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Echoes and Memories

Scarborough Grace Hospital early spiritual experiences

Jim Ellis


When we were appointed to the Spiritual Care Department at the yet to be opened Scarborough Grace General Hospital in 1985, the Hospital was still under construction. The Worship Centre was cluttered by rolls of carpet yet to be installed. CEO Major Harold Thornhill had begun to assemble a leadership team and we were privileged to be part of it. This small group met each morning in the Mabel Crolly Board Room for updates and for a devotional time.

As time unfolded and staff numbers grew, these morning meetings moved to what is now the Library, and weeks later to the cafeteria (now the Lt Col Irene Stickland Education Centre). These were exciting days. Community was being built and shared mission and vision was growing into what would become a most remarkable place of healing and mutuality.

Patients were not yet a reality, allowing for one memorable early community-building event - a staff Hallowe’en Party held on the 5th floor. The surprise of that event was discovering that the person who came up the elevator on a real motorcycle wearing his son’s tinted helmet, was none other than the CEO, Harold Thornhill.