Celebrating Volunteer Excellence: Anne’s Dedication to Preserving Canmore’s Oral History

Written by Canmore Museum

We are delighted to shine a spotlight on one of our exceptional volunteers, Anne, whose commitment and passion have greatly contributed to the preservation of Canmore’s rich history. 

Anne has recently completed the transcription of 16 oral history interviews, a monumental task that required dedication, patience, and a keen eye for detail. These Oral Histories were the final product of a project started in 2012 in which Anne was also a volunteer. The project goal was to document the history of healthcare in the Bow Valley.

Transcribing these interviews is no small feat; it is a meticulous process that requires careful listening (709 minutes of audio to be exact) and precise typing. Anne’s dedication to this task is truly commendable, as it not only preserves the stories and memories of our community but also makes them accessible for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

We asked Anne to reflect on her experience transcribing these oral histories. Here is her thoughtful reflection on the content of the interviews:

“In every community, the experience of healthcare and hospitals is an integral part of the history. In Canmore, people were eager to share their past experiences of health care. Their personal stories about health care also touched many aspects of community life including the mine, schools, social life, and community change and development. For example, experiences with hospitalization in the 1970s and early 1980s revealed a close-knit and caring community. 

At that time, hospitalization meant that a neighbor or relative also became your healthcare provider, hospital cook, or housekeeper who would help in any way they could. If you were a health care provider, an accident in the mine meant that your relative or neighbor became your patient. In particular, residents spoke with nostalgia about the ‘hospital on the hill’ and the support they received from all staff. 

As one resident said, “That hospital was wonderful. It was really great. They tore it down… and that broke my heart”.

It was an enriching experience to hear these personal stories of health care experiences first hand. Their stories illustrate the importance of documenting oral histories to preserve the heritage of the community and paint a portrait of community life in an earlier time.”

On behalf of the Canmore Museum, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Anne for her invaluable contributions. Her hard work and dedication are truly appreciated, and we are incredibly grateful to have her as part of our volunteer team.

Thank you, Anne, for your passion, dedication, and commitment to preserving Canmore’s history. Your efforts will have a lasting impact on our community, and we are so grateful for all that you do.

Anne Neufeld

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Canmore Museum