At the hospital he is still called Mr. St. Vincent, and with good reason.
Employed for 50 years prior to seven more as a volunteer, John Sinkovic, 72, of Leyborne Street, rates as the longest-tenured employee and volunteer presently working at the institution.
“I always say I mopped my way to an administrative position,” he said.
He began in 1943, retiring in 1993 as an X-ray administrator in charge of nine departments and approximately 100 employees.
When Mr. Sinkovic first went to the hospital, it was operated by 20 sisters, a number now reduced to two, he said. In appreciation of his long service, he was awarded a two-week trip to Africa, added to an earlier award of a journey to Alaska after 40 years of affiliation.
A graduate of Woodward High School, Mr. Sinkovic mastered his technique on the job. He learned to mix chemicals in the X-ray lab, then was taught how to do simple X-rays. From then on, he moved steadily up the executive ladder, easily taking and passing his state technician examinations.
He's had many interesting on-the-job experiences, he said, but one he will never forget is the time he delivered twin babies.
“I was taking an X-ray of a pregnant woman when suddenly she cried that her baby was coming,” he recalled. “I told her not to bear down, but it was too late,” he said.
“The babies were born. I called emergency but we had quite a time before the nurses arrived.”
In his volunteer work at the hospital, one day a week, he delivers flowers to hospital patients and he is on call for special occasions.
Last Christmas Mr. Sinkovic again acted as Santa Claus for employees, distributing 3,000 candy canes and other gifts. “I wore a Santa suit 13 hours straight without a break,” he said.
He collects old coins and stamps, but wild game hunting always has been his favorite sport. He was a member of the Mudjaw Bowmen Club for nearly 40 years and president for 11 years.
Expert with a bow and arrow, Mr. Sinkovic successfully hunted deer, elk, and bear. His plans include another bear hunt this spring in Quebec.
He recently traveled to Cancun, and to the Florida Keys for scuba diving and snorkeling. In addition to hunting, he is an avid canoeist. He collects stamps and coins and is an Indian feather painter. Whether at work or in recreation, life has been interesting, he said.
“Time is too short for me to accomplish half the things I want to do,” he said.