoria (CP) --- Chester Pupkowski, 48, was charged Saturday night with the murder of  his wife.
Police found the battered, slashed body of Cecilia Pupkowski on the kitchen floor of the family home.
While one group of police investigated at the house a second detachment was pulling Pupkowski from the sea nearby.
Neighbours reported screams coming from the Pupkowski home Saturday afternoon.
then Pupkowski, smeared with blood, hurried from the house stumbled down the steep path to the Holland Point beach,(561 Dallas Road) and waded out to sea, police said.
A neighbour, George Warwick,(122 Clarence St. ) told police he was standing with a friend in his driveway when he heard screams from the Pupkowski house.
"Mrs. Pupkowski screamed blue murder for five seconds but then everything was quiet," Warwick said.
" I called the police when I saw Pupkowski come out of the house and hurry down the street.
"He was half running and half walking, and he kept looking straight in front of him."
The Pupkowski's only child Milo Pupkowski, 8, was not at home at the time of the slaying; police later took him for shelter to a private home.

So Czeslaw Pupkowski AKA Chester Pupkowski murdered his wife, Cecylia Pupkowski AKA Cecilia Pupkowski nee Cecylia  Rzepnikowska( Poland 1917 - 24 March 1956 Victoria, B.C.  inside their home at 129 Clarence Street, Victoria, B.C. she is buried at Colwood Cemetery, Victoria. She was working as a vegetable cook at the Empress Hotel prior to her death. Her parents were: John Rzepnikowska and Wladyslawa Zbonkovska.
The family had only lived in Canada for five years, and three of those in the Victoria area. 

Found online

My grandparents, Czeslaw and Cecylia Pupkowski, were married in Dabrowice Kuto Poland in 1939. They had two sons (one died in Poland or Germany - unknown) the second of which was born in the Polish camp in Boblingen in Germany in 1948. The three of them moved from Germany to Australia for a short time then to Canada by approximately 1952. My grandfather's parents were Aleksandr Pupkowski and Veronika Chojnacka. My grandmother's parents were John Rzepnikowska and Wladyslawa Zbonkovska. I am seeking any and all information including, but not limited to, my family history and possible living relatives. I never met my grandparents and know nothing of my family other than that what is shared here. Any information or direction is greatly appreciated.
Sincerely, Neva P

      So I guess that the child born in Boblingen, Germany in 1948 is Milo Pupkowski, whereabouts unknown, possibly adopted; the adoptive parents changing his name.

Another Order-in-Council dated the 15th of January 1976 mentions that the government needs to prove once and for all that he is insane, since he was never tried in court.

NOTE: So the hospital had him for twenty years, before they realized that something needs to be done.  No idea what happened to Czeslaw Pupkowski, could not find him in the BC Archives, unless he died after 1993, since the records are still private after 1993. I will probably find him in the Essondale cemetery, eventually.   Milo where are you?

Thomas William Trowsdale

Found this incident in the Order-in-Council records; and followed the story along

On Sunday the 19th of February 1950 a female patient escaped ran into river, Mr. Thomas William Trowsdale,( Matsqui, B.C. 17th of April 1926 –10th of September 1950 ) hospital attendant followed and rescued her. Trowsdale ruined his clothes in the process, and the business manager recommends that the government pay $75 to replace his clothes. The Bureaucrats reply :  NO authority to do so.

He had been a Attendant for a year; his parents were Nelson William Trowsdale (1899 - 1948   ) and Miriam Austin . Their marriage certificate 

The Vancouver Sun,  September 12th, 1950

  Pilot's error blamed for surrey crash.

   Cloverdale, Sept. 12.--- Death by misadventure due to pilot's error was the verdict here Monday into the death of student pilot Thomas Trowsdale, 24, of 1790 Cassie Street, Burnaby, who was killed while flying his light plane in Surrey Sunday.

         The dead pilot's prospective father-in-law Russell Mitchell, on whose farm the plane crashed, testified the plane was about 350 feet above the house when it banked and "seemed to flip over" and dived into the ground.
The plane which was owned by Skyway air Services Thomas had taken off from Langley airport and had circled the Mitchell home at 112 Johnson Road [ Johnston Road today is 152nd Street, Surrey.   ] before the crash.

Thomas is buried at Ocean View Burial Park, Burnaby. The death certificate states that his wife was, Faye Osrowe; also that the plane crashed near the corner of Johnston and Hjorth  [which today is 104th Ave. ] which is the general area of todays Guildford mall area in Surrey.
Conflicting information about his marital state, is it this Faye Osrowe [ which appears to be a typo ] or was he engaged to  unknown Mitchell ?

Robert Amos

Searching through the Order-in-Council records I came across an entry for a staff member who died.

Order-in-Council 30th of July 1954  Robert Amos,( Denholm, Hawick Scotland 19th of May 1894 – 21st of July 1954  Colony Farm, Coquitlam, B.C.  ) Bob Amos was a psychiatric nurse who worked for 10 ½ years at Essondale .  Upon his death his widow, Amy Amos nee Oliver (1897 - 1983  )  gets the typical three months salary.

         But at the bottom of the letter it mentions that Robert Amos died immediately after being struck by a patient.

The official death certificate does not mention this mitigating factor at all.

The death certificate states that after an autopsy these were the findings: Acute Cardiac dilatation; coronary thrombosis, myocardial infarction, coronary arteriosclerosis with stenosis; myocardial fibrosis.

Robert Amos, parents were, William Amos, and Janet unknown, both from Scotland.  He signed up to serve his adopted country in World War One, at Edmonton in 1915, No.: 433009 where you will find his complete WWI record.  Robert married Amy Oliver on the 27th of February 1919 at Barton Upon Irwell, Lancashire, England.   He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, B.C.


22 July 1954 The Vancouver sun
Amos — Passed away suddenly on July 21st, 1954, Robert Amos, late of Pipe Line Road, Coquitlam, age 60 years. He leaves to mourn his loving wife, Amy. He served as a corporal in the original 49th Edmonton regiment, 1915-1918 and as Sergeant 6th Field Co., R.C.E., Vancouver 1940-1944. Funeral service on Friday July 23rd in the Garden Hill Chapel, Port Coquitlam at 2:00 p.m. Rev. H. Harris, officiating. Internment Soldiers' Plot, Mountain View Cemetery.


January 1955, No.59 Forty-Niner

Amos, Robert — Robert Amos of Coquitlam, B.C., suffered a heart attack July 21st, at the age of 60. Sid Rowden and A.G. Rowland, assisted be Legionnaires from Coquitlam, acted as Pallbearers. He is survived by his wife, Amy. Bob will be best remembered as one of those stalwart boys of the Transport Section where he held the rank of Corporal — and what a grand bunch of fellows they were. He also served as Sergeant in the 6th Field Company, R.C.E., in Vancouver from 1940 to 1944. The large number of friends and neighbours attending the funeral testified to the high esteem in which Bob was held in the community. Hec Stevenson, Jack Swanson, and Mrs. Geordie Swanson represented the Association.

NOTE: I have frequently found that the death certificates, do not tell the complete story of the cause of death, this is a prime example.

As far as I could find out, Robert Amos and Amy Oliver, had no children.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Nurse Little and her dissolving ring

Sometimes the day in the life of a nurse can be interesting.

     Order-in-Council 20th of January 1955
On December 8th, 1954, Mrs. L. Little, psychiatric nurse, at the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, during the normal course of her duties was taking the blood pressure of a patient when the mercury escaped from the sphygmomanometer  into her left hand. Whilst endeavouring to confine the mercury to the table the mercury came into contact with the wedding ring being worn by Mrs. L. Little.
Approximately one hour later the ring fractured and was completely ruined.
Mrs. L. Little has submitted a claim in the sum of $21.00 being the value of the ring so destroyed.
We recommend that Mrs. L. Little be paid the sum of $21.00 in full settlement of the aforementioned claim.

    The council agreed and paid up.

Made me think that there must have been other mercury spills, from thermometers, medical equipment and industrial controls through the years, and I wondered if they were cleaned up properly?  It is amazing to watch mercury dissolve gold, and other metals

Monday, December 01, 2014

Samuel Hayes Williams

Samuel Hayes Williams ( England 1867? -  3 October 1940 Essondale, Coquitlam, B.C., buried at Woodlands cemetery, New Westminster, B.C. )

The Directories for Vancouver give some hints about Samuel’s life

Nothing in the Vancouver directories prior to 1918, makes me wonder if he came here from England after the war; or possibly elsewhere in the country

1919-1922 janitor for the McLaughlin Motor Car Co., Ltd., residing in the  Central Park area of Burnaby

Two views of McLaughlin Motor Car Co. Ltd., 1219 Georgia Street, Vancouver, B.C.
photo by: W.J. Moore ca.1920-1921    Vancouver Archives A09826
McLaughlin Carriage Company Ltd. B.C. Branch 1219 Georgia St.
Photo by: S. Thomson 1918     Vancouver Archives A17673
So it appears that he kept the above building clean.

1923    engineer  home was on 4219 Irmin Street, Burnaby
1924 – 1925    painter and decorator
1926    engineer
1927         retired
1928 – 1929    labourer for Burnaby municipality
1930 – 1934      gardener
1935 – 1940        Samuel is retired, still living at 4219 Irmin Street in Burnaby

      5th of June 1940 Order-in-Council  Samuel Hayes Williams on the 25th of December 1939 shot and wounded Edwin Simpson with a shotgun in Burnaby. Samuel was held at Oakalla prison; and a jury found Samuel unfit to stand trial because of insanity, so the Order-in-Council was to send him to Essondale hospital for evaluation.

Edwin Simpson,( Leeds, Yorkshire 1880 - 1959 )  worked as a coremaker/ mouldmaker, at the Terminal City Iron Works. He lived at 4255 Rumble Street, in Burnaby. Edwin’s parents were Robert Simpson, and Eliza Inman
Samuel Hayes Williams and Edwin Simpson’s backyards would have adjoined each other.  
Edwin was married in 1913 to Maude Pavitt? (Parett?) ( 1891 – 1937 ) his second marriage was to Marjorie Lief McGuiness,( 1884 – 1970 ) neé Marjorie Lief Laing.  Marjorie was a widow of Charles McGuiness ( 1881 – 1941 )

       After being held at Oakalla prison for nearly six months Samuel Hayes Williams was sent to Essondale hospital where he spent the last four months of his life, he died on the 3rd of October 1940 at Essondale, an autopsy was done and cause of death was coronary sclerosis; arteriosclerosis, and arteriosclerotic dementia

He was prepared for burial by Bowell and Sons, funeral parlour in New Westminster, Samuel Hayes Williams was finally buried in the Woodlands cemetery, at New Westminster, B.C.

The death certificate states that he was here for 40 years, single, and Church of England, was his faith.

Constance Moody

Constance Moody was born on the 17th of June 1917 at Prince Rupert, B.C.
Her parents were Adam Moody and Harriet ?

The 1911 Canada census, finds the family living at  Kitkatla
Adam Moody born in 1888  was a fisherman
Wife: Harriet Moody 1881
Eliza Moody, born in 1901 married in 1919  Jacob Astes (which is probably wrong, his last names appears to be frequently miss-spelled as Astes, Aster, Astor. Jacob Astor 1885 – 1962 )
Reuben Moody, born at Kitkatla 1903 - 1971 Prince Rupert, B.C. 
Lizzy Moody , born in 1907
Constance was not born yet, but from this census list I would assume that there are more siblings in the family.

      On the 29th of March 1940 and Order-in-Council, states that Constance Moody was
convicted at Prince Rupert, B.C. the 3rd of January 1940 of attempted suicide, sentenced by Thomas McClymont, police Magistrate to one year, at Oakalla prison.  The Order-in-Council was done so that under section 970 of the Criminal Code, Constance Moody, could be sent to Essondale hospital, since she was deemed to be insane.

Fours years latter on the 11th of April 1944  Constance Moody died at Essondale, with the primary cause being Tuberculosis, and a secondary cause of being considered an imbecile. Constance was a single, native woman of the Anglican faith, and she is buried at the Woodlands cemetery, at New Westminster, B.C.

Violet Mary Mulwain

 Violet Mary Mulwain neé Violet Mary Hudson    ( 1909 – 1944 )
Violet used her middle name Mary Hudson / Mary Mulwain throughout her short life.
Born in 1909 at New Kitselas

Parents were  Harriet Hudson neé  Harriet Edgar ( Port Simpson 1870 - 1968 Terrace  )
    and Joseph Hudson ( 1879 - 1956 TB at the Miller Bay Indian hospital, Prince Rupert )

The 1911 Canada census finds the family living at Kitselas, and listing her father Joseph Hudson was working as a fisherman.

In 1929 at Terrace, B.C. Violet Mary Hudson, married Alfred Moses Mulwain  the marriage certificate states that a William Tait and Bertha Tait are her parents, which is wrong. Both were 21 years old, and could read and write.

On the 25th of November 1941 an Order-in-Council was signed moving Mary from Oakalla prison to Essondale Hospital
Prior to that on the 15th of September 1941, Mary was convicted of vagrancy, by W.D. Vance, Esq., Police Magistrate Prince Rupert, to six months in Oakalla prison and an additional one month if a fine of $50 not paid.
     The Order-in-Council moved her to Essondale where Mary would die 35 months later of Tuberculosis.

Mary died on the 13th of November 1944 at Essondale hospital. the death certificate states that home was at Kitselas, and that she was Not a registered Indian ( even though her parents were both native )  tuberculosis was the primary cause of her death, but the secondary cause states that she was, feeble minded and a moron. Something that she must not have been earlier in her life since she was married and could read and write.

Violet Mary Hudson is buried at the Woodlands cemetery, in New Westminster, B.C.

NOTE: Tuberculosis ravaged the natives in this area, it was a frequent cause of death.  Apparently some of the worse cases were frequently moved south to the Lower Mainland and taken care of.

Dr.Gee, middle of picture

Dr.Gee, middle of picture

BC Penitentiary cemetery at Woodlands

Links to an article in the Vancouver Sun, about the B.C.Penitentiary Cemetery at Woodlands in New Westminster. More Cemetery information, related to the mental hospitals, can be found at the Riverview Hospital Click-able MAP just click on the Cemetery area, found in the bottom right area of the map.
BC Pen graveyard article
Bloody escape left 3 dead
How Sook Sias found his way home

Dr.Gee,Medical Superintendent's report (ca.early 1950's)


of the


By: Doctor A. M. Gee, Essondale, B. C.

Click on Chapter headings:
Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B.C.
Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, B.C.
Provincial Mental Hospital, Colquitz, B.C.
The Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine
Homes for the Aged
Child Guidance Clinics

It will be my endeavor in this article to present to you an over-all picture of the Mental Health Services of the Province of British Columbia, but before proceeding to this I wish to give you some idea of the magnitude of the problem presented by mental illness, something of the general nature of mental illness, and finally the means of dealing with the problem of mental illness..

In Canada, as in other countries, mental illness takes a very heavy toll. Mental illness is not just a matter of sanity or insanity but rather has many gradations ranging from minor emotional disturbances to complete and total disability. In British Columbia, as in the other provinces, the number of patients in the mental hospitals is equal to the number of patients in all other hospitals from all other causes. There is in Canada at the present time a total of 50,000 patients in the mental hospitals, while in B.C. we have at the present time over 5,000 patients being treated and cared for in our mental hospitals.

In 1947, 13,085 of our citizens were admitted to the mental hospitals of Canada, while in the same year, 1,111 of our own citizens were admitted to the mental hospitals of B. C. Let us not over-estimate this admission rate, however, serious though it may be, but rather direct our attention to the data concerning discharges from the mental hospitals. Of the 1,111 patients admitted to the Provincial Mental Hospital in 1947 we were able to discharge 935, while in 1948 of the 1,260 patients admitted 1,193 were discharged to return to the community. Over half of those discharged, in 1948 were hospitalized for a period of less than 4 months duration.

The cost of maintaining Canada's 43 mental hospitals is in excess of 26 million dollars annually. It is generally conceded that one person in 20, will, during his lifetime, be a patient for a period in a mental hospital, and in addition it is estimated that one person in every ten suffers from some type of serious emotional disturbance at some time in his life history. From these few figures it is possible for one to gain a general impression of the magnitude which the problem of mental illness presents.

On the brighter side of the picture, however, I am pleased to be able to draw your attention to real progress in the field of Psychiatry. In the past few years the mental hospitals have turned increasingly from the simple custodial care of their patients to a program of active treatment and prevention. While the mental hospital still remains the focus of mental health care, the centre of gravity is gradually shifting from the mental hospital to the community where there are, at present, rapidly developing systems for treatment and prevention.

Let us now direct our attention to the general nature of mental illness. Many of you have no doubt thought of mental illness as something strange and remote from your lives, something entirely different from physical discomfort or disease. "Health” may be defined as that condition of the body in which all of the functions are performed normally. "Mental Health" "may be defined as the adjustment of individuals to the world and to each other with a maximum of effectiveness and happiness. In a broad sense this is a very good definition of democracy and we might say that Democracy and national mental health go hand in hand.

Physical health manifests itself inside of your skin. Mental health manifests itself outside of your skin, in your thinking, your feeling, and particularly in your doing and interpersonal relationships. "Mental Health" be further defined as the ability to maintain an even temper, an alert intelligence, socially considerate behaviour, and a happy disposition. Mental or ill health exhibits itself in how you react in regard to life and death, joy and sorrow, blame and praise, love and hate, and fear. All mental illnesses demonstrate disorders in the sphere of the emotions. If a person is able to handle his emotions in relation to those who live about him and be happy, he is mentally healthy.

I would now like to present to you for your better understanding the true parallel that exists between physical and mental health; physical and mental illness. There are certainly as many degrees of mental fitness as there are degrees of physical fitness. Few of us claim to be physically 100% fit all of the time and few of us reach middle age without carrying some minor or major physical disability which to a degree interferes with our ability to function at our maximum capacity. Some of us suffer from minor disabilities which may incapacitate partially or wholly for a short period. Others again suffer from time to time from major disabilities from which we may or may not recover. Again, we have a group of physical diseases which require long periods of active treatment with partial recovery or arrest of the progress of the disease leaving a definite disability and a permanent limitation of function. Such a disease is tuberculosis.

In the realm of mental disease we have exactly the same situation. We all suffer at times from minor emotional discomforts or disabilities. Some of us suffer from more severe mental reactions which may incapacitate us for a time and which require hospital treatment but from which complete recovery is certain. Again, others will suffer from mental symptoms similar in severity to tuberculosis and for this a longer period of hospitalization and treatment will be required with a good outlook for arresting the progress of the disease.

In this mental illness, however, the patient will in all probability never again regain his efficiency 100% and like the arrested tubercular patient will need assistance in rehabilitation and in reorienting himself toward his life situation.

There are indeed as many disabling conditions in psychiatry as there are in general medicine and a true parallel exists between mental symptoms and physical symptoms, mental disease and physical disease. By following this close parallel we should be able to avoid the senseless, shameful notion that mental illness carries with it some social stigma. I would like to pursue this parallel just a little further in order that you may see how the various mental health services are grouped at the active treatment level.

Physical disorders of all types may be classified under the following headings:

1. Developmental defects - i.e.,congenital disabilities.
2. Organic illnesses - (including injuries).
3. Functional illnesses.
4. Infective or toxic illnesses.
5. Degenerative illnesses.
6. Public health - (preventive medicine).

Mental disorders of all types may be classified similarly as follows:

1. Developmental defects - i.e., mental deficiency and subnormality.
2. Organic mental illnesses - (including injuries).
3. Functional mental illnesses.
4. Toxic central illnesses.
5. Degenerative mental illnesses.
6. Mental hygiene - (preventive psychiatry).
In accordance with the categories set forth above our active mental hospital treatment service naturally breaks down into four main divisions.

1. Treatment and education of the subnormal.
2. The treatment of the acutely mentally ill - organic, functional, toxic psychoses (psychotic patients).
3. The treatment of those suffering from degenerative train conditions (senile, arteriosclerotic).
4. Preventive services.

Return to Index

Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B.C.

This unit of the Provincial Mental Health Services functions as a training school for the mentally defective and at the present time has a patient population of 653 with no vacant beds. The function of this unit is, of course, the training of the mentally subnormal with the objective being to develop the individual to his maximum capacity. At this hospital there is a modern, five room special school which is staffed by seven fully qualified teachers. As part of the school there is a well equipped gymnasium and auditorium as well as special classrooms designed for the teaching of domestic science and the manual arts. In the program of this school considerable emphasis is placed upon the socialization of the children, employing recreational and social activities in this part pf the training program.

At the present time there is a program or expansion underway at the Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B. C., consisting of four modern type buildings each of which will have a capacity of approximately 100. It is hoped that the provision of these new buildings will make it possible to relieve some of the over-crowding and also to admit some of the patients who are presently of necessity kept on the waiting list until a bed becomes vacant.

Out of the total population of 653 patients, 140 are participating in the academic training school program. The teaching staff endeavours to provide a special teaching program to meet the individual needs of the population rather than to follow definite grade levels. In addition to the academic program great stress is laid on the teaching of domestic science and manual arts. Cooking, food preparation and serving are, stressed along with sewing, mending, and needle work. In the boys’ division opportunities are provided for the teaching of manual arts and for the older boy there is ample opportunity for learning the various industrial skills and trades associated with the operation and maintenance of the hospital plants.

Return to Index

Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, B.C.

This hospital is the largest unit of the Mental Health Services of the Province. It functions as the administration centre and headquarters in both medical and business administration. At the present time it is the admitting centre for all branches and all in-patients are admitted there and are transferred to other units. The first building was opened to receive patients in 1913. The Essondale unit has increased in capacity and size until at the present time it houses in excess of 3,600 patients. Consideration is being given now to the development of an entirely new hospital site to provide the increased care that will be required in the near future. The Mental Hospital at Essondale is classified by the American Hospital Association as a class A hospital. It is in all respects a fully modem hospital with excellent facilities for clinical investigation, diagnosis and treatment of all mental end neurological conditions.

In addition to medical and surgical facilities it offers the advantage of all accepted forms of psychiatric therapy. The occupational therapy program is well advanced, while the pioneering of our recreational therapy program has brought much credit to the Province of British Columbia.

Treatment within the hospital breaks down into,

(1) early and active treatment of the acutely mentally ill with a view to early recovery and rehabilitation;
(2) continued treatment for a large group of patients who will require a prolonged treatment period.
The Social Service Department is actively engaged in working with both of these classes of patients. The Psychiatric Social Service staff numbers ten and a representative of the department visits in the home of all patients admitted from the local area. Representatives of the Welfare Field Service visit in all other areas of the Province. Histories are submitted covering all contacts and activities of the patient in an endeavour to provide a longitudinal section of the individual's life in order that the psychiatrist may have understanding into all of the situational factors bringing about the illness. The individual social service worker keeps in constant touch with the patient during the hospitalization, and acts as liaison between the hospital and the home. Rehabilitation plans are worked out between the psychiatrist and the social service worker end after discharge of the patient further assistance and supervision is provided for him during the initial six month post-discharge period. To further assist in the rehabilitation of women patients a small home unit is maintained in Vancouver where the recovered patient may live a normal, unrestricted home life until she is able to find employment and be self-supporting.

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Provincial Mental Hospital, Colquitz, B.C.

A small continued treatment unit is located at Colquitz, Vancouver Island, housing some 287 male patients. There is no direct admission to this hospital, all patients in residence having been transferred from the hospital at Essondale. The Provincial Mental Home offers complete medical and psychiatric care along with a full program of occupational and recreational activities. Future plans call for the construction of a complete new mental hospital adjacent this site to serve the needs of Vancouver Island and adjacent islands.

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The Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine

This is a new fully modem building to house 325 patients. It is an-active treatment and teaching centre, bringing active treatment to the Patient suffering from the early symptoms of mental Illness in which recovery and rehabilitation may be anticipated within a four month period. The Clinic of Psychological Medicine is a distinct advance from the usual mental hospital type of treatment and is a step closer to the community and general hospital type of care. The clinic houses group specialties representing all branches of medicine, surgery and psychiatry, as follows:

1. Complete x-ray department covering all phases of radiology, including an x-ray surgical suite and special apparatus for cranial and brain studies.
2. Complete clinical laboratories equipped to carry out all types of clinical laboratory investigation, teaching and research.
3. A department of cardiology for the investigation of the heart and cardiovascular system together with instruments for the determination of basal metabolic rate.
4. A complete eye, ear, nose and throat department.
5. A complete neurological department with facilities for electroencephalography.
6. A department of physical medicine which includes all forms of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and electrotherapy.
7. A modern surgical suite for both general surgery and neurosurgery.
8. A department of psychiatry covering all accepted forms of psychotherapy.
9. A department of occupational therapy with division for male and female patients and providing the necessary apparatus and instructors for a wide range of interesting crafts.
10. A department of recreational therapy staffed and equipped to provide recreational activities to suit the needs and interests of all age groups.
11. A library, housing standard and more popular current works of fiction, under the supervision of a fully qualified librarian.
12. Complete facilities for teaching and lecturing.
The Clinic operates under a separate act of the Provincial Legislature, separate and apart from the Mental Hospitals Act, This new act provides for the admission of voluntary patients who may themselves terminate their hospitalization at will. Otherwise it provides for the admission of patients on the certificates of two medical practitioners without any legal certification or loss of competency on the part of the patient. The maximum period of hospitalization during which the patient may be retained is four months. It is believed that this new intensive approach to the treatment of mental illness will bring psychiatry closer to other branches of medicine and, will do much to gain the confidence of the population in seeking early advice in such matters. It should do much to place mental illness on the same plane as physical illness and help to remove any stigma which uninformed people may have regarding sickness of the mind.

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Homes for the Aged

British Columbia was the first province to set up separate institutions for the psychiatric care of those aged individuals whose aging symptoms are predominately in the mental sphere. These buildings are of special design to meet the problems of caring for the aged. They are two storey, fireproof units with special ramps replacing all stairways. The grade of the ramp is such that it will permit comfortable walking as well as the use of a wheelchair or stretcher. Front entrances are ramped to spacious lawns for outdoor activities. All floor space including ramps is indirectly lighted by coved lighting at floor level. All ramps and corridors are provided with handrails. This type of building has received favorable comment from visitors from all points of the world.

The care of our aging population is rapidly becoming one of the major considerations at the present time. Chief reasons for the increased proportion of the aged in our population at this time are the great advance in medical and surgical care which have prevented death at an early age and increased the average life span. Two thousand years ago the average life span was approximately 25 years. In 1900 the average life span was 49 years, while in 1950 it is 66 ½ years. In 1900 one person in 25 was 65 years of age or older. It is estimated that by 1980 one person in 10 will be 65 years of age or over. Individuals now reaching superannuation age at 65 can look forward to an additional 12 ½ years of life. Unfortunately there is a considerable lag in the prevention and treatment of many of the degenerative diseases associated with the aging process, and particularly in this so in reference to those degenerative diseases producing mental illness in the aged. Much is needed in the way of research into this particular problem.

British Columbia has set up homes for the aged at Port Coquitlam where some 380 patients are housed and at Vernon, B. C. where some two years ago a new unit was opened to care for approximately 250 patients. In the near future it is expected that a third group of units will be opened in northern B. C. to serve the residents of that area.

The foregoing paragraphs have presented a survey of all the facilities for the "in care" of patients suffering from mental illness as operated by the Provincial Government. I would now like to direct your attention to the second aspect of psychiatry which is the preventive or mental health aspect.

Psychiatry was born put of jails, almshouses, and superstition and consequently has had to struggle to establish itself as a scientific practice. Even more difficult has been the establishment of sound principles of mental health. General public health measures can be applied to whole communities. Legislation may be enacted to insure a safe water supply and thereby eliminate many diseases. Living conditions may be improved. There are still, however, many people who dislike being told that they have to drink chlorinated water or that they may use only pasteurized milk, or that they must make provision against the day when they may need hospital care. In spite of these difficulties, by a process of public education it is still possible to deal with people in masses in matters of public health. Psychiatry and mental health, on the other hand, are largely matters of personal tutoring and individual education. In the not too distant past the psychiatric institution was separate and apart from the community. The psychiatrist was little more than the keeper of the keys and seldom emerged from his walled abode. Today we are trying to operate mental hospitals that are worthy of the name. We are now trying to move closer into the community and give service at the community level so that it will not be necessary to remove our patients from their community environment to an isolated mental hospital situation.

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Child Guidance Clinics

In the matter of prevention, it is therefore only natural that we should turn our attention to children and their parents. From the school system we are able to contact children in large groups. In 1934 we were able to set up our first Child Guidance Clinic unit. This unit consisted of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nurse, a psychiatric social worker and a stenographer. This basic pattern is still followed in the staffing of the clinics. The purpose of the Child Guidance Clinic is to help normal children who are presenting problems in behaviour, social adjustment, or education. Children may be referred to the clinic from the school or any social agency, the physician or the parents. There are at the present time four clinic units functioning in B.C., as follows:

One Stationary Clinic, Vancouver One Stationary Clinic, Vancouver - working with the Juvenile Court, Boys’ and Girls’ Industrial Schools and the Borstal School. One Traveling Unit, Vancouver One Stationary Unit, Victoria. In addition, the Metropolitan Health Board in Vancouver operates a Division of Mental Health with a similar type of unit functioning in the school. A second such unit is now being formed under the auspices of the City Health Services at Victoria.

To further radiate into the school system a pilot group of teachers is being trained to act as mental health coordinators. Already two such teachers have completed the one year of training at the University of Toronto, one being stationed in the Victoria schools and one in the Vancouver schools. At the present time two more teachers are undergoing a similar course of training.

The last link in the chain stretching from the mental hospital to the community is now being forged in the formation of the Canadian Mental Health Association with headquarters at Toronto. This mental health association is being developed under the guidance of Dr. Clarence M. Hincks, an outstanding Canadian psychiatrist who has devoted a lifetime to promoting improved standards in mental health care. It is planned to set up Provincial headquarters in each province and to have similar units formed in each community. In the future you will be hearing more of the plans of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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