Stevenson Memorial Hospital

Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation

Going On Tour

My parents, Gerrie and Marinus Vandevis, owned a grocery store in the Holland Marsh called the Marsh Food Store. It was a well-integrated and stocked store complete with local vegetables from the Marsh, fruit from Niagara, butcher, and meat counter. We had a number of suppliers including Peter Gorman, National Grocers, and in particular, for our baked goods, we relied on George Weston Bakeries.

One day the delivery/sales man came to stock the store with baked goods when he asked my mother if it would be OK if I accompanied him on the rest of his route for the day. My mother was happy to be relieved of a bored kid, and so at 7 years old, I rode shotgun with the Weston man in his Wonder Bread truck. He drove a panel truck, much like the courier vehicles of today, with sliding front doors. He locked my door and we were on our way as seatbelts were not yet in vogue. One most vivid memory of that day was the glorious smell in the truck of fresh Weston baked goods. 

Our tour included stops in Bradford, Holland Landing, Riverdrive Park, Queensville, Sharon and Newmarket. Along the way, he asked if I wanted a snack and when he saw my eyes light up, sent me into the back to get whatever I wanted. I latched onto a Half Moon and took half the trip to finish it; I was savouring it so much. My mother had a hard and fast rule that none of her four kids were going to be seen eating or drinking in front of customers and so we rarely got such a treat. On Saturdays, we would get a nickel for an allowance. In 1963 it was 7 cents for an ice cream and 10 cents for a pop, and so we had to save for two weeks to get a big treat if that’s what we wanted. That seldom happened as we would normally go for a 5 cent chocolate bar or bag of chips. I believe Half Moons cost around 12 cents.

I would like to take you on tour with me today. It will be the ride of your life as we build our very own new hospital. There is a catch however. There is a cost associated with building a state-of-the-science facility in our own backyard. That catch is also an opportunity; nonetheless, you will still be in for a treat. You will see a revitalized hospital with cutting-edge equipment and comfortable, modern spaces for optimal patient care. Please make your commitment of a donation meaningful to you and your family to the hospital today. 


Dr. Ted Vandevis –  Strategic Advisor of the Because of you, we can Campaign

For more information:

Kara Harris
Communications Coordinator
Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation  705.435.6281 ext. 2351