Lorraine Cyr is celebrating 50 years with the Eastern Star Dressing Station in Quesnel.
The Dressing Station was granted its official certificate in 1958. First located in the old hospital, the members canvased for material to make into casings, which were needed to keep dressings clean and, if not used locally, were sent to other cancer stations.
Necessary bolts of gauze, cellulose and cotton batting were stored in a cupboard, built by Tom Norwood with supplies donated by H.J. Gardner & Sons, in the basement. Sterilization of dressings was done by the hospital.
Each member of the Cancer Dressing Station had specific instruction on how to prepare the bandages, and over time, they also shared their knowledge with the Wells and Williams Lake Eastern Star members.
Sister Lorraine Cyr joined the Quesnel Cancer Dressing Station on May 2, 1966. She was initiated into Eastern Star Cariboo Chapter No. 71 on Dec. 15, 1965.
After a brief time when Lorraine committed her time to her family, she returned Oct. 21, 1968 for the remainder of 1968-69.
From October 1968 to the beginning of another Star year in April 2018, Lorraine held anunbroken consecutive 50 years of service.
The idea of producing free cancer dressings to any patient regardless of race, creed, colour or financial circumstance was conceived by Grace Shane, WGM in 1946. The only stipulation was a requisition from the patient’s doctor for the records.
Back in the ’30s and ’40s, mention of the word “cancer” was almost a sin, but with courage and support, Grace spoke to as many Chapters as possible, met with medical people in related sciences and gained knowledge to pass on to members of the Order of Eastern Star.
Grace spoke persistently at Chapter meetings, imprinting on members this worthy cause. She faced criticism from those who wanted a different project each year from those who would not face the facts of mental and financial strain caused by the disease.
During her term as WGM Grace ignored the moans and groans and persistently reminded members that the Order was dedicated to Charity, Truth, and Loving Kindness.
Her project gained momentum and an outstanding report was give at GC, during her session, to hushed and overwhelmed members.
As a result of her determined efforts, the GC in 1948 voted to make cancer work the main project in British Columbia and the Yukon.