Dr. Charles David Baird was born on the 12th of June, 1914 in Blenheim, Ontario. His parents were William James Baird and the former Bertha Eleanor Hall. His father, W.J. Baird was a well-known citizen of Blenheim. Mr. Baird was a teacher and become the principal of the local school in Blenheim in 1900. In 1916 Mr. Baird became the postmaster in Blenheim but he served for 40 years on the Blenheim Public School Board. In 1951 a new public school was built on King Street in Blenheim and it was named, W. J. Baird Public School after Dr. Baird’s father. Dr. Baird had an older sister named Jean.
Dr. Baird was educated at the Blenheim Public School and the Blenheim High School. Dr. Charles Baird attended Queen’s University and graduated M.D.,C.M. in 1941. He did post-graduate studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and London University in London, England and the University of Toronto.
Dr. Baird first practiced medicine replacing Dr. Wilbert “Harold” Orr in Ridgetown for 6 months. He practiced in Highgate for 1 1/2 years before specializing in eye, ear, nose and throat in Owen Sound, Ontario in 1952. Before going to Chatham, Dr. Baird practiced Ophthalmology in Sarnia for a short time. Dr. Baird purchased the practice of Dr. Bryce Kendrick in July of 1953. (Dr. Kendrick had retired and moved to Windsor.)
Dr. Baird’s office was located at 43 Victoria Ave., in Chatham. Dr. Baird was Chief of Ophthalmology at the Public General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was a member of the Kent County Medical Society and he served as President in 1959.
Dr. Baird married Margaretta ‘Ruth’ MacDonald. She was born on the 1st of August, 1919 in Chatham, the daughter of Leland Scobie MacDonald and the former Harriett Goodlad. Her father was a telegraph operator and she had a younger brother named Lee. In 1921, the MacDonald family was residing at 184 Adelaide Street in Chatham. Mrs. Baird graduated as a Registered Nurse, from the Public General Hospital School of Nursing in 1940.
Dr. and Mrs. Baird had 2 daughters, Linda and Andrea.
Dr. Baird was a member of the United Church and he was a 32nd Degree Mason. He enjoyed golfing, sailing and stamp collecting. Dr. Baird was also an accomplished artist.
Dr. Baird died on the 9th of November, 2005 and he was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, in Blenheim. Mrs. Baird died on the 7th of December, 2007 in London, Ontario.
*Dr. George Bryce Kendrick and Dr. Wilbert “Harold” Orr also appear on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**His father-in-law Leland Scobie McDonald enlisted in WWI on the 23rd of October, 1917, but he did not serve overseas. His unit demobilized a few months after his enlistment.