The idea to replace the benches was actually brought to the attention of the SCHF by the maintenance staff at the hospital. Raven Nyman photo.

SCHF bench replacement project memorializes local groups and families

The project resulted in the successful replacement of 22 previously unsafe seating options

Residents of the South Cariboo may have noticed the new and improved benches at the 100 Mile District General Hospital, but are perhaps unaware of the significance of their installation in the community.

The benches were installed by the South Cariboo Health Foundation (SCHF) through a memorial bench replacement project that also served as a fundraiser for the organization, which regularly donates to Fischer Place, Mill Site Lodge, and the district hospital itself.

Brenda Devine, public relations and fundraising coordinator for the SCHF, said that all the benches have now been sold.

“We replaced 22 benches on the hospital grounds,” explained Chris Nickless, chair of the board of directors for the SCHF. “The wooden benches were splintering, so they had to go.”

Devine explained that the idea to replace the benches was actually brought up by the maintenance staff at the hospital. In particular, the project was developed through a suggestion from William Holyk, plant services supervisor for the hospital.

“He asked if it was a possibility to use the replacement of the benches as a fundraiser for us. We were approached [because] the maintenance staff here could see that the benches were on their last legs.”

Related: South Cariboo Health Foundation aids mobility project with chair donation

Devine took the idea to the SCHF board to see if the project was feasible and could be approved. It was.

“We were able to get some help so that we could actually make a little bit of profit from the sale,” Devine added.

Steve Brown, who owns the Interlakes Rona, delivered all the benches from the Lower Mainland as a donation, at no charge to the SCHF.

“He was all in,” recalls Devine. “[Brown] said ‘Don’t worry. When I get down there [to Langley] and pick up my products, I would be happy to bring those down for you.’”

The bench replacement project has been ongoing for about two years, and Nickless explained that the reinstallation happened in stages.

“We brought ten in first and then we brought the other twelve in.”

Maintenance staff removed the existing benches and replaced them with the new and improved ones, but the previous benches were not safe for public use any longer, and as such, could not be passed on to another community group, for liability’s sake.

Read more: Memorial benches available for purchase

Devine said that the SCHF put ads in the paper for a couple of years and “picked away” at the project.

The bench replacement project wasn’t just about safety, though. The reinstallation will benefit the community, certainly, but there is also a more emotional significance attached to the project.

“This is not only for memorial [purposes] but for recognition of groups, you know, for the firefighters or anything you want to do actually,” said Devine.

The benches include a memorial plaque, which means that any group, family, or individual who purchases a bench, simultaneously creates a commemorative placeholder for themselves within 100 Mile House.

“This not only helps the patients that are in here for a while that get a chance to go outside, and the residents in Fischer Place and Mill Site Lodge. Them as well as their families, they can be taken outside and those [the benches] can be utilized during outdoor activities, [too].”

“The fact that we have helped this situation, it’s really been quite successful,” said Devine. “It took a while, but we got there.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The bench replacement project has been ongoing for about two years and the reinstallation of the 22 new and improved memorial benches happened in stages. Raven Nyman photo.

Just Posted

100 Mile Library reopens

It’s a new chapter at the 100 Mile branch of the Cariboo Regional District Library.

Spruce Hill Resort shut down for not following COVID-19 protocols

Guests told to leave immediately Wednesday evening, owner insists shutdown only temporary.

Fire hose testing, pump refresher successful

South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department pressure-tested all of the department’s spare fire hose.

Mt. Timothy anticipates one of its busiest seasons

General manager Walter Bramsleven said the ski hill has improved its facilities and infrastructure.

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Most Read