"The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth." Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell
Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell (born Feb. 28, 1865, Parkgate, Cheshire, Eng., died Oct. 9, 1940, Charlotte, Vt., U.S.) was a medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador.

While still a medical student at London University in 1887, Grenfell was impressed by the sermons of the American evangelist Dwight L. Moody and, in the same year, joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. During the next five years he served as surgeon on the first hospital ship dispatched to the North Sea fisheries, and in 1892 he initiated missionary service to the fishermen of Labrador. He soon became absorbed in improving the living conditions of the inhabitants of the Labrador coast, and he undertook to raise funds from numerous speaking tours and popular books.

After withdrawal of the Royal National Mission's support in 1912, he founded the International Grenfell Association, with branches in England, the United States, Newfoundland, and other parts of Canada. Largely because of this organization's efforts, when Grenfell retired after more than 40 years of service in 1932, there existed in Labrador 6 hospitals, 4 hospital ships, 7 nursing stations, 2 orphanages, 2 large schools, 14 industrial centres, and a cooperative lumber mill. He also opened the King George V Seamen's Institute in St. John's, N.L., in 1912. He was knighted in 1927.

In the late 1970's when it became apparent that the IGA had become managers of government funding, and people of the region wanted more participation in the management of their health care, the IGA decided to reorganize its focus. In 1981, the IGA turned all of its medical care assets - nursing stations, hospitals, equipment and land pertinent to that service over to the provincial government for the sum of $1.00.

Today, the IGA is still involved in bettering the lives of the residents of northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador through its annual awarding of grants in the region. The source of funds for these grants are the endowment funds of three supporting associations - Grenfell Association of America in New York, New England Grenfell Association in Boston, and the Grenfell Association of Great Britain and Ireland in London, England.

"The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth." - Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell