Bill Hillman's Manitoba Archive Project
Brandon ~ Manitoba ~ Canada

Ed Verinder
Our family emigrated from the UK in 1956 after my father, Dr. David Verinder, graduated from medical school at Sheffield University. At that time most, if not all, staff had to live on the grounds. They had their own farms, livestock, and delivered fresh milk daily on horse drawn wagons. 

We lived there from 1956 to 1960, left for a couple of years and then back in '62 or '63. Moved back to UK in '67, then to Edmonton, Alberta in '68, and back to Brandon in the Fall of '69. We didn't have to live on the grounds when we returned in '63 or '69. 

Lots of childhood memories of BMHC. BMHC was a separate community within the city of Brandon, complete with it's own water tower. They had their own curling and skating rink, and tennis courts. You didn't have to shop for groceries as you simply called the hospital stores with your needs and they delivered. 

I remember the night the livestock barn burned down (probably in '57 or '58) and there were cattle and horses wandering freely around the grounds. Sadly, many of them died, including Dr. Margaret Atkinson's personal horse, Fleet. 

 Dad wasn't in psychiatry the first stint there, he was hired as the staff physician and his case load was strictly the medical needs of all the staff. There was a tragic accident where one of the staff died through getting trapped in a dumb waiter. I believe she leaned into the shaft to call down to the next floor while the elevator was coming down and crushed her. Dad got called for that accident and had to testify during the investigation into it. 

He got involved more in psychiatry with patients on his return in '63 when we moved back from Halifax where he worked in a medical practice for a year or so. Man, we moved around a lot, Seven of us children and mom & dad. Dad semi-retired I believe in 1980 due to poor health and worked part time for a while in a private psychiatric office until his health deteriorated to the point he could no longer do that.

I'm not sure when this pic would have been taken,
but the row of houses we lived in is in the top-centre of it, East of the water tower.
The barn on the right side was South of the horse barn that burned down
and it had small cages along the sides for guinea pigs and rabbits.
When the barn was burning in the middle of the night
the firemen were spraying the houses because of flying embers.
There also used to be an orchard on the East side of that road running in back of the houses.

At the bottom of the hill just North of Manitoba Ave., the road to Shilo,
there was a huge area where they grew many vegetables.
The patients used to work at all the farms.
Some were enlisted as domestic help for staff residences.

This is most of the family aboard the RMS Carinthia, Nov., 1956.
Mom (Evelyn, b. Dec 3, 1920) is holding Chris, born Feb 18 of that year, is in Mom's arms,
I am to the right of her (6 yrs old, b. Apr 28, 1950).
Our only sister, Frances, is front left (born Oct 29, '1951.  Bottom right is Richard (b. Oct 23, '53).
Missing in the pic is Michael (b. May 17, '43), and dad (b. Mar 13, 1925).
Michael is half brother, his dad (Phillip Tavener) went down in a Lancaster bomber
while mom was pregnant with him.
Dad had five children before completing all his medical studies in July of '56.
We landed in Montreal and took 'The Canadian' across the country and arrived in Brandon.

This is the first house we lived in on BMHC grounds.
It is the southernmost of a row that was North of the train tracks going through the grounds.
Trains brought coal for the steam plant that provided heat for the entire complex.
The tennis courts were just south of the tracks.

This is dad with Chris.  The Ford Zephyr was the first car we had in Canada.
It was obviously too small for the family, but we all crammed in there somehow.

This is the second house we lived in, which was situated immediately to the North of the first one.
There was a row of 7 or 8 houses, but they have long since been demolished.
The Carcary family lived to the north of us.  I can't recall his first name, but Carcary was the Farm Manager.
To the North of them was Dr. Lapko who ran the lab.
My sister used to play with his daughter, Alexandra, who was the same age as her.
The house furthest to the North (not in the picture) was the Christie's.  George was the engineer.
Dad was the only doctor in this neighbourhood.
Other doctors were housed in a row that was to the Southeast of the Parkland building.
Dr. Peter Payne lived in one of those.
Peter went to medical school with dad and I believe that's why we ended up at BMHC.

This is Michael.  He turned 80 in May 2023.
Somehow all 7 of us children have survived so far.
Michael went to Brandon Collegiate Institute and should be coming up for
the 2023 BCI reunion that we are playing for.
He attended McGill in Montreal where he got his engineering degree.
He worked at Polaroid in Boston and then went on to instrument engineering
for different oil companies, ending up south of Houston in Dickinson, TX.

This is 5 of the 7 of us in the living room of the second house.
L-R - Chris, myself, Frances, Richard.
The baby in front is David Patrick (b. Feb 27, '57.
The family was completed on Sep 20,'58 with the birth of Peter.

This is Dr. Margaret Atkinson.
I'm not sure what her position was at BMHC, but her and her partner, Dr. Norman Horne
were good friends of mom & dad.
They left BMHC and moved to Calgary

This is dad when he and mom went to visit Drs. Horne and Atkinson in Calgary.
I don't think this is the trip there that we kids went, but on a subsequent trip the whole family went.
There was a circus in town and mom and dad sent all of us kids to it with Michael who had his drivers license by then.
Near the end of the performance Richard, Chris and myself went to the concession stand to get some treats.
When we got back to our seat location Michael and the rest had left.
We looked around for them and couldn't find anyone so went outside and started walking.
The arena was nowhere near the motel we were staying at,
but somehow we managed to navigate our way to within a block of its location when we were found.
Still amazes me that we did that since I would have been no more than 9 at the time
and we had never been to Calgary before.
Of course our parents had the police on the lookout for us as well,
but we found our own way by some small miracle.

The Superintendent's Residence
Dad worked under the superintendents Dr. Schultz, Dr. Bristow, Dr. Moggey and Dr. Moyes

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