Extra Research for Season 6 – Episode 2 – Bert
History of the Victoria Health Building
In 1887, through the vision and diligent efforts of Lady Alice Starr (née Chipman) Tilley wife of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, a small cottage hospital was built. In June 1888, the Victoria Cottage Hospital, as it was called, opened to patients. Over the years there would be many changes and additions made to the hospital. In 1889 the Asa Dow Isolation Wing was added for the treatment of contagious diseases. It did not take long before even more room was needed, and several additions were made. By 1889 Lady Tilley handed the management of the hospital to its’ trustees and it was simply known as the Victoria Public Hospital.
In 1921 a “maternity home” opened in the Victoria Public Hospital, and there was also discussion of a nurse’s home. New Brunswick experienced its first polio epidemic in 1937 and many patients, in the acute stage of the disease, were placed in the isolation wing of the Victoria Public Hospital that had seen other contagious diseases. Eventually the old wooden Victoria Public Hospital was demolished to make way for continued expansion of the Fraser Memorial Hospital. As Fredericton and the surrounding area’s population continued to grow, the need for a new regional hospital was required and the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital opened early in 1977.
The Community Kitchen
The Fredericton Community Kitchen was founded in 1982 by George Piers (1944-2018) a teacher, and he was instrumental in bringing a service to help feed those in need with the first meal being served 8 Dec 1982. The Kitchen was also to help the men’s shelter next door. They are located behind the Victoria Health Centre Building. For his service to the community and homeless of Fredericton, NB George received the Order of New Brunswick in 2005, Queens Jubilee Medal in 2013, and Distinguished Citizen Award in 2014.
More About Bert
Bert Francis Sacobie (1951-2019) was a good friend of the kitchen and well spoken of. He belonged to the Saint Mary’s First Nation, one of six Maliseet Nations. He was the son of Frank and Bertha Sacobie. The Saint Mary’s Reserve, established in 1867, lies on the northeast bank of the Saint John River, opposite downtown Fredericton.
— Joanne Schiavoni
Photo Credit: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick