A very fitting tribute to Dr. Daly

Beth Truant writes a heartfelt letter following Trail Historical Society highlighting Doctor Daly.


This is a comment on a feature that recently appeared in the Trail Times (“How the Daly Pavilion got its name” Trail Times, April 29)

Many locals know of the local Daly Pavilion facility, yet some longstanding residents may even remember the man after which it was named. Doctor Stuart Daly was a community-minded practioner known for his compassion and his interest in medicine. From the 1930s onward, mental health and psychiatric care in our area would develop and progress much due to his and his colleagues’ work and dedication.

My first recollection of meeting Dr. Daly was not here, but as a student nurse around 1957. He was an attending doctor at Essondale in New Westminster, BC, (now called Riverview) for the care of psychiatric patients. At that time I was on practicum from Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops undertaking my three-month psychiatric training. Due to the unavailability of psychiatric medications, the following therapies were undertaken: electric convulsive (ECT), Insulin Coma and Prolonged Sleep therapies were used at the time. In passing him in the hallway, he happened to mention Trail BC. I said that I think I’ll be coming to Trail after this practicum, to which he responded, “… that would be grand!” Dr. Daly returned to work at the Trail Tadanac hospital, and I began my graduate work in 1958 on the surgical floor there. I remember thinking how fortunate we would be to have this experienced doctor continue practicing locally.

Many families have told me about the times Dr. Daly would make house calls to check on health issues such as children with infected ears, or sore throats with possible tonsillitis. After a checkup he would patiently explain to the caregivers the issue—often giving parents an explanation and a peek through his otoscope to see the appearance of their child’s ear!

This community has a great indebtedness to Dr. Daly and his colleagues for their dedication to continued local improvements in psychiatric care. Today, health professionals continue to undertake the best practice in carrying out psychiatric care that continues at the Daly Pavilion, the care facility with such a great legacy.

Beth Truant