The Hon. Eric Martin, Minister of Health Services and Hospital Insurance for the provincial government, cut the ribbon across the double doors to officially open Saint Joseph General Hospital in Dawson Creek on Saturday, July 22, 1961. Over 3,000 people toured the new structure on the two days of open house following the official opening ceremony.
Cutting of the ribbon was performed following a short speech session held from a dais in front of the building. Speakers for the event included Mayor Wilcox, chairman of the hospital improvement district, Sam Side, Sister Denise Marguerite, representing Sister Provincial, who was unable to attend, Dr. H. J. O’Brien, representing the local medical profession, Sister Laura Marie, retiring administrator of the hospital, Mr. Cunningham, administrator of the Grande Prairie Hospital, S.L. Levesque, Station Sannetterre, Quebec, Mayor Spicer of Fort St. John and Mr. A. H. McLeod, former chairman of the board. He acted as the Master of Ceremonies. Also present were Mr. A. Gathe, architect and Mr. L. J. Bennett of the contracting firm responsible for the construction.
Mr. Martin, the main speaker of the afternoon, thanked those in charge of the arrangements for the honor they did him in inviting him to officially open the hospital. He said that it was the thirtieth such opening for him in the past nine years, which was an indication of the progress in the field of hospitalization in BC in that time. He also paid tribute to all the individuals directly involved in the building of the new hospital.
Following the speech the minister cut the ribbon across the doors and the ladies of the women’s auxiliary took over as guides for the many persons interested in being shown through the new structure. While the hospital was not in operation and a great number of the wards were as yet unfurnished the public did get an idea of the modern appointments used in the construction of the building.
The new three-storey building providing accommodation for 71 beds cost an estimated $1,670,000 of which the provincial government paid approximately $835,000. It replaces the existing 29-bed hospital built in 1932.
The new Saint Joseph General Hospital was fully activated at noon on Monday,
July 31, 1961 as the Volunteer Fire Department coordinated the moving of patients from the old hospital to the new — a trip which covered four blocks.
First patient transported was Mrs. Mary Paquette, a 93-year-old medical patient from Moberly Lake. Thirty patients in all were involved in the move. Today  Saint Joseph General Hospital can accommodate 100.