When Mary Barter travelled by train from her school in Nova Scotia, to her home in Quebec she noticed and admired a crisply uniformed Nurse tend to a very sick patient. In that moment she knew she would become a Nurse herself. What she didn’t know was that her plunge into health and medicine would carry forward two generations and nearly one hundred years…
Mary completed her Nurses training at the Medicine Hat General Hospital in 1915 standing second in general proficiency and with the best record in practical work through her 3 years of training.
She met Duncan Cody while working in a hospital in Fernie, B.C. and they were married in Lethbridge in 1916. In June of 1918 Nurse Cody and her husband moved to Cereal, AB. In November of 1918 Mary fell sick to the influenza epidemic and was taken to Cereals newly opened hospital. She recovered from her illness but stayed at the hospital to care for and nurse the other patients. This marked the start of her 31 year career at the cereal hospital and in 1932 she took over as Matron. Nurse Cody wore many hats doing anything and everything needed to get the job done right. She assisted in surgeries, delivered babies, and her high standards of cleanliness prevented any serious case of infectious outbreak in a time before antibiotics were available. During the drought and depression she was even known to take linens from her own home to supplement the tiny hospital. Mary was given the title of RN in 1948 without having to write any formal exam and continued as Matron until 1949 when she moved to Calgary with her husband Duncan and her son Don. Her time in Cereal earned her nickname “Florence Nightingale of the Prairies”. In 1968 she travelled back to Cereal to attend a ceremony in her honour with Mayor Peacock and hundreds of former patients celebrating her “With Love” thanking her for her “unfailing devotion and numerous acts of kindness”.
Mary’s son Dr. Don Barter Cody graduated from the University of Alberta in 1952 and went on to complete his internship in Hawaii in 1954. In 1955 he opened his own Family Practice Clinic in an office across the street from our current location. The office was situated above what used to be Mawsons Drugstore. Mary continued working as a Nurse, eventually joining Dr. Don Cody in practice where she continued to work until she passed away in 1975.
One of our patients recently shared with us the story of her first visit with Dr. Don Cody during a house call New Years Eve in the fifties when she was sick with tonsillitis. She especially remembers his kind and conscientious care during her illness.
Dr. Ken Cody was born in Calgary in 1956 and graduated from the University of Calgary in 1982. On September 4, 1984 he began practicing as a Physician alongside his father.
When Dr. Don Cody retired in 1987 it was time for Dr. Ken Cody to carry on the practice. It was a privilege for him to continue caring for patients that had been part of the practice for over 25 years. In 1990 Dr. Ken Cody rebuilt his clinic in our current location. In the 1920’s and the 1950’s the land our clinic sits on now was a chicken farm and a gas station. In 2008 Dr. Bolduc joined our clinic which allowed additional diversification of skills and experience. Dr. Burt has practiced with us since 2015, Dr. Ricky Agnihotri since 2017, and we have recently had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Jocelyn Beckstead as the next step in our pursuit of excellence in patient care.
We said our farewells to Dr. Bolduc in December 2022 and to Dr. Cody in March 2023 as they each moved on into retirement. Both thankfully continue to provide mentorship to our team and maintain a strong presence within our clinic family.