Langley medical history explored

An exhibit at Langley Centennial Museum looks at how Langley residents have received medical care over the centuries.

Langley Centennial Museum is presenting “From Bedpans to Bandages: The History of Medicine in Langley” until Sept. 8.

Langley has a long and interesting medical history, and the museum is highlighting it in its summer exhibit.

From B.C.’s first Caesarean birth in 1895 and some of the earliest plans for hospital insurance in the province, the exhibit explores Langley’s medical history and the people who dedicated their lives to the health of the community.

The history of medicine in Langley began with the Stó:lo people, who had a sophisticated understanding of botanicals and natural remedies.  And before the days of Langley’s first doctors and Langley Memorial Hospital, residents of Langley relied on the medical knowledge of traveling practical nurses and midwives who often ran hospitals and clinics out of their own homes.

As the nearest hospital was Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and the nearest doctor often hours away, caring for the sick and dying was crucial work for Langley’s health care practitioners.  There are bright notes too. When the hospital opened in 1948, nurse Iris Mooney noted, “you just saw the whole community grow and evolve around the maternity [ward].”

For details, call the museum at (604) 532-3536.