(Orillia, ON) – For the second time in its history, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is celebrating a 100th Anniversary. While the hospital was founded in 1908 as Orillia General Hospital, it wasn’t until 1922 that it gained its current identity, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, and opened the first purpose-built hospital in Orillia.
The renaming and opening of the new hospital occurred simultaneously on April 21, 1922 in a spectacular community celebration that included numerous local dignitaries, as well as the Governor General of Canada, Lord Byng, who presided over the grand opening.
“Our history is very important to us, and to our community,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.
“World War One was fresh in everyone’s mind back in 1922 and the community felt that re-naming the hospital was an appropriate memorial to all those who served. It remains an important part of our legacy, and our identity. We’re proud of the longstanding relationship that has evolved with the local Legion and the eventual establishment of the cenotaph at our main entrance.”
On Monday, Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke read a proclamation at a meeting of City Council declaring April 17-23, 2022 as Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Week. The hospital has a number of activities planned during the week to acknowledge the milestone, including a special ceremony on Thursday, April 21, marking 100 years to the day that the new hospital opened.
“It’s an opportunity for everyone to take a moment to honour the past, while looking forward to the future with excitement.”