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Well-known doctor shares life experiences at OMAH

Harry Hall talks about life as an athlete, student, doctor and traveller
2020-01-31 OMAH speaker Harry Hall
Dr. Harry Hall recently spoke at the Orillia Museum of Art and History. Supplied photo


Dr. Harry Hall, a raconteur extraordinaire, personable, humorous, and easy to listen to, shared fascinating anecdotes from his life as an athlete, student, doctor, lifelong learner, and traveller at the Jan. 15 History Speakers Evening at the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH). The evening passed very quickly.

Many former patients and colleagues attended his talk. The level of respect and affection in the room made for a warm and positive atmosphere.

Hall’s stories were punctuated by personal adventure, careful observation, both happy and sad outcomes, lessons learned and wisdom. All the elements of a good tale were present. Taking us back through his medical history, he recounted diagnoses made on the basis of knowledge and experience, before digital technology made body imaging a key source of diagnosis.

Hall’s gifted photographs, done while practising medicine in isolated communities in New Zealand, northern Ontario and the Northwest Territories of Canada, among other places, reveal his love of unspoiled terrain. In 2021, an exhibit of his superb photography will be presented at OMAH and is not to be missed.

No surprise that The Tales of Dr. Harry: Retired Rural and Family Doctor, a memoir recently written by Hall, is an absolutely riveting book. At least one person went home after Hall’s talk and read 100 pages. It is available for purchase at the OMAH gift shop and Manticore Books.

Hall’s advice to us all was, “Find out what makes you happy and pursue that.” His own life, in its ninth decade, is testament to the wisdom inherent in that prescription.

Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 19, to hear John Merritt, a member of the OMAH History Committee, speak about the historic Oro Black settlement and the Oro African Episcopal Church, a small, single-room log structure that served as the centre for the local black community. Learn about how the community rallied to save it. Merritt received the Simcoe County Historical Association’s Andrew Hunter Award for his Laurentian University paper about the Black settlement. He has researched, written and spoken about the Oro Black settlement for many years.

Admission is free for the History Speaker Evenings, but donations to OMAH are appreciated. Doors open at 7 p.m. and talks begin at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome.



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