Dr. Laverne Kindree is being honored by the Squamish Rotary Club with a Fundraising Dinner and tribute because of his exceptional contribution to his community, his profession and his example of what commitment, ethics, compassion, hard work and perseverance can result in.

Early Education:

  • Born in Delisle Saskatchewan  Sept. 1st. 1921.  Laverne was one of twin boys.  His twin brother died at 7 months from an ear infection.  These were the days before antibiotics.
  • Attended CityParkHigh School in Saskatoon.  As a boy Laverne was in his terms a fairly typical prairie boy.  They curled with jam cans filled with water, played hockey with frozen horse turds and skated at the local rink.
  • Studied Telegraphy and was employed by the CNR as a telegraph operator as a summer job.
  • Graduated from University of Saskatchewan with a Batchelor of Science Degree in 1945.  During his High School and University days Laverne took music lessons and tried out and was selected to play for the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in the second violin section.  So who wants to build a spot at the fundraiser based on Dr. Kindree as being second fiddle?
  • It was at one of those early performances that he met a professor of psychology who after testing Lavern recommended he seek a career in the practice of medicine.  After those conversations and evaluation the course was set for a medical career.  As Dr. Kindree has said this made his mother very happy.
  • Received his Medical Degree from University of Toronto in 1947.  Still kept his hand in music playing for the Toronto University Symphony Orchestra
  • Started internship at St.PaulsHospital in Vancouver in 1948


Squamish's Early History:

  • In 1948 before his internships at St.PaulsHospital was completed Dr. Kindree boarded the Union Steam Ships boat and came to Squamish at that time there was no doctor in Squamish.   After his internship was over in 1948 he and Norma Mee were married and had a one week honeymoon on Vancouver Island before boarding the boat and moving to Squamish and setting up house.   In those days Squamish was a community of about 1500 people.
  • Shortly after his arrival in Squamish Dr.Kindree traced a sickness in some of his patients as a brucellosis that was present in some of the area's dairy cows.  Dr. Kindree was instrumental in the elimination of this disease in Squamish.
  • The early days of medicine in Squamish sometimes required you to become the Medical Health Officer, the Coroner for the entire corridor and the occasional veterinarian and sometimes dentist for the residents.
  • Other than medicine the community duties were also present. As the town's only physician Dr. Kindree was asked to get involved.    One of the first active campaigns that the community took on was to get a road link from Squamish to Vancouver.   As a member of the Board of Trade (early title of Chamber of Commerce) Dr. Kindree was active on the campaign to link Squamish to Vancouver through the GaribaldiProvincialPark and the Capilano Water Shed to North Vancouver.  This was only the beginning of Dr. Kindree's participation with community groups.

Squamish's FirstHospital

  • In those early days Squamish now had a Doctor but no hospital so a committee was formed to raise money for a hospital.   Eventually $30,000 was raised.  With this money the committee went to Victoria where the Ministry of Health gave approval for the project.   An architect was engaged and working drawings commissioned and when the community was ready to proceed they were informed that the Ministry had changed its mind and said the project couldn't be built.    Once again the committee made an emergency trip to Victoria but they were not successful and were now in the position of having to pay the architect fees and drawing fees.  This resulted in an appeal to the attorney generals dept. requesting relief for the costs incurred.   The local MLA was Ernie Carson and in a fairly dramatic fashion was petitioned prior to going into a cabinet meeting. It was Dr. Kindree's  position that the $30,000 raised by Squamish was the equivalent to Vancouver raising  $9,000,000 if you took the population numbers as the base of the fundraising .  This analogy proved to be the key point in cabinet and they reversed the earlier ministry decision and gave the go ahead.  In a community participation style the "Work Bee's" cleared the site, George Behrner volunteered to dig the foundation and in 1952 the project was completed.    Unfortunately there were no funds for an operating budget and things were going to be delayed until  a group of retired nurses donated their services for the first two months to get the hospital operating.
  • In the year 1952.  polio was  an epidemic in British Columbia.  In Squamish this epidemic lasted for about four months.   For several weeks of that period most of the patients in the new hospital were polio patients with the odd maternity case.  The bulbar polio victims were the most worrisome and needed to have respiratory help due to the rampant paralysis of the respiratory system. All transportation to Vancouver had to be by water and this delay was a critical factor in the outcome for the patient.   What all of this demonstrated is the unique spread of infectious disease in an isolated community like Squamish.   What began as a single isolated case with no other cases for two weeks evolved  into an estimated 90% of the local population contracting the disease before the outbreak was finished.  It was fortunate that most patients had a non paralytic infection of the polio virus.

Dr. Kindree's awards and participation.

  • 1949 Joined the Squamish Board of Trade. This was the official Community Representative Organization until the Village of Squamish was incorporated with Stan Clarke and Johnny Morrison as the founding city fathers.
  • Participated in the project to have GaribaldiPark taken over by the Dept. of Lands and Forests from the private commission that had been in charge of it.
  • Starting in 1955 Dr. Kindree was elected to the Squamish Municipal Council and served a total of 23 years as a councilor with eight of those years as the representative on the Squamish Lilloet Regional District.
  • Served on the Community Health Council until it was replaced by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
  • Served as president of the Squamish Health Care Foundation Society from it's inception as the Community Health Council.   Still holds this position.
  • Certificate of appreciation of dedicated service to the Squamish First Nations.  Honorary Member of the Squamish First Nations.  ( 1999)
  • Director of the "Community Futures" for several years and Chairman of the Economic Development Commission.
  • Director of the Royal Hudson Society from the start of the tourist operation with the Royal Hudson Steam train and the MV Britannia travel exchange operation from North Vancouver to Squamish . Served as Chairman for two terms.
  • Director of the West CoastRailwayMuseum Society.
  • Charter Member of the Squamish Rotary Club and recipient of the Paul Harris fellowship award.
  • In January of 2003 one of two recognized Senators of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce.  Prior recipient of two "Good Citizen" awards by the Squamish and Howe Sound Chamber of Commerce.
  • One of the original recipients of the "Order of Squamish Award" awarded by Squamish Council.
  • Premiers award for Community Achievement awarded by Premier Gordon Campbell and Lieutenant Governor  Iona Campaqnolo
  • 1993/1994 Certificate of Service award by the BC Health Association for his devotion and dedication to the health care field in general and to SquamishHospital in particular for his valuable service to his community.
  • Chairman of the Boy Scouts Association  Award.
  • Honor Roll from College of Physicians and Surgeons. Lifetime membership for BC Medical Association and Canadian Medical Association.
  • Recipient of Queens Jubilee Medal (2002?) Recognition by House of Commons.
  • Coroner for the Province of British Columbia for  42 years making Dr. Kindree the longest serving Coroner in B.C.

The notes above outline some of the information on Dr. Laverne Kindree.  We are looking for more.  Contact Bill McNeney at with any corrections, additions and other anecdotal information we need to ensure a great evening on November 24th.