April 14 to 17th, 10 members from the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary attended the BC Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries AGM and Conference in Prince George. This group included Carole Murray who is now the Area Director for the Lower Mainland.
The Prince George hosts did a wonderful job. Their Auxiliary is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and the theme for the Conference was “Capitalizing on Change”.
Sunday evening was a very fun “meet and mingle” with a Roaring Twenties theme. Many participants were in period attire, “flapper dresses” and “zoot suits”. A live band provided great music and there was much laughter and dancing.
Monday morning, we were all dressed in our blue and whites. We were welcomed by Darlene McIntosh, an elder from the Lheidli T’enneh nation, Kyle Sampson, the acting mayor of PG, and Janet Austin, the new Lieutenant Governor of BC.
The key note speaker was Janice Perrino and she provided a very lively and thought-provoking session on Embracing Change.
The AGM followed with elections of officers for the coming year.
On Monday afternoon we enjoyed a town hall meeting with lots of questions and discussion on the role of BCAHA and common areas of interest and concern for all Auxiliaries.
The Prince George organizers had arranged some optional activities on Monday evening and those who participated had a great time. This was a wonderful way to interact with other Auxiliary members.
Participation Tuesday morning was in one of three workshops and we divided ourselves among them. Ditto for the afternoon with much positive feedback. The Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary’s Granting Program was the topic of one of these sessions and was well received. It was interesting to compare notes with a representative from Gabriola Island Auxiliary, who have no hospital affiliation and instead support their local community Health Centre and other healthcare related services on the island.
Tuesday evening was the closing banquet and instillation of the new BCAHA executive. Sadly, no one in our group won the sizeable 50/50 draw! Entertainment was several dance groups representing the population of Prince George; Scottish, Ukrainian, East Indian and ballroom.
The Wed morning wrap-up session was very good, challenging us to look back on what we had learned from the conference and what we could do with it. An exercise in “What, So What and Now What” forced us to examine what we wanted to work on to move our Auxiliary forward.
Our series of three photos, depicting before and after pictures of the hospital and thrift Store, submitted to the “Then and Now” photo contest came fourth in delegate voting.
We were all both energized and exhausted as we gathered at the Prince George airport for our return. We certainly have some work to do but can be proud of how progressive we already are.
We thank the membership for the opportunity to represent our Auxiliary and are committed to putting our new knowledge to work for the betterment of us all.