2.4M x 6M (8’ x 20’), CHEMAINUS MEDICAL CLINIC, ESPLANADE STREET
Painted in 1988 by Doug Driediger,
Armed with an Honours Diploma in Painting from the Alberta College of Art, Calgary native Doug Driediger opened his own graphics business right off the bat. He is an exacting artist who demands that a high degree of intensity and spirit show through in any of his work.
His mural depicting the Chemainus Hospital produced a “testimonial to a profession dedicated to preserving, enhancing and beginning life”, and is indicative of the painstaking details which characterize Driediger’s art. In bringing the characters of his mural to life, the people of Chemainus were as important to him as the paints on his palette.
Driediger’s paintings are featured in the collections of the Banff Rocky Mountain Resorts and the Thorn Hill Recreation Centre, and appeared in exhibitions associated with the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.
In a composite of scenes, the Chemainus Hospital, built in 1899, sits majestically at the left of the mural. When built, it was the only hospital between Victoria and Nanaimo. It remains a strong focus in the community even today.
Some of the doctors, nurses, staff and patients from over the years are portrayed in the foreground across the expanse of the painting. From left to right are: Nurse Graham, Head Cook Chang, Nurse Johnson, Mrs. Ruth Heslip (wheelchair), Dr. Herbert Burritt Rogers, and Nurse MacDougal, holding an infant.
Dr. Rogers was the first medical doctor to work out of the newly constructed hospital when he began there in 1900. Before obtaining his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, he had the distinction of being one of Canada’s earliest appendectomy patients. While working as a postal inspector, he again led the way, carrying the first official mail to Victoria on the newly completed Canadian Pacific Railway. He was a well-loved resident of Chemainus for many years and retired as the Medical Superintendent of the Chemainus Hospital in 1936. Next Mural >