New Year’s Babies

A few short days ago, Lethbridge welcomed its “Baby New Year of 2016”. The Baby New Year is a personification of the start of the New Year. They symbolize the "birth" of the next year and the "passing" of the prior year; in other words, a "rebirth". Baby New Year's purpose varies by myth, but would historically perform some sort of ceremonial duty over the course of the year such as attending events and presiding over the year as a symbol.

Many southern Albertan residents were born in the Galt Hospital now home to the Galt Museum & Archives - they are known as "Galt Babies." The historic building was constructed in 1910 in response to a growing need for more hospital beds. It added to the existing Galt Hospital built in 1891-92. From the time of its opening in September 1910 until June 1955, the building served the community as a hospital with wards, operating rooms, morgue and administrative offices. Senator Joyce Fairbairn and other important people in our community were born at the Galt Hospital. Being one of the oldest buildings in Lethbridge, the Galt is integral to the history of southern Alberta. Regrettably, when the Galt Hospital closed in 1955, the birth records were destroyed.

Fortunately, the history of the "Galt Museum & Archives Babies" is being preserved in files containing photographs and biographical information of people who were born in the Galt Hospital. In 2010 and 2011, an oral history project was designed by the Galt Museum & Archives to discover and preserve stories of people and activities that operated in the historic 1910 Galt Hospital building.
For more information on how to access history in our Collections and Arvhices, and stay learn about current events and activities at the Galt Museum & Archives visit