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1,096 Days
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Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing Affiliations

Between 1922 and 1962 over 9,000 people died in Alberta from all forms of tuberculosis. The seriousness of this disease in Canada really came into focus during World War One. During these war years Canada lost forty to fifty thousand people to the disease, almost as many as were lost in the war itself. As soldiers developed the disease and returned home they soon overtaxed what few sanitoria there were in Canada and the federal government had to react. In Alberta two small, exclusively military sanitoriums were set up- one in Wetaskiwin and a more important one in the mountains in Frank.

Baker Memorial Sanitorium
Baker Memorial Sanitorium

The san at Frank was the old converted CPR hotel and was opened in the fall of 1917.

The superintendent of the Frank Sanitorium was Capt. A. H. Baker who was eventually memorialized by the renaming of the Central Alberta Sanitorium (CSA) to the Baker Memorial Sanitorium, an isolated structure which sat directly opposite Bowness Park in Calgary.

In the early '50s, students affiliated at the Central Alberta Sanitorium, The Ponoka Mental Hospital and with the City Public Health Department. In 1955 the Cancer Clinic, the V.O.N., Prenatal clinic, and the Alberta Red Cross Hospital were offered as affiliations. Later the Children's Hospital and the Calgary Associate Clinic was added.
Ponoka Mental Hospital
Ponoka Mental Hospital 1961

Poem  that was given to Rita by G. Roden
Rita Williamson (McAleese '51) says that:
"I was a working at the Baker Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Bowness as a graduate waiting to write my RN's and then excited about attending the graduation ceremony. The author was a patient, G. Roden, there and he had met many nursing students who did their practicum at this centre. He gave this to me and I have held on to it since 1951."


To OUR H.C.H. GRADUATES....May 6th, 1951

Three long years of anxious waiting
Hurrying from wards to class
Hoping each examination
That your mark would be a pass.

Weary hours, studying textbooks
Lectures, theory, notes galore
And under strictest supervision
Actual work upon a floor.

You're face to face with pain and suffering
Sorrow too tugs at your heart
You'll see it through, you'll be a nurse
You made your mind up at the start.

Once that your probation's over
You've accomplished your first lap
Those four months were quite a struggle
But you won it, and your cap.

More lectures, theory, text and notebooks
Studying drugs, and bugs, and such
With hands in and out of disinfectant
Ruining the "skin you love to touch".

Baths and basins, medications
Pills and capsules, needles too
Trays to carry, bells to answer
There are so many things to do.

And up and down the halls you run
To the task in every room
There's always joy at life's beginning
But the end brings only gloom.

And in spite of weary hours
Days and weeks and months go by
Soon your training days are over
Graduation day is nigh.

You've made friends while you've been training
Friends with whom you've laughed and cried
They're the one's who'll share your gladness
When you're standing side by side.

In your caps and bibs and aprons
Gleaming white from head to toe
Hearts so full of joy, they're bursting!
Radiant faces all aglow.

Trembling hands will clasp your roses
When you're standing side by side
In your caps and bibs and aprons
That cannot be bought or sold.

You'll be given your diplomas
And your graduation pins
Which means you've won the victory
And you are at last - RN's

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