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November 9, 2004
For immediate release

Dedication at the Site of the Former Prince Edward Hospital’s Veterans’ Annex Recognizes Island Veterans

Health and Social Services

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On behalf of the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, the Honourable Shawn Murphy today joined the Prince Edward Island Minister of Health and Social Services, the Honourable Chester Gillan, and representatives of Island Veterans’ organizations to pay a special tribute to Veterans. In the Residents’ Garden of the Prince Edward Home, on the site of the former Veterans’ Annex of the Prince Edward Hospital, a park bench with a commemorative plaque was officially dedicated in honour of Veterans who received care at the Veterans’ Annex. The unveiling was particularly significant as there are no remaining physical traces of the Annex, which was demolished in the mid-1970s.

Constructed of durable teak, the ornate bench provides a peaceful spot in a pleasant surrounding, where visitors can take a personal moment to remember the valiant sacrifices and daunting accomplishments of those who once were patients at the Prince Edward Hospital. The brass plaque affixed to the bench also bears testament to all Canadian men and women who have served their country, whether in times of war or peace.

The idea to commemorate the Annex was brought forward by Lloyd MacNeill, an Island Veteran who was a patient at the Annex immediately after the Second World War.

Research was conducted in a joint effort by the City of Charlottetown, the Department of Health and Social Services, and Veterans Affairs Canada.

Speaking at the event on behalf of the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Murphy commented, “As they move through their latter years, many Veterans express the concern that people will forget what they fought for. More importantly perhaps, they fear the memory of their fallen comrades will not be honoured in years to come. This bench – in this garden – offers a simple, yet very public, means for us to express our community’s pride in the Canadian military, past and present. We are reaffirming the message to all Veterans that Charlottetown will indeed remember.”

Minister of Health and Social Services Chester Gillan said that he was pleased his staff were able to assist in project. “The Prince Edward Hospital was a keystone of our health care system for many years,” the minister noted. He added, “We were pleased to be able to work with the city and Veterans Affairs on such a worthwhile project. Today, as much as in years gone by, PEI’s health care workers pride themselves in ensuring Veterans receive the quality care they deserve. This ceremony has been an opportunity to take some time out of our day to show our gratitude to Veterans and those who care for them.”

Mayor Clifford Lee of Charlottetown said the timing of the project was just right. “We are currently in the process of researching many of Charlottetown’s buildings, so our heritage officer was able to provide valuable information about this important site,” He added, “We were happy to be able to help with a project that honours our Veterans.”

For more information, contact Sara Underwood, Communications Coordinator, Department of Health and Social Services, (902) 368-6172, or Nadine Girouard, Public Affairs Officer, Veterans Affairs Canada (Atlantic), (902) 426-1702.

Media Contact: Sara Underwood
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