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February 2014.

Since the closure of the Holy Cross Hospital the Alumni have been the custodians of articles including pins, graduation photographs, publications, uniforms, caps etc. sent to them by Graduates in the hope that they would be kept for historical purposes.

In late January 2014 the Executive met with an Archivist/Curator from Alberta Health Services Archives and Historical Collections. This Department evolved from Calgary Health Region Archives established to house articles from hospitals in Calgary and across the Province in 2008. AHG Archives & Historic Collections became responsible for preserving historically significant material from across Alberta.

The Alumni Association received a note from the Curator expressing thank you for the opportunity to view the Holy Cross Alumni Association's collection of publications, graduation photographs, and artifacts during his visit with the Executive on January 31, 2014. "This is truly a fine collection of materials that have been preserved by Holy Cross Hospital nurses over the decades, and these are historically significant items that reflect a pivotal times in the history of the Holy Cross Hospital. These materials will be an invaluable asset for researchers, and substantially increase the information available here about nursing studies and training at the Holy Cross Hospital." The Executive feel that this collection of treasured memorabilia and artifacts will be secure at this site and preserved for the future.

Address: Alberta Health Services Archives and Historical Collections.
1117 - 55 Avenue NE.
Calgary, AB. T2E 6W1
403 943 - 9641
Please contact a member of the Alumni Executive with any questions about the Archives.

History of the Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Archives

  • April 1966: Archival Committee: Mrs. D. Fox and Mona Sparrow.
  • November 1966: Four persons volunteered to make uniformed dolls.
  • November 1968: Archive Committee: Mrs. F. Quaife and Mona Sparrow.
  • April 1969: Mrs. F. Quaife reported a storage area was required for artefacts etc. that have been donated. Chrissie Hammer on Archive Committee.
  • 1970: Two show cases donated by Glenbow Foundation to Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae.
  • May 1970: Two dolls were o
  • n display at the "Blossom Tea". These dolls and the two Gray Nuns dolls were donated by Sr. F. Dussault of Edmonton.
  • March 1971: Mrs. Whitford, Eileen Walshaw and Chrissy Hammer met with Mrs. Jamieson, archivist at Glenbow Library and Archives. A tour and information was given on how to catalogue, file, and how to preserve papers and photos.
  • At regular meeting of Alumnae Association, a report on the Archives Committee was given by Mrs. C. Hammer. Motion was put forth and passed to purchase a cabinet for the archives.
  • August 1971: A suitable cabinet made by Atlantic Pacific Cabinets with glass doors and two keys ($35.00) was delivered to the Nurses Residence and placed in Nurses Lounge.

September 1971: Mrs. Whitford arranged a display of donated items in the archives cabinet for the Alumnae meeting. The Alumnae had a good number of donations for the archive cabinet. Billy Nicholson catalogued the items and the two keys would be held by Chrissy Hammer and Eva Templeton.

Chrissy Hammer, chairman of Archive Committee Blue Room in the residence for Alumnae use. Archives were displayed in Blue Room until 1982.

November 1974: Pins received from:

  • Betty McQuaid - her mother's graduation pin
  • Molly Wilson - her mother's graduation pin
  • Rosemary Batdorf- her mother's graduation pin
  • Olive Zimmerman's - pin and medal for bandaging

February 1975: 1929 Class picture donated.

September 1976: Alumnae voted that some materials to be returned over the Provincial archives. Glenbow received paper and pictures.

1976 - 1987: Archives Committee: Lee McAlpin, chairman, Marg Guta, Barb Nesselbeck, and Dolores Bramall.

1982: Due to renovations and reallocation of space in the Nurses' residence, the Alumnae archival material was put into storage for two years.

1984: Room 608-601 renovated for Alumnae room. Archives set up in display cabinets, art and other pictures placed on walls.

1987: Archives Committee: Margaret Stewart (Morris 1949) and Virginia Matovich (Waldie 1949).

1993: Holy Cross Hospital will be closing, archival material to be relocated. CRHA couldn't give us a permanent place to store or display our archives, so Glenbow Museum, Grey Nuns Regional Centre and the AARN were contacted.

November 1994: Ella Benner, Lee McAlpin, Rita Williamson and Margaret Stewart met with Douglas Cass, senior archivist, and Francis Roback, curator at Glenbow Museum, in regard to donating our archives to the Museum.

Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Douglas Cass and Francis Roback visited our archives display to assess what materials would be suitable for the Glenbow Museum.

Glenbow was prepared to receive most of our collection, so the Alumnae agreed to allow them to have first choice of the artefacts etc. The Grey Nuns Regional Centre only wanted a few select items for their collection.

January 18, 1995: Francis Roback, curator at Glenbow Museum, met with Ella Benner, President, Rita Williamson, Vice Present, and Margaret Stewart, Archives Chairman of the Alumnae in the Alumnae Archives Room, Grey Nuns Building to select items from Alumnae Archives for the Glenbow Museum. 192 items - artefacts, books and papers were accepted as gifts from the Holy Cross Alumnae to the Glenbow Museum.

1995-1998: Disposal of Alumnae Archives

  • Glenbow Museum - 192 items
  • Grey Nuns Regional Centre, Edmonton - 6 items
  • Returned to members - 5 items
  • Auctioned at Alumnae luncheon in May 1995 - 24 items (some uncatalogued)
  • Text books (duplicate) sent to Interfaith to be sent overseas - 5 items
  • Remainder of items to CRHA Archives at Colonel Belcher Veterans Care Centre - 36 items
  • Display cabinets were given to Christ Church to display their archives. Eva Templeton (Heaver 1947) is their archivist

2000: Dolores Bramall (Tench 1958) replaced Virginia Matovich (Waldie 1949) on Archives Committee.

Originally, photos, artifacts and memorabilia were preserved in the Blue Room in the Grey Nuns Building, permanent home of the organization, but are no longer there. Papers and records of historical significance have been donated to both the Glenbow Archives and the University of Calgary's Rare Books and Special Collections.

Currently, some of the archives are located at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the AARN now called CARNA took some of them and some are on the walls of the Holy Cross corridor at the Rockyview Hospital in Calgary.

Contact: Dolores Bramall (Tench 1958)
Phone: 403-252-3416
Email: Dolores Bramall


Lucille Horne (Hawkins 1962) started a project on our 100th anniversary (2007) to index a record of our deceased Alumnae members so that future genealogist, biographers and historians would benefit from this preservation of the history of our school of nursing.

Lucille wrote the following in a letter to the Alumnae: "This project began as an index, to accompany "Nuns and Nightingales", but has evolved into a brief biographical sketch (where possible) of each deceased Holy Cross Hospital Graduate. The cliché of 'receiving more than giving' has been magnified many times while undertaking this project. Young women from all backgrounds responded to the 'call of duty', going on to excel, not only in the field of nursing, but becoming leaders in their communities, in the arts, as authors, served on political committees, as volunteers, as advocates, and where ever a need was identified. Each one has a unique and fascinating story. Researching these stories has been an interesting and learning experience, assisted by alumnae members; who answered emails requesting class lists; those who searched and photocopied Graduation Programs; made cold calls to family members; lent their yearbooks; forwarded obituaries; and provided me with the master list from the alumnae records. Without fail, family members, who were approached for information, responded with a most gracious letter describing their Holy Cross Nurse. Cemetery clerks have all been equally cooperative and helpful by providing death/burial dates."

Regretfully, we are a vanishing species and someday a newspaper headline will announce a birthday or death of the last Holy Cross Graduate. However, thanks to the foresight of the Bronze Commemorative committee, we will not be forgotten, as the hand written names of all the Graduates has been placed in a time capsule in the base of the 'Nuns and Nightingales' Statues.

This is work in progress and we request that you support this undertaking by keeping your alumnae informed of those who have gone to that special place in heaven.

The Alumnae "Courtesy Committee" also sends condolences from the Alumnae to family members. Lucille (Hawkins 62) Horne.

Update: Unfortunately Lucille passed away (2016 August 11) before she completed her searching. However, her husband Neil has given the alumnae all her files!

Pat (Jensen 78) Jeffery has now started to put the information on each Holy grad into a database computer programme that can add photos and all the information that Lucille had collected. She has been inputting all of Lucille's files into that programme--using Lucille's flash drive and hard copy information. She & I are also putting the information in a hard copy "labelled sleeve" for each grad with all the information collected -- any life history, obituary, the original card, newspaper articles about them, and any other tidbits that we know about that grad will be in that sleeve. Everything indexed in one place. We will file them in a file box that would then be available when completed in one of three places; the Provincial Archives, the Glenbow Museum or CARNA- the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. (to be decided at a later date!) Pat (Stark 61) Bowers


When I attended the funeral for Joan Gallagher (53) last fall, I was amazed by all the things Joan had done in her life. I never knew. And sadly, I only learned of all these amazing anecdotes, at her memorial service. As I told many of you who attended the Alumnae banquet in September 2018, for the past two years, Pat Bowers and I have been compiling information on all Holy Cross School of Nursing graduates. This undertaking, known as the "Ancestry Project", had originally been started in 2007 by fellow alumni Lucille Horne (Hawkins 62). Lucille had always wanted to know what happened to each of the Holy Grads. Every nurse has a story to tell and Lucille literally became a detective as she took it upon herself to track down as much information as she could. Using the internet and the provincial archives in search of old newspaper articles, sadly, much of the information Lucille was able to gather came from obituaries. And sometimes, the info in the obits was either sparse or incorrect or both.

In honour of Lucille, Pat and I are hoping to carry on her dream of collecting biographies on each of the 2000+ Holy Cross grads. But we need your help.

We don't want to learn about your amazing life from your obituary. We would much rather hear it direct from you. Thus we would appreciate it tremendously if you or your family could send us a brief bio. Things to include: date of birth, place of birth, where you grew up, what you did after nursing school, marriage details, did you ever work as a nurse and where, any higher learning as in obtaining a degree, hobbies, interesting things you have done. Photos would be wonderful too. You or your family can forward your bio to us via letter or email, whatever is easiest for you.

Ancestry Project
c/o Pat Bowers (Stark 61)
327 Deer Run Crescent SE
Calgary AB T2J 5N9
E-Mail Pat

Once completed, the data we collect (electronic and hard copy) will be given to the Glenbow Museum to be added to their historical archives.

We can't wait to read your amazing stories.
Pat Jeffery (Jensen 78)

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