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Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing History


First Class

THE CLASS OF 1910
THE FIRST GRADUATING CLASS FROM THE HOLY CROSS SCHOOL OF NURSING

Insert - Marie Caroline (Melitta) Berg, Mrs. Harry Francis Fletcher ( June 24, 1885 - April 2, 1979); Left - Alma Marie Martin, Mrs. Arthur W. McGuire (November, 1889 - April 7, 1988); Elsie Aurora Black, Mrs. Lorne Garfield McQuade (June, 1888 - May 21, 1974); Blanche Florence Currance, Mrs. John William McKay (October 4, 1887 - May 13, 1971); Margaret Ellen (Maggie) Brown (1884 - January 16, 1951) Maggie was also the first nurse to graduate from the Holy Cross School of Nursing in 1910 (six months ahead of her class); Ellen (Nellie Helen) Whalley, Mrs. George Hunter (May 24, 1892 - October 16, 1957).

Home for Three years- exerpts taken from Nuns and Nightingales 75th Anniversary book

In 1920 Waterloo Hall and Forbes home, neighboring apartment buildings north of the hospital, were purchased and remodelled into nurses' residence. The two buildings were joined together with the addition of a large reception area, which was furnished by the Sister Superior's family.

In 1921, seventy-five young women moved into their new quarters, which were reputed to be the finest in the Province. The publicity report said that bedrooms, with one, two or three beds, were "air conditioned." Students who lived in the residence knew better. The only air conditioning was supplied by windows that opened from both bottom and top.

The big excitement around the residence in 1930 was an infestation, brought into the home in students' trunks and clothes. Fumigators to the rescue! Because bugs don't care for starched uniforms, they didn't spread to the hospital and the Holy's reputation was spared.

In 1931, an addition increased capacity of Waterloo Hall by twenty-two beds.

St. Gertrudes Residence

St Gertrude's Residence

St Gertrude's Residence, a wing of the 1907 hospital which was transplanted nearer the river in later renovations, became home to probies in the 50's. They felt ostracized in the rickety, three-storey building with its flimsy partitions between tiny rooms, steel beds and thin mattresses. Mrs Swingle was housemother until lights out, when another conveniently deaf Sister slept in the residence as official chaperone. Memories of St Gerts are of the scuttling of mice, ugly spiders, and chocolate cake feasts at midnight in the smoking room/kitchen.

By the mid-'50's, Waterloo Hall had become decrepit. The only ghost of its former glory was its still-intimidating reception room. Students were allowed to paint their rooms in the soon-to-be demolished Waterloo. Colors chosen ranged from Kelly green to ebony-technicolor proof that the Sisters had been wise to stick with a neutral beige all those years.

The class of 1960 was the only one to live in all three Holy Cross residence - St Gertrude's Waterloo Hall, and the residence which opened in 1957.

New Nurses Residence

New Nurses Residence built 1957

The basement and first floor of the new 8 storey, $1.5 million residence held lecture rooms, demonstration rooms, labs, faculty offices, beaux rooms for visitors, a chapel and auditorium. Nuns quarters were on the seventh floor.

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