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History Post-confederation (1867-)

Healing in the Wilderness

A History of the United Church Mission Hospitals

by (author) Bob Burrows

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Sep 2004
Post-Confederation (1867-), Missions
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2004
    List Price

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This unforgettable story reveals how medical missionaries responded to crises, emergencies and sudden illnesses--including grizzly bear attacks and airplane crashes--without modern technology or urban hospitals. It portrays the small missions and infirmaries and tells how their staff handled life and death in the deep bush, on mountain ranges, in Native villages, on trackless prairies and on distant islands. It describes the sacrifices of devoted physicians, nurses and their families as they healed the sick and wounded, often under dreadful circumstances and in primitive conditions. Author Bob Burrows is uniquely qualified to relate this fascinating narrative of the United Church Mission Hospitals. A United Church minister for more than four decades, he has piloted an aircraft and captained a ship to deliver care to remote areas of British Columbia. He has also worked for both the BC and federal governments in positions of public trust dedicated to ensuring the human rights of aboriginal people, women and minority groups. Extensively researched and illustrated with many never before-seen photographs, Healing in the Wilderness will be a revelation and an inspiration to Canadians interested in the development of health care across the remotest regions of the country.

About the author

In 2001, Bob Burrows received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Victoria University, at the University of Toronto, in recognition of a lifetime of service to the United Church and his community. He began his work on the British Columbia coast as minister and captain of a mission boat based at Ocean Falls in 1960. From 1981-84 he was Chair of the national United Church Committee responsible for all mission hospitals across Canada. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Editorial Reviews

"Healing in the Wilderness: A History of United Church Mission Hospitals, a 240 page account published by Harbour Publishing is a masterful undertaking. Former Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Robert Smith, describes Burrow's efforts as an 'authoritative account, laced with anecedote.'"
-Sage Birthwater, The Williams Lake Tribune

The Williams Lake Tribune

Other titles by Bob Burrows