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Found underneath Group Health Centre today (15 photos)

Thursday, October 17, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

In the words of Group Health Centre (GHC) President and CEO Grant Walsh, pessimists were expecting something toxic and optimists were hoping for bars of gold.

Nothing toxic or golden was found, but some interesting items were discovered when a “legacy barrel” containing items from GHC’s past, buried by the facility’s administration in 1988, was unearthed Thursday morning.

The barrel (which was buried in 1988 to mark GHC 25th anniversary celebrations that year) was officially opened, after it was dug up from the front lawn of the Group Health Centre facing McNabb Street, in a special ceremony held by past and present GHC administrators and staff Thursday.

Check out our photo gallery to see what was found.

The ceremony was part of GHC’s 50th anniversary celebrations, being marked this year.

Another legacy barrel, packed full of today’s GHC items, was lowered into the McNabb Street hole and covered over, to be unearthed during GHC’s 75th anniversary year in 2038.

“We don’t know (what’s in the 1988 barrel),” GHC President and CEO Grant Walsh told before it was opened.

“They (past GHC staff) didn’t tell us, they just told us where it was, and we brought in a construction company that has a device for identifying where it was under the ground, so we dug it up and we’re going to take a look at it.” 

Contents of the 2013 GHC legacy barrel include a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, sterile syringe, sterile acupuncture needles, a list of GHC physicians and their hours worked for October 16 and 17, 2013, a group photo of GHC employees with 25 or more years of service, a pad of appointment reminder slips, a sample medical record printout which reflects today’s technology, a front desk receptionist headset, parking tokens (one can only wonder what parking fees at GHC and all other paid parking establishments will be 25 years from now!), retired pennies, a computer and mouse, two cell phones (which are apparently out of date already), computer software disks, a map of GHC sites, a screen shot of the GHC website, and other items.

The 1988 legacy barrel’s contents were a surprise for everyone in attendance Thursday, including Dr. Fred Griffith, a local optometrist who served as GHC President and CEO from 1964 to 1990.

Dr. Griffith told us: “As far as I know no record was kept (of the 1988 legacy barrel) or who initiated it.”

None of the items unearthed Thursday jarred his memory, but Dr. Griffith was intrigued by the barrel’s contents.

“There was hope when we started 50 years ago we might enroll 25,000 people eventually, with 30 employees,” Dr. Griffith reflected.

Half a century later, GHC has 66,000 enrolled patients, 300 staff and 74 doctors.

Dr. Griffith praised GHC’s medical and non-medical staff for the success and growth the organization has enjoyed over the years. 

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Debbie Amaroso, in attendance for Thursday’s ceremony, congratulated GHC by stating: “I know that in 25 years you will continue to provide superb health care for the community, and be a shining example for the rest of the province and the rest of the country.”

Amaroso joked that the City of Sault Ste. Marie was not responsible for the nasty, black water found in the 1988 barrel.


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Mousie 10/17/2013 2:49:06 PM Report

I think I'd rather find one of Walt White's barrels.
ya....right 10/17/2013 2:57:42 PM Report

Nice to know our Mayor thinks it's ok to joke about our water quality (Rolls eyes) embarassing's an idea...FIX IT then you wouldn't have to make a half hearted attempt at humor...
Tag33&1/3rd 10/17/2013 3:15:48 PM Report

Lol Mousie!
Billabong 10/17/2013 3:29:38 PM Report

Most boring time capsule ever?
harry dick 10/17/2013 3:36:34 PM Report

I believe that the one most important bit of information that was left out is that the Group Health Centre was originally built with money provided by the workers at Algoma Steel.This fact seems to always be forgotten at these ceremonies. The Steelworkers Credit Union was also built with the hard earned money from the workers at the Algoma Steel Corporation. These facts need to be known to the young people of this community . At one time , Algoma Steel employees put millions more dollars into this community when it had 12,000 workers in 1981. The transit system was originally purchased ,and run by Algoma Steel. Please do not let these facts get buried . They are a major factor in the growth of a village , into the city as it stands to-day.
walker 10/17/2013 3:43:10 PM Report

Let's hope that the new capsule preserves the artifacts to be in better condition for 2038 and not all damaged and rusty.
Snowdon 10/17/2013 3:51:26 PM Report

But 1998 isn't even a long time ago, what's the point?
B Boy 10/17/2013 4:03:55 PM Report

Usually time capsules are filled with items from the time the capsule is sealed. I.e. 1988 - newspapers, reports, cassettes. The items they pulled out of the bin mostly look like they aren't from '88.

Otherwise time capsules can be pretty interesting. My wife & I put one together for our wedding.
Billabong 10/17/2013 4:37:27 PM Report

Yeah, I dont understand why they put antiques in a time capsule in 1988. Shouldn't everything have been from that era?
JB 10/17/2013 5:17:56 PM Report

I wonder if everyone there is getting paid for this ridiculous event
crashed13 10/17/2013 5:24:34 PM Report

1988? My truck is a 1988! I did not even know it was considered that old.
clyde705 10/17/2013 6:40:34 PM Report

lol couple a good comments there, hahaha
clyde705 10/17/2013 6:44:31 PM Report

and you know damn well some kids are going to dig that up now, after it being on here....and probably get a bunch of stuff from the 90's lol
Dead End Kid 10/17/2013 8:20:06 PM Report

What, they couldn't wait another fifty years? I988 is not that long ago. Should have waited for aliens to unearth it.
Ski-Dude 10/17/2013 10:33:53 PM Report

Yawn...way too excitement for this guy. Glad the mayor found it amusing.
burnell 10/18/2013 6:41:09 AM Report

now you know where our tax dollars go big deal wonder if they had a luncheon after whoppy do go bury your head in the sand next time
dude4975 10/18/2013 8:58:04 AM Report

What a waste of time and money to dig up something you burry years back,what did they think they were goanna find,dam we got people living in poor conditions and no food and we"re spending money for machinery and all labourers to dig up a barrel of junk, go dig at the land fill site theres a time capsuale,2013 and we"re still playing in the mud.
court222 10/18/2013 10:03:31 AM Report

what do u think? He has lay off so many people from ghc that he making money for his pocket!!!!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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