In this second column, Mr. Larry Oberly and this writer are reading a memory book and looking at 1937 photos of Dr. Charles Haff, founder of the former Haff Hospital on Laubach Avenue, now the Northampton Area School District administration building.
Dr. Haff’s great-grandson, Scott Haff, is sharing family memories and photographs with our readers. In our last column, we wrote about Dr. Haff’s valuable musical instrument collection, highlighted by his prized Stradivarius violin. We thank Scott for allowing us to use this wonderful chapter of Northampton and Cement Belt history.
Dr. Haff’s Cremona String Quartet presented numerous concerts to many organizations. The quartet gave concerts before 400 guests at the Allentown Woman’s Club, Palmerton Concourse Club, Zion Lutheran Church, Perkasie Woman’s Club, Northampton Junior High, St. Paul’s Reformed Church and Trinity Reformed Church. They even performed at Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.
Dr. Haff was also a gifted public speaker who spoke at many different venues. Here are some of his speaking engagements:
In April 1937, he was the graduating speaker at Schuylkill Haven High School. His theme was “Clean Living.” Dr. George Eichler, Northampton superintendent, formerly from Pine Grove, accompanied Dr. Haff.
Dr. Haff spoke at the Nazareth Rotary; Kiwanis Club, Easton; Cedar Crest College; and Palmerton PTA.
Records show he spoke at practically every Rotary Club in the Lehigh Valley.
Dr. Haff was very proud of his son, Donald W. Haff. Donald graduated from Northampton High School in 1928. He graduated from Lehigh University and Harvard University, then interned for two years at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. There, his training included surgery, pediatrics and gynecology. Upon graduation, Donald joined his father at the Haff Hospital.
We also found the 1939 annual report of the Haff Hospital. The report shows an increase of 123 patients, 242 males, 293 females; the most since the opening of the hospital in 1922.
The hospital purchased a home on Laubach Avenue to house the nurses in training. They formerly lived in the hospital.
We were fortunate to have many of the speeches that were presented by Dr. Haff. In reading them, one can see his philosophy of concern for his patients and the communities the hospital served.
In our next column, we will attempt to share his philosophy with you.