The Country Doctor in Northern Ontario
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 4 Mar 1936, p. 277-294


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Dafoe, Dr. Allan Roy, Speaker
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Text
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Speeches
Description:
The speaker's chief interest in life for the past two years the Dionne quintuplets. Acknowledgement to the Ontario Government for assistance given to the speaker from the time the babies were born. Special thanks given to the Minister of Welfare and The Canadian Red Cross. Support from the medical profession throughout Canada. Details as to how the children lived. The country doctor's role as a friend of the family. The early stages of the birth. The parents. The size of the babies at birth and afterwards. The establishment of guardianship with the children as wards of the King and why it was established. The present situation in terms of guardianship. The issue of religious training for the children. Who bears the expenses. The claim of no exploitation of the babies. The procedure of having tourists in to see the babies, and the conditions under which that happens. Some details about the children and caring for them. Prosperity brought to the Province of Ontario through showing the babies to tourists.
Date of Original:
4 Mar 1936
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English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
THE COUNTRY DOCTOR IN NORTHERN ONTARIO
AN ADDRESS BY DR. ALLAN ROY DAFOE, O.B.E.
Wednesday, March 4th, 1936

PRESIDENT BRACE: Your Honour, Distinguished Guest, and Gentlemen: We are highly honoured today in having as our guest, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. (Applause.) We have met to pay tribute to a very distinguished Canadian citizen. I do not think I am saying too much if I say that probably no man has ever done as much as Dr. Dafoe to increase the esteem and good will of the people of the world toward the family physician. (Applause.) It is our good fortune at this time to have as our Lieutenant Governor a man also distinguished as a great Canadian physician. (Applause) Accordingly, it does seem very fitting that on this occasion, as the Lieutenant Governor of the Province, and also as a very distinguished physician, that the Honourable Dr. Bruce should introduce our guest speaker today. I have much pleasure in calling upon the Honourable Dr. Bruce.

HONOURABLE DR. BRUCE: Mr. President, Distinguished Guest, Gentlemen: Ontario is probably the best known Province in the world. (Applause.) There are five reasons why this should be so.

I can recall a film which was produced before the days of the talkies which was called "The Birth of a Nation." From what has subsequently happened in Callander, I suspect that Mrs. Dionne also saw that film, and that she accepted it as a personal challenge.

I think some of us must feel a certain amount of sympathy for Mr. Dionne. For, after the event about which you have all read and heard so much, the trained nurses appeared at the home and they commenced to clean up the rooms and when he first returned after this renovation he knocked on the door of the room where his children were and asked if he could come in. The nurse looked at him and said, "No, you musn't come in here. You have not been sterilized." The poor, unhappy father walked away, murmuring, "You tell me."

I think perhaps we do not all fully realize the wonderful achievement that has happened within our own borders. In looking up the records of quintuplets horn during the last five hundred years, we find there are only thirty-three recorded cases. Of that number, one group lived for fifty minutes. One member of another group of five lived for fifty days. No group, and no individual of a group survived more than those fifty days. And we recall that when these children were born Mrs. Dionne had one child under one year of age so that at one time she had six children under one year of age.

I am glad that we have with us today a gentleman who comes from another Province which has been very much in the public eye. I refer to the Minister of Health in a former government in Alberta, Mr. Hoadley. I am rather curious to know about the truth of a story I recently heard and perhaps he can tell me whether it is accurate or not. It is stated that on the backs of the new bills which the Social Credit government has issued they have the words, "I know that my redeemer liveth."

I want to pay a word of tribute to the wonderful service of Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe during the first few very critical days of the life of these children. I don't think any one appreciates the situation quite as much as we of the medical profession, the hazards which they ran and the marvel that a general practitioner with his skill and devotion to service could anticipate difficulties and troubles and relieve those troubles when they arose and save these little babies, little mites of children, until further help could arrive. It was not until the fourth day that his brother, Dr. William J. Dafoe of Toronto went to his assistance with tanks of oxygen and carbon dioxide to assist the children to -breathe when they refused to perform that very necessary function for themselves. And for a period of two months gas was inhaled by them at intervals during critical periods of siniosis, resulting in saving them from imminent death. (Applause.)

You all know about the great work of the staff of the Children's Hospital in securing mothers' milk for them which was supplied to the children from the end of the first week as long as they required this milk, in abundant quantities.

Then, we have to pay tribute to the carefully balanced diet of a scientific character which has been. developed during the last fifteen or twenty years, and I should say that no small credit for that splendid work is due to the head of the Medical Service of the Children's Hospital, Dr. Alan Brown. (Applause.)

I am sure that Dr. Dafoe would wish me to remind you that even the quintuplets have a father and a mother and I am sure he would be the first to admit that even his great skill, of which no praise is too high, would have been of no avail if those little mites had not begun life with a priceless legacy of a sound constitution. In their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dionne, we find that hardy French stock with that pride of race and 'devotion to the faith of their fathers which have so long characterized Canadian pioneers of all races and in all generations. All honour to them and may they find in the renown which has come to their famous offspring a satisfying and resounding tribute to themselves.

The medical profession, not only of Canada but of the world is profoundly grateful to Dr. Dafoe for his marvelous achievement. He has had recognition by being made a life member of the Academy of Medicine, Toronto; of The Ontario Medical Association and of the Canadian Medical Association. He has appeared before the Academy of Medicine in New York and all that the medical profession can do has been done to honour him. As you all know, he was honoured by His Majesty, the King, on New Year's Day, last, an honour that was very richly deserved. (Applause.)

Dr. Dafoe is the son of Dr. William Allan Dafoe, who practised fifteen years in the town of Madoc, so he comes by his medical lore honestly. He, himself, has practised for twenty-six years in Callander. I think we can regard Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe as a typical' example of everything that is best in a general practitioner and those of us who know the enormous value of the work which general practitioners do throughout the country only wish that we had many thousands more Allan Roy Dafoes. (Applause.) I have very great pleasure, Gentlemen, in introducing to you a man who, if not the father of the quintuplets, at any rate is responsible for the fact that those quintuplets are still alive and flourishing.

(The audience arose and gave three hearty cheers and a tiger for Dr. Dafoe at this juncture.)

DR. ALLAN ROY DAFOE: Your Honour, Mr. President and Gentlemen: I am indeed honoured today and I wish to thank your President, Mr. Brace, for his invitation to be present at this luncheon. Mr. Brace, incidentally, gave me a phone in the early days between the hospital and my home so in case of emergency I would always be there. Not only that, but we have no public phone in the hospital and that saves all these reporters - if they do not get the information they sometimes would like, it comes through me.

Naturally, my chief interest in life for the past two years has been the quintuplets who were born in Calslander and these babies we regard as the fairy princesses of Canada. And, without fear of contradiction, I can perhaps say I know more about the quintuplets than anybody in the world, but when they asked me in New York , and other places how they make them, that is another matter. I was at a Leap Year Dance the other night.

I don't dance, but I was there. And all the beautiful young ladies, they came to me to enquire - I had nothing to say though.

I would like to make acknowledgement to the Ontario Government for the help they have given me from the time the babies were born. The next day I asked for relief. We had nothing - not enough to eat in the house, no nurses, nothing and their Relief Officer came along and authorized me to do anything I wished. We put in sanitary conditions - they hadn't them - we clothed them, got new beds. You take five babies coming to a home already overcrowded - it's no fun - coming all at once. But all the way through, the Ontario Government have stood behind me. It didn't matter whether it was the Conservative Government first, or the Liberal Government that succeeded them, and I wish to thank them all, especially the Minister of Welfare. The Canadian Red Cross, inside of twenty-four hours, came to my help. They secured me a nurse. I wanted another and they got another. I had three nurses and I had an orderly whose duty it was to keep on fires all night. I had maids. I had an establishment. They maintained that work for the first year. It cost them some money. Good advertising, though! But think how the service was granted freely and without cost and I have had experience with the Red Cross outside in Ontario and they have done wonderful work. Take the girls, travelling dog team, any way they could in the woods. They deserve a lot of credit.

The Sick Children's Hospital - Dr. Bruce spoke about that. You remember they started with one pint of mothers' milk a day. When they were five months old they were using a gallon a day. Of cow's milk, that is nothing. Of mothers' milk, that is considerable. They had to go around and collect the milk and pay for it. I believe they paid the mothers ten cents an ounce. It cost that to the hospital. Then it was sterilized and sent to us. It was checked on the railway as carefully as gold. They would wire along the line that the milk was on the road - in case the train, was l late or something. They did that all the way through. Then, I had the services of Dr. Brown with his wide experience, Dr. Robson and many others. I remember one day last year, some of the children were sick. Dr. Brown, you know, is a busy man. I told him my trouble and inside of fifteen minutes he made a midnight trip to Callander. (Applause.) How's that for a famous man like Dr. Brown? It helped me anyhow.

Now, the medical profession throughout Canada has stood behind me. They have given me everything, any thing I wished, in the way of advice and experience. I have had the co-operation of the University of Toronto and, incidentally, we all arranged services. I don't know everything. I know babies - at least, I know five babies. But about teeth and the specialties of children, the training of children, I have to seek advice. If I like it I take it; if I don't, I don't (Laughter.) Now, I wish to say something about the children, as to why they lived. Dr. Bruce has very properly drawn attention to the French Canadians. Their heritage is great and they are very proud, and I think have some reason to be so. They come from the old Normandy pioneering stock not very much education but still they have that health. The girls marry young - they avoid a lot of infection by doing it and they commence quite early - Mrs. Dionne was only seven and a half years old when her mother died and she looked after her father's family. When she was sixteen she married and lived quite a peaceful life until.

Then, you take that country up there. The north country has been well advertised. Every time I go to the States I tell what a wonderful place it is-fresh air, no infection, or very little. Take over half the confinements up there, there is no doctor in attendance - just the neighbouring women. The doctor is called when they get into trouble, that is the only time. With the kind of practice I have or that any country doctor has, he is perhaps the friend of the family. In fact, they confide in him more than in their priests. They come and tell him things that perhaps they are ashamed to tell the priest. And when he is stuck he comes and talks to me. And when I do not get along well, I talk to him.

I remember the time we had the influenza epidemic. I had a lot of people to look after. I went to all the local priests and told them what I would like. I wanted fresh air, sunshine, complete rest. It was a good time of year - it rained all the time. The priests went around daily and where there was no fresh air they opened the windows. They went back next day and if the windows were closed they took the windows and hid them in the barn so they had to have fresh air. As a result, out of about eighteen hundred cases, I lost six. (Applause) But that is only common sense though, and these priests were as much responsible for that as I was.

Now, we will talk a little bit about the birth, the early, stages. They had two nurses, women from the country, one the mother of, I think, eighteen. or twenty children. I have forgotten how many the other had-I think, ten.

I would like to speak about the parents. They have had a hard time. I feel sorry for them. They had lived quite peaceful lives - the ordinary French Canadian home. When he was stuck on the farm, she would help him, bring in hay and so on. When she was stuck in the house, bringing up babies, he would go in the house and wash dishes and so on. They worked together. They were quiet people, never went any place and to have this misfortune drop on them.

Well, anyhow, you can understand what a very difficult position the fellow has had and the mother, too. It was so bad in the first few weeks that they had to hide in the barn, run away. People broke in the front door, in the back door, looked in the windows. We had to have police on guard constantly. It was enough to break anybody's spirit, you know and it was bad. Then advisors would come along and tell them to do this and do the other. The parents would listen - they didn't know who to believe.

They don't know who to believe yet. It is a very hard thing.

I want to point out these people are good people. They are very good stock. I feel sorry for them. Just now we are working along very peacefully and we hope to continue.

I thought maybe you might be interested in the size of the babies at one time. When they were five days old they weighed around a couple of pounds apiece. At one day, the whole five of them weighed nine pounds and three-quarters - nearly a pound and a half each. When they were five days old their length was thirteen inches; chest, eight and a half. You know that is pretty small. Their wrists and ankles, an inch and a half in circumference. Imagine how small that was. They were the smallest babies I ever saw. They looked like premature children-those enlarged, what I call abdomens, and so on, bulging eyes.

We went along, we had quite a time the first few days. Everything at logger heads. One, perhaps, fortunate thing, was I was able to, control the situation. I think the only reason was that I was a country doctor and the people had faith in me and there was no interference. If I had made a mistake, it was just too bad-that was my mistake. If I got away with it, that was all right, too.

Now we had everybody - the Red Cross came along. Mr. Alderson whom I see here today, represented the Red Cross and he was a tremendous help. Now, I wish to pay some respect to him. We had the babies in that old home and at one time that small home had between twenty and twenty-two people in it. Mr. Alderson came along and we built a temporary bedroom for the nurses some distance from the house and we began to consider the question of moving the babies. They couldn't stay long where they were, there was no sunshine in that place. The babies were a kind of greenish yellow. They were bound to die. For a while we all thought they would. As they lived hope began to rise and so we began to make preparations for the new home. At that time, to protect the parents from perhaps unwise exploitation a guardianship was established of which Mr. Alder son was one of the main men. He promptly got busy and inside of six weeks or so had a new home erected across from the old home and if it hadn't been for that hospital being erected in such a way, I am sure that the babies would have died. I think you ought to recognize

Mr. Alderson. (Applause) Now, then, we had lots of sunshine and we were able to put the babies outdoors. They started getting fresh air. From now on the babies slept outside for four or five hours every day, ever since they were four or five months old. When it was cold in December this winter, dropping between 28 and 30 degrees below zero, they slept out of doors. I tell my American friends that in the States and they think it is kind of funny. They like that, the babies are so accustomed to being out that if they are not out they get peevish and won't eat. This last week or two we have taken them out on a toboggan and they love it. We dump them in the snow banks and they love it. We want to advertise the northern country.

The present situation is this. As you know, there was a Guardianship Act passed in March, 1935, in which the children were made wards of the King. We have never, taken the children away from the parents. After all, those children belong to the parents. All we are doing is perhaps looking after them and giving them as good care as possible. The parents even now are over every day. The mother comes over and helps to wash them and feeds them and plays with them. I understand they feel, perhaps, sometimes they would like to do more. They will after a while. At the present time we are looking after all expenses and everything. Now, these children were made wards of the King. The Minister of Public Welfare, the Honourable Mr. Croll, was appointed special guardian of the estate and person of these children. The other guardians are the father, a noted jurist of the north country, Judge Valin. He is French, honoured by both French and English and has the confidence of both races and he is known to be honest and a man of wisdom.

We have our problems. The Ontario men down south want to know what in the deuce I am doing looking after French Roman Catholic children, and the French up there want to know why I am running the show when I am a Protestant. The churches have been pretty good, though. The Catholics and Protestants have worked with me a hundred per cent. Incidentally, the parish priest comes to see the children every day. The babies pay him the same as other members of the parish. We teach them to say their prayers every morning and night. It is a habit, you know, they don't know much about what they are, but every morning and night they say their prayers. We are training the children to be French Roman Catholic children. Naturally, the parents are French Roman Catholics, and why shouldn't they be? (Applause.) All my staff is French. Any nurses are French, and we have chosen these nurses on account of their good French. We want to train the children to speak educated French. Therefore, the only language they understand is French. They speak a few words in French. It is garbled, but if you give commands in French they understand. We teach them to dance a little bit - just to educate their muscles.

Anyhow, the Judge up there has the confidence of both the English and the French. I don't talk French very well. I understand it all right. Naturally, a Frenchman likes to come and talk to another Frenchman, just as I would like to talk to another Englishman. I understand what he wants. He has the confidence of both races and any trouble that arises in a small way, the Judge takes it up. Then there is myself. I look after the odds and ends.

Now, all these guardians are not paid any salaries. We all serve free of charge. All our expenses in Toronto, all arrangements of contracts is done by the Minister of Public Welfare, free of charge. We thought it would be wise that way, because he is a business man. We don't want to be bothered by everybody coming along with this miserable little contract and that. We don't want to be bothered by that, so it comes to the government where they have lawyers and so they can pass it. All the contracts have to come before me. Somebody comes along with some soap, and I pass it up if I think it is no good. We don't allow anything which will do any damage to the babies. The babies come first and always. I said there was no salary to the guardians. That is true. I am paid a small salary as the medical officer, so much a month.

I may say, we pay the parents a monthly income. They have five other children and there is no reason why they should be neglected. We hope to do more for them later. Just now, we hope to raise enough so the income from the money raised would be sufficient to keep those children. Remember, if one child should die the contracts are null and void and if we haven't enough money for the income to maintain them, it is too bad. The expenses are now between $l,000 and $l,500 a month. Our staff consists of two nurses, a housekeeper, a maid, two policemen. You know we have been a little afraid of kidnapping and besides, it is pretty handy to have men around with experience. We are appointing another policeman the first of the month. That will be three for the summer.

Now, there is no exploitation of these babies. I suppose in a mild way there is, we invite the tourists to see them and have contracts, but after all there is no exploitation and everything is under medical control. Everything is passed to Mr. Croll and the guardians meet regularly at North Bay once a month. They meet and pass all salary bills and keep the books and we know where everything is.

Now, as far as the tourists are concerned, we welcome the tourists as guests. We don't charge. We feel that is small stuff. True enough you would make some more money. The Americans can't understand that attitude. "Why don't you, charge?" "Why don't you make more money?" "Put dog stands and everything around the place." We like to have things a little dignified. Besides, I have complete control. If at any time the children are sick, I am not going to show the children. If you invite tourists and make a charge and do not show the children they would say you were operating under false pretences.

Take the movie film. I only allowed them one hour. One day they only sat half an hour and all the filming was done in four or five minutes. The hour includes everything, but the babies come first, always. We welcome all the visitors. People all over the world have such an 'interest in these children. I think the world loves a baby. Multiply that by five and that it quite a bit and this interest, you know, is maintained even among men. Men go around hard-boiled and say that is all rubbish, but I get so much correspondence from men all over. One man, 78 years old, writes once a month to know how these babies are.

Now, I want to talk a bit about the babies. Just now their health is fine. It is pretty hard to tell them apart. If they are dressed up, I can't, because they look alike. Of course if they have not so much on, I can.

We had a little trouble with Marie for a long time. She had a sort of blood tumour on the leg which has been cured and she had a little tendency, perhaps, toward the eyes not being okay, more on account of weakness than anything else. At the present time her eyes appear normal, the ears are normal, the hearing 'is good. In fact, she is quite normal. She didn't get around as fast as the rest and she became impatient. The other four were walking well. Marie couldn't walk as well. When she finds she is left behind, she gets on her hands and feet and she goes!

Now, as far as feeding is concerned, we use ordinary things that any mother could use. But there is one thing we do use, that is cod liver oil. I remember when I first went to that country up north. The old fashioned scurvy was a common thing. You have read about it in books, about the ships travelling, the ancient explorers„ and the teeth of the men would become loosened. I also had that every spring among the children in a mild form. There was no cod liver oil and fresh vegetables. Now, we have the people understanding better and I think on account of the babies it is helping everybody. You take the papers, people will read those newspapers, you know, and I must say they have been very fair to us and every day, as often as I can, I put out a little notice about how

I think the children are. In fact, there are some parents and if their doctors don't do for their children exactly as I say, they go and remonstrate with their doctors. That is not fair. What is the diet for one child is not necessarily true for another. Still, I am just showing the interest that there is.

Not very long ago I toxoided those children. I know it is a very necessary thing for children. I did that partly for them and partly for the health institutions all over the world. People have been saying, "If it's good for the quintuplets, it must be good for ours." If you ever saw a child die from diptheria, as I have, you would take no chances.

Vaccination - we propose to do that shortly.

They awaken about five o'clock in the morning, from five to six. We give then some cod liver oil and orange juice and they drink, that down. They play around and we put them in the bath tub. We used to leave Marie to the last but she got so jealous. She wouldn't take it.

She would yell, so now we take the children in rotation, one time, one, and another time, another. We put them in two at a time and when we get through we weigh them. We have to watch the weights, every week. If they lose three or four ounces people want to know why. We feed the children again at eight and they are put outside at nine. They sleep until eleven or twelve. They are fed and put out again and they sleep from one to three, and they exercise in between times.

Now, the children, as I said before, look very much alike. My idea is that they are identical babies. I am not a scientist, so I want to make sure first or the scientists will want to pull me about. This is experimental stuff, anyhow. We have plans for any eventualities. Last year we showed the babies, one at a time on the porch. We had a large fence and at certain times during the day we allowed people inside the fence. Last year we had around 375,000 people there. That is a lot. Perhaps fifty percent were Americans. Some days, perhaps some seven or eight thousand people were there. We showed first one baby and then another. The babies didn't mind it but toward the latter part of the season they began to get a little restless and didn't like it. They have to have some privacy. This year, we are hoping to have a plan whereby the public can pass through and see the children at play without being observed themselves. We want as much privacy as possible. We hope, in fact we know we are going to do that. We show them between certain hours. We expect to have a great many people, perhaps half, a million there this summer. Think of the prosperity brought to the Province of Ontario. Think of the gas tax alone. They have to pass by way of Toronto or Montreal or the 500. It takes a day to go and a day to come. They spend another day or two and they buy things to take away souvenirs. After they get to the north country they are usually so pleased that they stay a couple of days more. Well, now, as far as the general outlook is concerned, I hope our efforts in caring for these babies will be of some value for the general infant welfare of our country. As far as the quintuplets are concerned, it would indeed be a wise man who could tell what the future has in store for these babies. These babies are not guinea pigs and will never be used as a basis of experimentation. Every effort will be made to keep them healthy and to give them proper surroundings during their growth period. I hope that the best traditions will be carried out as far as their race, their religion and their country. Thank you. (Hearty applause.)

PRESIDENT BRACE: Dr. Dafoe has spoken so feelingly about one of the original guardians, the representative of the Canadian Red Cross in that north country that I am going to ask Mr. Alderson to stand. (Applause.)

Dr. Fred Routley, Commissioner for Ontario of the Canadian Red Cross Society, has done a great deal of work in association with Dr. Dafoe in connection with the carrying on of health activities for these children. I am going to ask Dr. Routley to express the thanks of this gathering to our guest speaker.

DR. ROUTLEY: Your Honour, Mr. President, Distinguished Guest, and Gentlemen: When His Honour was speaking a few minutes ago he made the statement that Ontario was known throughout the world and particularly there were five reasons why that was so. A short time ago I heard a very prominent clergyman in this Province, whose particular field is our northern part of the Province and who for many years has been identified with the north country, make this statement on a public platform. He said, "the north country, God's country, where a man can go to bed at night the father of five and wake up the next morning the father of ten."

In a news item in the papers a few days ago, as a matter of fact, during the period when most of the rural roads of this Province were blocked with snow, you perhaps„ most of you, saw a news item, I think two different news items which stated two different cases of acute appendicitis among farm dwellers were found and in both of these cases the patients were two or three days in their homes without proper surgical treatment because of the inability to get them to hospitals and in the one case, finally, after a ten mile trip over the tops of snowbanks and a trip of some miles to a hospital one of the patients was operated on to find he had a ruptured appendix. With the full knowledge, I know, of my distinguished friend on my right, I would like to say, if you studied the medical annals of rural Ontario 'during the past few years, you would find, if all the cases of acute appendicitis waited to be got into hospital for surgical treatment there would have been many hundreds of deaths where those people are today spared to live because of the knowledge and the courage and the resourcefulness of the men of medicine in the country who, when the patient couldn't be moved to hospital, found their way, frequently on foot over snowbanks in order to give the 'desired treatment and relief. That has not only happened once but many hundreds of times in the history of medicine in this Province. (Applause.) And when I think of that class of men, when I think of the rural conditions that 'did obtain in this country fifty years or a hundred years ago, and when I try to visualize and compare them with the rural conditions which obtain in a part of our Province, which are exactly similar to the conditions which obtained in this part of the province 75 or 100 years ago, I recognize it is the rural men who are assisting more than, any other class of men in Ontario to relieve the discouragements, the hopelessness sometimes, to relieve the minds of the pioneers in their times of distress, because sickness does come to these people in these remote areas. The men, more than any other class of people who have done most to relieve them have been the country practitioners in the far remote places and I like to pay tribute to my friend, Dr. Dafoe. He and I were class mates together in the University of Toronto. I admit I look many years older than he, but we were class mates, just the same. I want to pay tribute to him as the best kind of country practitioner, as the Honourable Dr. Bruce has already said.

The Canadian Red Cross Society had a little nursing station twenty miles east of Callander and for six years previous to the birth of the quintuplets out in that little station we had a highly qualified nurse, a nurse, as Dr. Dafoe has already said who found her way to the pioneer homes of that district, frequently on foot, on ski, or by dog team or any other way she could go. I want to say that during that six years there was telephone communication between that nursing station and Dr. Dafoe's house, twenty miles away and there never was a time, the weather was never too cold-the weather does get too cold as some of you know, in that country- it didn't matter whether it was forty degrees or more below zero, it didn't matter whether the roads were impassable or not, that nurse told me over and over again, she never put in an urgent call for help by a physician, after she had sized up the situation - and recognized that a physician must be had, never in vain did she put in a call for Dr. Dafoe. (Applause.) He was always ready to go, to go at a moment's notice, if some other case didn't hold him, to go, as I have already said, through impassable roads and through impassable, almost, weather conditions, and because of the resourcefulness of these men, because of the courage of these men, because of the knowledge which they acquire, because they don't, all these country men, spend their leisure time going to movies, they spend their leisure time, if they have any, reading the modern treatises on medicine and surgery, and all of the things that pertain to their profession, so, by and large, with the rank and file of the profession; I will put the country man up against the city man every time, and I think he will surpass him in his knowledge of medicine. He certainly will surpass him in his spirit of resourcefulness, because he has to do so many things without facilities, without any other personnel, even to advise him. And Dr. Dafoe has many, many times, in his experience, been faced with the condition where out in the country, far remote from any other medical man or anybody else in the world, he has been obliged as he was in the case of the quintuplets, to go ahead and do the thing as he saw it and trust to the result obtained. So, Dr. Dafoe, in the name of perhaps the finest cross section of the business community of this city which will ever be got together to face you, in the name of the cross section of business and professional men of this city, I want to pay our tribute of homage to you for the wonderful thing you have done, the unique thing, the thing, as Dr. Bruce has already said, that has gone around the world. A record has been set up as a record for many, many years, if not centuries to come which has never been accomplished before and which has made you a world famous man.

I want to pay tribute to you and to welcome you on behalf of this group and say, May you long live to bask in the reflected sunlight of what will apparently be a glorious future for five little girls who are destined to be the world's sweethearts in the days to come. (Applause.)

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The Country Doctor in Northern Ontario


The speaker's chief interest in life for the past two years the Dionne quintuplets. Acknowledgement to the Ontario Government for assistance given to the speaker from the time the babies were born. Special thanks given to the Minister of Welfare and The Canadian Red Cross. Support from the medical profession throughout Canada. Details as to how the children lived. The country doctor's role as a friend of the family. The early stages of the birth. The parents. The size of the babies at birth and afterwards. The establishment of guardianship with the children as wards of the King and why it was established. The present situation in terms of guardianship. The issue of religious training for the children. Who bears the expenses. The claim of no exploitation of the babies. The procedure of having tourists in to see the babies, and the conditions under which that happens. Some details about the children and caring for them. Prosperity brought to the Province of Ontario through showing the babies to tourists.