Professional building renamed
"It is appropriate that this facility, which we are opening today, is named after Jan Stirling, a truly outstanding individual" - Mayor Dave Lovell
by Glen Korstrom
NNSL (Mar 11/98) - People crammed the second floor of the professional building and the crowd overflowed down the stairs.
No, there is no epidemic plaguing Yellowknife.
But Health and Social Services renamed the professional building the Jan Stirling Centre on March 6.
"When there are so many good people working so hard to accomplish so many good things, it is difficult to be outstanding," Mayor Dave Lovell told the crowd.
"It is appropriate that this facility, which we are opening today, is named after Jan Stirling, a truly outstanding individual."
And tears streamed down Stirling's face after she cut the ceremonial ribbon.
"I've truly missed my colleagues, who have been wonderful," the 25-year nurse-in-charge at the Yellowknife health unit said before thanking everyone in the city of Yellowknife. "I've truly loved my job."
Referred to alternately as sister Teresa or St. Jan the compassionate, Stirling worked tirelessly, often long into the night and on weekends.
Many in Yellowknife's Vietnamese community remember Stirling as "Grandma Jan," the woman who helped them adjust to life in the North.
The centre's slogan is "Under one roof," as the building now holds community wellness, community and family support and community mental health services.
Since fall, home care and the mental health clinic have set up shop in the building.
Sterling worked through a raft of changes in still-evolving Northern health-care services, from modernization coming from technological growth to the 1988 devolution of health responsibilities to the territorial government.
Aside from speeches, visitors heard the Yellowknife youth choir and the Dettah drummers. Many received toques and sweatshirts with the Jan Stirling Centre logo.
And building landlords Raven Resources Ltd. donated a plaque explaining that, although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
"It's always been my desire to have health-centre renovations," Stirling told those who gave her several long ovations.
Now that dream is fulfilled.