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list price: $21.99
also available: Paperback
category: History
published: Dec 2019
publisher: Ronsdale Press

Service on the Skeena

Horace Wrinch, Frontier Physician

by Geoff Mynett

tagged: adventurers & explorers, pre-confederation (to 1867), expeditions & discoveries

His name was Horace Wrinch. It was 1880. He was fourteen years old, a farmer’s boy from England travelling on his own to Quebec. Twenty years later, a qualified doctor and newly married surgeon, he arrived in Hazelton on the Skeena River in northern British Columbia. In 1904, Horace built the first hospital in the northern interior of the province, which until his arrival had no resident doctors, no surgeons and no hospital. Over the next thirty-two years, he became widely respected as a doctor and surgeon, hospital administrator, medical missionary, Methodist minister, magistrate, farmer, community leader and progressive politician. Ever innovative, he instituted a form of health insurance for the Hazelton community as early as 1907. In the 1920s, he was a two-term president of the newly established British Columbia Hospital Association and a two-term Liberal Member of the Provincial Legislature for the Skeena riding. While in the Legislature, he championed publicly funded health insurance. Upon his death in 1939, he was called “the best known and most beloved man in Northern British Columbia.” His legacy remains in Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton. Drawn almost entirely from original and contemporaneous sources, this is the previously untold story of a remarkable British Columbian.

About the Author

Geoff Mynett

  • Winner, Jeanne Clark Award
  • Winner, George Ryga Award
Editorial Reviews

Service on the Skeena not only provides the fascinating life story of this remarkable man, it also fills important gaps in the history of northwest B.C.” — Neil Sterritt, Former Gitxsan-Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council President

“Historians of British Columbia ought to read this book.” — BC Studies

“I highly recommend this excellent biography of an outstanding pioneer doctor.” — BC Medical Journal

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