Herschel Davidner’s charitable legacy

Tyler Clarke
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A new portable ultrasound machine is seen at the Victoria Hospital, donated on behalf of the estate of Herschel Davidner, represented in the photo by his son, Les, and wife, Jean. Pictured in the back are emergency room physicians Louis Coertze and Annelie van Rensburg. 

More than a year after his death, Herschel Davidner has found away of improving his lifelong community of Prince Albert.


Represented by his son Les and wife Jean, the Herschel Davidner estate announced the donation of a $40,000 portable ultrasound machine on Friday.

“He was interested in helping everyone, that one,” Jean said of her husband of 57 years. “There was nobody who came to Herschel, as far as I knew, that he would turn down -- it’s just what he did.”

Les said that he grew up with his father’s keen eye on community stewardship -- something Les has been happy to see continue to fruition through Herschel’s estate.

“He was a frequent contributor to a lot of stuff, and the hospital was one of those,” Les explained. “They looked after him and he wanted to look after them.”

“Prior to that, they looked after his mother and his dad,” Jean noted.

“They’ve looked after his kids and his grandkids and his wife,” Les added. “It’s that whole ‘Give where you live in the community.’

“If you’re in the community, be part of that community. Everybody benefits when everybody contributes, and I think my dad is a perfect example of that.”

The portable ultrasound machine is something emergency room physicians have wanted for a long time, Dr. Louis Coertze told the Davidners.

“It will help all of the ER physicians to make diagnosis much quicker -- especially on the evenings and the weekends, where we’ve had to call ultrasound in.”

There was nobody who came to Herschel, as far as I knew, that he would turn down -- it’s just what he did. Jean Davidner

Although ultrasound is most commonly linked with helping doctors see unborn fetuses, they’re also an important tool during life-threatening crisis.

In situations such as medical trauma, doctors use ultrasounds to see what is going on inside the patient without having to make an incision.

Although they’ve made do without one to this point, Dr. Annelie van Rensburg said that now that the device has been made available to them, patient care will improve at Victoria Hospital.

Until now, patients have had to go to a separate room to receive an ultrasound. This new portable machine allows ultrasounds to occur at bedside.

“We’re excited to have it because that’s the standard of care all around Canada, so we can finally introduce that to the population of P.A.,” van Rensburg concluded.

Satisfied with the medical equipment his father’s estate was able to purchase, Les said that he’s confident his father’s wishes have been fulfilled.  

“I think he would have smiled and felt a lot of pride and been happy knowing that it’s money well spent.”

Herschel Davidner was best known in the community for his long-time ownership of Davidner’s Clothing Western Wear -- a family business that closed this year after operating in downtown Prince Albert for 81 years.

Organizations: Davidners, Victoria Hospital

Geographic location: Canada

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