The name pinned to the old-fashioned white nurse’s uniform in the new archival museum of the Langley Memorial Hospital Heritage Committee reads “Miss M. Conacher.”
It was worn by Langley resident Maxine Juzkow before she married and changed her name.
“It’s my bib-and-apron,” she said Saturday, giving a Times reporter a look at the display in a room of the heritage Michaud House at the foot of 204 Street, south of 53 Avenue in Langley City.
Juzkow wore the starched white outfit when she became a nurse in 1963 in Saskatchewan.
“That was my graduating uniform,” Juzkow said.
“It was in my cedar chest. I could not throw it out.”
Juzkow eventually moved to Langley and started working at Langley Memorial Hospital in 1973.
She sort-of retired in 2003, but kept working for another 10 years on an occasional basis.
Juzkow didn’t really have a use for her old uniform, until, last year, the Langley Memorial Hospital Heritage Committee made a call for donations.
The first ever museum dedicated to Langley Memorial Hospital was coming to Michaud House.
It was the brainchild of the LMH Heritage Committee in partnership with the Langley Heritage Society, which manages Michaud House.
On Saturday afternoon, the display officially opened.
Juzkow’s uniform shares space with an antique wheelchair, the program from the official 1965 opening of the main Langley Memorial Hospital and a scary range of primitive-looking probes, among many other things.
The collection was gathered by a committee of volunteers, who were still receiving contributions on the day of the ribbon-cutting.
We thought we had it all in place, but people were still bringing them in,” said heritage committee member Doris Riedweg, who worked with fellow committee member Kate Ludlam to encourage donors.
“We’ve got calls from as far away as Burnaby, and all over Langley,” Riedweg said.
The effort to find mementos and artifacts from Langley Memorial Hospital began last February, when the heritage committee learned they would have space in Michaud House.
The official launch date marked 70 years since the first footings were laid at Langley Memorial Hospital, known then as the Cottage Hospital.
The garden party at Michaud for the official opening and ribbon-cutting was well-attended including Langley MLAs Mary Polak and Rich Coleman, as well as Township of Langley mayor Jack Froese and Langley City councillors Paul Albrecht and Nathan Pachal.
Fred Pepin, president of the Langley Heritage Society, was one of several speakers to praise the volunteer effort to preserve hospital history.
“We are fortunate in Langley to have a deep and rich history, one we can be proud of,” Pepin said.