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  • David W.L. Sonmor

Growing Up at the Saskatchewan Hospital

My childhood was a happy one, growing up with three older brothers and one younger brother. Most of it, that I remember, was spent running around the grounds at the Saskatchewan Hospital, where Dad worked and we lived.

The Sonmor boys all took up skiing, which consisted in going hell-bent-for-leather down a quarter mile path that ended up with a jump onto the North Saskatchewan River, if you were fortunate enough to make it through the willow trees at the bottom. Little consideration was given to turning because that would just slow you down and the harness on the old hand-me down maple skis we used was not very tight and would not hold well in any kind of sharp turn.

In the summer we swam down the hill in the North Saskatchewan river. One had to be careful because of currents and changing sand bars, but we spent many happy hours there.

I attended public school up to grade six at the one-room school house on the Saskatchewan Hospital grounds. Miss Evelyn Duke was my teacher the whole time. With six grades and, on average, 10 children in the school, it was often confusing keeping track of which grade you were in. We all did things together like listening to "Just Mary" on the radio at 2 p.m. every day. It seemed to me that we spent most of our time doing arts and crafts for the numerous holidays throughout the year, such as Halloween, Armistice day, Christmas (which was the biggy and took about two months of preparation because we all had to be involved in all of the plays, skits, dances and choir, with the odd solo put in for variety.) Fairies, elves, brownies, shepherds, angels, donkeys and wise men all seemed to be part of every concert and there were lots of highland flings and round dances involved as well, My mother often came and helped out by playing the piano so Miss Duke could do the directing. The concerts were usually held at the auditorium at the hospital and the whole community came out for them, Valentines day, St. Patrick's day, Mothers' day and Fathers' day.

Fast forward to 1957 when my Dad, Lee Sonmor, suggested that I get a job on the wards at the Saskatchewan Hospital. I started working there in February 1957 and liked it immediately, so decided to stay on and take the three year training course in Psychiatric Nursing. I graduated in May 1960.

David W.L. Sonmor

1938 - 2022

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