The Compassionate Friends
On January 31, 1976 Benjamin Robert Ian, son of Joan and Bob Martin, died at 9 years of age after a lengthy battle with cancer. One year later, Joan and Bob established the first Canadian Chapter of The Compassionate Friends in Winnipeg, with the support of Ruth Kettner, Director of Child Life and Pat Scorer, Director of Nursing, Children's Hospital. The first Sharing Meeting was held on the third Thursday in January 1977 in the Annie A. Bond room of the Community Services Building at 685 William Avenue, where meetings are still being held today.
After 14 years of doing the administrative work out of member's homes, the Winnipeg chapter finally secured an office/drop in centre in March 1991. Our office/drop in centre (FE111 in the Community Services Building) was attained thanks to the efforts of Chris Anderson, Allied Health Director, and Mary Alice Grassick, Coordinator, Community Support and Special Events, Children's Hospital.
Due to renovations in the Community Services Building in 2009, the Health Sciences Centre renovated a new office/drop in space for us. In June we moved into AE 105, Harry Medovy House at 671 William Avenue. Our new location gives us more space for the drop in and a separate room for our office.
Thanks to the ongoing support of the Health Sciences Centre we continue to evolve as an organization and in providing support and resource services to bereaved families.