The London Regional Children's Museum is a special place for children and their grown-ups to play and learn together. Come and visit us for a special program, field trip, workshop, day camp, birthday party – or just for fun! It's filled with hands-on, interactive exhibits that encourage children from infancy to twelve to explore and discover science, arts, heritage and more.
The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum tells the story of Canada's first infantry regiment established with the permanent force. The museum is located at Wolseley Barracks, first military architecture purposely-built between 1886 and 1888 by the Dominion Government to house «D» Company of the Infantry School Corps. Enjoy a tour to glimpse into the life of soldiers, following the path of Canadian history since 1800s and tour the grounds to discover one of London's heritage landmarks.
Spend a day in the 19th century at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. The past comes alive through daily demonstrations of 19th century trades and farming practices, domestic chores and social pastimes by costumed interpreters. Each visit promises something new to explore and discover. Fanshawe Pioneer Village tells the story of rural communities in the former townships of Westminster, London, North Dorchester, Delaware, West Nissouri and Lobo in Middlesex County from 1820 to 1920 and the founding and development of the City of London up to 1840.
Experience history in your hands! Uncover archaeological discoveries and explore Ontario's rich cultural heritage. Archaeology brings the stories of how people lived to life. Discover over 12,000 years of Ontario stories and explore the Lawson Site, London's First Village, at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is the only national organization dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of Canada's medical heroes. Visitors are inspired by the stories and outstanding achievements of the remarkable Canadian men and women who have changed the face of medicine and health care in the world today.
A: Children's museums, focusing on the educational and social development of children through hands-on, interactive exploration of exhibits and artifacts, have existed in the United States for over 100 years.
A visit to the Boston Children's Museum in 1973 convinced founder Carol Johnston to establish a children's museum in London. "My children had never been in such a place before," Carol remembers. "It was a different kind of museum – one where children were welcome to touch, to interact and to experience. My children were very excited. Watching them run and climb and play, I thought this was a wonderful way to learn."
With a wealth of grit and determination, and a large group of caring, committed volunteers, the London Regional Children's Museum became Canada's first children's museum in 1975.
A: No, it's Baleena, our humpback whale!
In 1995 a young whale was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Newfoundland when she became entangled in a fishing net and sadly died. Her bones were carefully shipped to Toronto, where they were cleaned and pieced back together so that generations of children could learn about this amazing species!
A: That's because it used to be Riverview Public School!
Our children's museum had the humblest of beginnings when during that first year several volunteers ran programs in 21 city playgrounds trying to build support for the concept. Various temporary homes housed the displays and programs of the London Regional Children's Museum until 1982 when the former Riverview Public School was purchased and renovated, supported by a $1.5 million community fundraising drive.
A: When the building was built as a school, boys and girls lined up at separate entrances to enter the school through different doors. This system has long since gone out of practice but the "Girls" entrance can also still be seen at the side of the building!
A: Yes, but not few more years, so our doors remain open for play! Over the past 37 years our building has seen a lot of play. If walls could talk, they could tell of the beautiful laughter, the play and the learning, but would also tell of the challenges an aging building faces. So, the tough decision was made to sell the building and we are now on the exciting journey to find our next location to serve families for the next 37 years!
A: Legend tells us King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia went on a vacation and asked Draco to look after their tree filled with golden apples. Sneaky Hercules played a lullaby on his lyre to make Draco fall asleep and stole all the golden apples. When the King and Queen returned, the angry King grabbed a sleeping Draco by the tail and swung him up high up into the sky, where he remains to this day. Visit our Star Lab to watch the stars and hear more legends like this!
A: Let us show you! Visit our Dinosaur Gallery and learn about fossilized dino poop, called Coprolite (from the Greek kopros ("dung") and lithos ("stone"). Preserve plant and animal matter that would otherwise disintegrate, giving scientists valuable information to determine what dinosaurs ate. Cool, eh?
A: Nanuq means polar bear in Inuktitut – the language of the Inuit. Polar bears only live in the Arctic and are the world's largest land hunters. Visit My Arctic Discovery and learn more about these fascinating creatures, touch some real polar bear fur, and learn 24 more words in the Inuktitut language!
A: By counting its rings! Each year, a tree grows another ring inside its trunk, so by counting each ring you can figure out its age. Try this out in our Science in Your World gallery - how many rings does our tree stump have?
A: The Hoary Bat! Weighing just as much as a postage stamp, this bat has a wingspan of 40cm. It roosts by itself in trees across North America, but at the Children's Museum can be found with the other bats in our Things in Caves gallery!
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A: In 1886. Wolseley Barracks, where The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum is located, became the first structure purposely built for the full time militia as the professional army was known at the time. It was used to train reserve units of the Canadian Army.
A: Certainly not to deter visitors! The museum is located on D.N.D. property and as such it falls under the organizations' perimeter security regulations (National Defence Act). If the gate is closed, come on in off of Elliott Street!
A: The Victoria Cross is the highest award in the British Commonwealth system. The Royal Canadian Regiment is home to two Victoria Cross winners- Brigadier Milton Gregg and Fredrick William Campbell.
A: The site on this specific pistol is different than most others. It reaches up to a 500 yard leaf cite and is located on the back.
A: The Regimental Colours are a current soldier's tie to his regimental heritage. Colours are battle flags that were used in combat prior to the twentieth century as a rallying point for troops.
A: A ZAP number is a unique code that corresponds to an individual soldier and can be used to communicate information about them when the available lines of communication are insecure. This would be on the soldier's dog tag lanyard along with the soldier's case.
A: The cross in the main lobby is from Flanders Field and was used during The Great War to mark the temporary burial site of soldiers killed in action. It was donated to The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1930 and is one of our most treasured artifacts.
A: Soldiers communicate with the use of Semaphore Flags, Morse Code and the Phonetic Alphabet
A: The current RCR is made up of four battalions: 1RCR and 3RCR located in CFB Petawawa, Ontario, 2RCR located in CFB Oromcto, New Brunswick (all of them permanent force) and 4RCR (reserve unit) located in London, Ontario. 4RCR absorbed the Oxford Rifles and the City of London Regiment (7th Fusiliers), two of the infantry units active in Southwestern Ontario beginning in 1863 and 1866 respectively.
A: In 1900, Queen Victoria knitted scarves for eight people under the requirement that they had been nominated for the Victoria Cross and had been turned down. Private Richard Rowland Thompson of D Company, 2 SS RCR received one because of his part in the Battle of Paardeburg Drift.
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A: The 1939 royal tour of Canada was a cross-Canada royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, lasting from May 17 to June 15, 1939, including a visit to the United States on June 7–10. It was the first visit of a reigning monarch to Canada, and also the first time a British monarch had set foot in the United States. The royal couple visited every Canadian province as well as the Dominion of Newfoundland. The tour was an enormous event, attracting huge crowds at each new city.
On the morning of June 7, 1939 the Canadian National Railway train carrying the Royal Family arrived at the recently completed station on York Street in London Ontario. The Royal Cavalcade took a four-mile tour of London streets starts at the C.N.R. station, along York to Richmond, north to Dufferin, east to Wellington, north to Central Avenue, east to Waterloo, north to St. James, east to Maitland, south to Piccadilly, east to William, south to Queen's Avenue, west to Waterloo, south to Dundas, west to Wellington, south to York and west back to the station. The streets were lined with 300,000 well-wishers from across the region.
See Marvin Zavitz original beanie at the London International Airport this summer in a special exhibit designed by Fanshawe Pioneer Village.
A: In 1868, the Forest City and London Base Ball clubs merged to form the London Tecumsehs - a team sponsored by the Tecumseh House hotel.
During the early 1870s, the major rivals of the London Tecumsehs were the Guelph Maple Leafs who were sponsored by brewer/sportsman George Sleeman, proprietor of Silver Creek Brewery, and the Woodstock Young Canadians. The Guelph Maple Leafs were the first Ontario team to hire professional ball players from the United States to strengthen their team.
When Jacob L. Englehart, a wealthy pioneer London oil refiner from Cleveland, Ohio, became the president and financial backer of the Tecumsehs in late 1875, he too began looking for professional players from the U.S., later signing four Americans: first-baseman/manager George "Juice" Latham, pitcher Fred Goldsmith of New Haven, Connecticut (believed by many to be the co-inventor of the curveball along with Candy Cummings of Ware, Massachusetts), catcher Phil Powers and infielder/ outfielder Joe Hornung from Carthage, New York.
Goldsmith's first complete game with the Tecumsehs occurred on May 24, 1876, when London played Guelph before 6,000 spectators at the old Fair Grounds, a contest that London won 8-7 in 10 innings, largely due to Goldsmith's "scientific pitching," using his innovative "skew ball."
A: The Tecumsehs joined the fledgling five-team Canadian Association of Base Ball in 1876 (London Tecumsehs, Hamilton Standards, Guelph Maple Leafs, Kingston St. Lawrence and Toronto Clippers). The Tecumsehs won the Canadian title in 1876.
In 1877, the Tecumsehs joined the International Association of Professional Base Ball Players made up of London and Guelph, Ontario teams, and several U.S. teams. This league was created as a rival to the National League. The Tecumsehs won the championship of the International Association in 1877 defeating the Pittsburgh Alleghenys 5 to 2. Unfortunately, the club folded in 1878 due to "insufficient patronage".
A: Fanshawe Pioneer Village opened to the public in 1959 and was founded by Wilfrid Jury in partnership with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.
'The day the Village opened, the dream of years had started for me. It meant more to me I am sure than to anyone else. Not only my hopes became a reality, but (the village was) near home in the district that the equipment had been used-the old hand tools polished by the hands of our forefathers, in such a manner that his story shall become our local history lesson, reminders of the sweat and toil the pioneers gave for our country. I may be too sentimental about the past – it's been my life's work to give the lesson of the past in a visual way, preserve the evidence and let the old junk, the relics, come alive, telling their own story."
A: This gentleman's stove pipe top hat dating from the mid-19th century is made from beaver felt. From about 1550 until 1850, felt hats were fashionable in much of Europe and the felt hat industry became the driving force behind the fur trade and beaver fur was prefered. By the late 1500′s, the beaver was extinct in western Europe and was close to extinction in Scandinavia and Russia. The North American fur trade became a new source and kept the fashion going for another 200 years. Hat fashion played an important role in exploration and settlement of this region of North America.
A: The early production of shoes was by hand in small workshops organized through a putting out system. Each shoe artisan possessed the skill and cobbler tools to make an entire shoe by hand and work was often intertwined with family life. A cobbler sewed leather onto the last to create shape of the shoe. The sole was boiled and stiffened leather and layers of boiled leather created the required heel. Before 1830, the sole was attached to the upper of the shoe with wooden pegs. Later in the 19th century, the sole was sewn to the upper or attached with metal tacks.
As late as 1850 most shoes were made on absolutely straight lasts, there being no difference between the right and the left shoe.
Breaking in a new pair of shoes was not easy. There were but two widths to a size; a basic last was used to produce what was known as a "slim" shoe. When it was necessary to make a "fat" or "stout" shoe the shoemaker placed over the cone of the last a pad of leather to create the additional foot room needed.
Tools used by boot makers and cobblers included: awls for punching holes in leather; hot burnishers that rubbed soles and heels to a shine; sole knives that shaped soles; stretching pliers which stretched the leather uppers; marking wheels to mark where the needle should go through the sole, and size sticks to measure the foot.
A: Getting dressing in the 19th century was a complicated affair for women. Layers of undergarments provided the necessary support and shape for the fashionable dress of the era.
The first garment worn next to the skin was a chemise, mid-calf in length and of loose fitting cotton or linen. Underneath the chemise went a pair of drawers. This garment is gathered around the waist with ties and encased the legs to mid-calf. A corset follows next, sheathing the waist with a front closure and the ties in the back restricted the waist to a fashionable size. Over top of the corset, a corset cover was worn to protect outer garments from the hooks and closures of the corset. Finally, layers of petticoats swathed the legs and provided the required fullness to the skirt. By mid-century, increasing expanding skirts required from 4 – 6 petticoats be worn. Last on was a two piece outer dress or suit and blouse with matching hat, gloves, stockings and shoes.
A fashionable woman changed her outfit several times a day because specific clothing was required for each activity. Packing for travel required numerous trunks and boxes. A steamer trunk was very popular because it contained a complicated series of drawers and cupboards to keep everything in order. Luggage was made of durable wood with metal casings to keep everything secure and endure the rigors of a long and often tumultuous ocean voyage.
A: A: Richard Talbot brought a large group of Irish emigrants to this region of Ontario in 1818. Here is an account of their voyage and first days.
The party set sail from Cork, Ireland on June 13th, 1818 on the brig Brunswick and docked at Quebec forty-three days later. Twenty-three of Talbot's original party of 183 had perished during the voyage, twelve of these being children, who were buried at sea. After landing in Quebec, nearly half of Richard Talbot's group declined to proceed on to Upper Canada, dreading the expense and hardship of further travel. Richard Talbot, at the recommendation of his distant relative Colonel Thomas Talbot, decided that his remaining party would settle in London Township. Upon arrival in Middlesex County, many of the Richard Talbot Settlers were billeted with families established in Westminster Township. The men of the party ventured on to seek desirable property and establish their first homes, sending for their families when construction was completed. Those first homes were "shanties", built from felled trees using the simple tools of axe, adze and froe. A broadaxe was used to square the logs, once they had been felled with a felling axe. An adze could then be used to smooth the logs after they were squared, and shingles could be split from a block of wood with the use of a froe. Once settlers fulfilled the duties outlined in their ticket of location, they were able to build more permanent log homes, barns and outbuildings. As communities continued to grow, amenities like churches, a school, a general store and a post office were established at transportation crossroads.
A: Edwin Seaborn was born on May 14, 1872 in Rawdon, Quebec and attended the University of Western Ontario in London beginning in 1891. Within two years of completing his medical degree, he assisted as a Demonstrator of Anatomy, occupied the Chair of Anatomy, and held a professorship position in Surgery, all of which he maintained until the beginning of the First World War.
In March 1916, the University of Western Ontario offered to set up and furnish a 400-bed field hospital with Dr. Seaborn as the head. In August of 1916, Seaborn arrived in England and served at the 14th Canadian General Military Hospital at Eastbourne before proceeding to Calais, France in December 1917. It was at the 400-bed No. 10 Canadian Stationary Hospital, the university-led hospital in Calais, where Seaborn and his staff treated more than 16,000 patients, creating an international profile for the university.
The unit was demobilized in April 1919 and returned to London, Ontario in May, where Seaborn resumed many of his previous duties, including a private medical practice. He was active in the London and Middlesex Historical Society and collected many rare documents, diaries, letters and records from local residents, which he compiled in his 1944 book, "The March of Medicine". Dr. Seaborn passed away in 1951.
A: Paul Peel (1860 – 1892) lived in the Peel House at Fanshawe Pioneer Village during his childhood. The house was originally located at 230 Richmond Street, south of Horton Street in London. Paul's parents John and Amelia Peel bought the house in 1865 when Paul was five year old.
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A: The Lawson Village is a sixteenth century, pre-contact Neutral Iroquoian village and one of the few Neutral village sites where earthworks are preserved. The Lawson Village is considered to be London's "First Village". Approximately 30-40 longhouses were built on this site and surrounded by a series of protective palisades. Outside the palisade, corn fields extended over four kilometers to the Masonville area in London. The site was occupied for approximately 25 years.
Excavations have recovered over 300,000 artifacts and the remains of at least 19 longhouses, 30 middens, and a palisade along the northern half of the site. Evidence suggests that at the height of occupation the village was home to over 2000 people. It was occupied year round although many of its inhabitants left the village from April to December to engage in hunting, fishing, gathering, and the cultivation of crops such as corn, beans and squash. It may have served as a major regional centre for other Neutral populations during this period.
A: The Lawson Site was first extensively excavated by professionals in the early 1920s although the site had been discovered in the 1850s. Early discoveries included 10 pipes, 60 bone needles, 100 bone beads, 12 skinning stones, and 150 projectile points.
The importance of the Lawson Site was first realized in the late-nineteenth century by Dr. Solon Woolverton, a geology professor at the University of Western Ontario and a prominent London citizen. He introduced the site in 1894 to Provincial Museum archaeologist, Dr. David Boyle, who undertook excavations from 1895-1920. The first formal description of the site was written by Boyle. His successor at the Museum, Dr. Rowland B. Orr, visited the site in 1917 and subsequently published an article including a sketch map.
Dr. William J. Wintemberg of the Victoria Museum in Ottawa (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization) selected the Lawson Site for major fieldwork projects from 1921 to1923.
MOA founder, Wilfrid Jury, met William Wintemburg at the Lawson Site in 1921. Wilfrid continued to excavate the site on his own in the 1930s and 40s. Wilfrid and his wife Elsie operated the very first archaeology field school in Canada, and Western University Field Schools began at the Lawson Site with Wilf in the 1950s. To date MOA and its precursors have excavated 20% of the Lawson Site.
A: Wilfrid Jury used to invite his friends, colleagues, and students to have some cold tea in his office at the University. During the prohibition era, alcohol was not allowed so Wilf enjoyed his hard drinks in dainty tea cups over pleasant conversation and company. In days of old, demon rum, and in fact alcohol of any kind, (except in the chemistry lab) was regarded as a commodity too dangerous to be consumed on campus. The only exceptions were the Old Hunt Club (now Westminster College) and at time of meetings of the Board of Governors. Members of the teaching faculty should not have been able to afford it and if they could, they would be totally irresponsible about it. Students were expected to confine their activities to the Ceeps.
At the end of the fall term the great guru, the irrepressible, the iconoclastic Wilfrid Jury would invite some of the people he found compatible to his office for tea since there was no proscription against it. It must be remembered that Wilfrid, following again the footsteps of his father, who was a personal friend of John A. was by no means an abstainer.
No time was ever mentioned because every-one knows that four o'clock is tea time. If you arrived late you were scolded. Tea was served by Wilfrid himself from an old brown betty tea pot, into a collection of mixed pattern tea cups. Some were cracked, some had handles, all were supplied with saucers. The brown liquid which came from the pot was cold, in fact it was Seagram's 83. The hot water jug and the cream pitcher contained water. No one was so impolite as to complain about the brand of tea. In addition, biscuits (often chocolate chip) were served with the "tea". Somehow the tea got stronger as the time progressed but it never ran out.
It was a good way to celebrate the end of the term.
A: The Neutral Attawandaron engaged in trade or other forms of interaction with other cultural groups along the Atlantic Seaboard, Lake Superior, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Mica demonstrates the interaction/trade of the Hopewell culture of Ohio with other cultures to the east. Mica was used for personal adornment, as a type of mirror, and for spiritual purposes.
A: The reconstructed longhouse on the Lawson site is more typical of those found in northern Ontario because of its birch bark covering. In Southwestern Ontario it was more common for longhouses to be covered with Elm bark.
Every five years, the longhouse gets recovered in a new birch bark exterior. Larry McLeod, a Sagamok First Nation member and Ojibway elder from North Bay, completed the most recent repairs in 2013 with a team of eight others. They brought in materials — tamarack poles, birch bark and spruce roots — from northern Ontario.
A: These are deer phalanges found on the Lawson Site believed to be for a cup and pin game.
There are two main types of modified deer phalanges:
a) a hole through the distal end with the proximal end broken off for a cup and pin game
b) distal end bead: a bead made from only the distal end of the phalange (quite exclusive to pre-contact Neutral sites in S-W Ontario).
A: The Flotation technique in Archaeology uses water to process soil samples and recover tiny artifacts that would not ordinarily be recovered when screening soil during an archaeological investigation. The reason these artifacts aren't normally recovered is that they are so tiny that they fall through the 1/4" screen typically used by archaeologists to sift the soil.
To recover tiny artifacts, a soil sample is placed on a screen and with the addition of water; artifacts are separate from the dirt particles. Light materials (called light fraction) float on top of the water while heaver materials such as bone, pottery, and stone rest on the screen. Light materials include plant remains, seeds, and insects which can reveal information about diet, environment, and climate. Heavy and light materials are collected separately and placed on a tray to dry. Once the sample has thoroughly dried, the material is placed in archival bags for storage and further research.
A: Wilfrid Jury is the founder of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology and helped establish Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London. He also conducted many excavations and site reconstructions in Ontario including Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons, the Huron/Ouendat village at Huronia Museum, and Fairfield Museum amongst others. Wilfrid succeeded in convincing the Lawson family to donate the property where the Lawson Site was located to Western University to ensure the long-term preservation of the site and to build a museum dedicated to Ontario archaeology.
Wilfrid's journals and files, which document the many projects he worked, on are housed a the museum.
In addition to his research files, Wilfrid was a prolific carver and painter. MOA's permanent exhibit includes Wilfrid Jury's model of the 1641 visit of Jean de Brebeuf from Sainte Marie among the Hurons to meet the Attawandarons of this area.
A: People first started living in the London area in 11,000 bce (before common era) during a time know as the Palaeo-lithic period. People lived in small family groups (3-5) who lived, travelled and hunted together. This is because of the climate at the time. The Palaeo-lithic period bagan during the end of the last ice age so the climate was much colder than today and it would have been winter all year long. Palaeoindian peoples ate Caribou almost exclusively and as a result adopted a very nomadic lifestyle following the caribou heards. In addition to Caribou, early Palaeoindian people also hunted Mastadon which is similar to a wooly mammoth, but slightly smaller in size.
A: Students working at Sustainable Archaeology have created a virtual 3D animation of the Lawson Site, the home of 2,000 neutral Iroquois over 500 years ago and have scanned artifacts for virtual 3D access. Sustainable Archaeology is creating new opportunities for archaeologists to examine how people lived in the past.
Check out the reconstruction.
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A: The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureate Theatre – a comfy and cozy place to sit and explore the tribute videos of the 107 CMHF Laureates – Canada's medical heroes!
A: The Palm 'N Turn container. CMHF Laureate Dr. Henri Breault, then Chief of Pediatrics at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor, ON, facilitated the development of this effective child proof medicine container now used worldwide. Dr. Breault had a lifelong commitment to the prevention of childhood accidental poisoning.
A: Like us, the ground hog is a warm-blooded mammal but its body temp drops to match its surroundings. CMHF Laureate Dr. Wilfred Bigelow created a 400 groundhog farm to study this to see if humans could be similarly cooled without damage. The groundhog's secret remains a secret but the creation of the first pacemaker was a by-product of this research.
A: CMHF Laureate Dr. Frederick Banting. It was in London, ON that he conceived of a technique to permit the isolation of the anti-diabetic component of the pancreas, later isolating insulin with Dr. Charles Best. (Be sure to check out another great location on London – Banting House).
A: CMHF Laureate Hon. Tommy Douglas who dedicated his career to establishing the fundamental tenants of medicare in Canada: universal, pre-paid, publicly administered, providing high quality care, including preventive care. "I felt that no boy should have to depend either for his leg or his life upon the ability of his parents to raise enough money to bring a first-class surgeon to his bedside" he later said.
A: Kiefer Sutherland. Kiefer is the grandson of the late Honourable Tommy Douglas and attended the ceremony with his mother when Douglas was posthumously inducted into the CMHF in 1998.
A: Outer Space. Physician and Astronaut Dr. Dave Williams took an image of CMHF logo with him on a trip to the space station aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on August 21, 2007.
A: CMHF Laureate Dr. Maude Abbott. Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott (March 18, 1869 – September 2, 1940) was a Canadian doctor and was one of Canada's earliest female medical graduates and an expert on congenital heart disease.
A: "Dad – if there is a Hall of Fame for hockey players, how come there isn't one for doctors?" asked young Tim Stiller of his father Dr. Calvin Stiller (CMHF Laureate, principal investigator on the Canadian multi-centre study that established the effectiveness of Cyclosporin in transplantation, which led to its worldwide use as first-line therapy for transplant rejection), while visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
A: In 1979, after taping a guest spot for The Tonight Show, she suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm, but made a full recovery after two operations by CMHF Laureate and neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Drake at University Hospital in London, ON. Grateful, she returned to support UH events.
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