The Southern Cross : August 2011
August 2011 Page 5 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross news | Never-ending night duty shifts, polishing metal bed pans and the watchful eye of Sister Clare Cartwright are just some of the memories that will be shared by past nurses from Calvary Hospital at their 75th birthday reunion next month. The School of Nursing operated by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary dates back to 1900 but the first meeting of the Calvary Past Nurses Association was held in the Balfours Tea Rooms in Rundle Street on October 3, 1936. One of the early graduates still actively involved in the association, Mrs Terry Omond OAM, 83, recalled leaving her home in Peterborough as a 17 year old in 1945 to start her training as a registered nurse. She earned 10 shillings a week and had one day off a week but sometimes didn't know which day until she turned up for duty. As for night shift, this never lasted less than three months and went from 8pm till 8.30am. But Mrs Omond's over-riding memory of living and working at Calvary is one of great friendship. "Just being there all together and the friendships we made -- there were seven of us in our group and four of us still here in Adelaide are as close today as we were then," she said. "Some of the Sisters were real task masters but it was for our own good and Sister Clare was a wonderful tutor." After having a family, Mrs Omond returned to Calvary to undertake a refresher course in 1970 and ended up staying for 15 years, including five years as a tutor, and then spent another 15 years working in the kiosk. As president of the Association for 20 years, Mrs Omond was instrumental in helping to establish a museum at the hospital. Opened in 1991 it comprises old photos, instruments and models dressed as sisters. (Unfortunately a human skeleton nicknamed Charlie was stolen from the museum in 1997.) Current president, Jill Hutt, who followed in her mother's footsteps and trained at Calvary from 1966 to 1970, said there had been a lot of changes by the time she arrived at the nurses' home with much improved working conditions. "It was a brilliant place to train and a great experience," she said. "The sisters were very intelligent tutors and very well educated." The Association was originally formed to raise money for a sick nurses' fund in the days before there was no Medicare system and over the years it has supported a number of fund-raising initiatives such as buying the nuns their first car, humid cribs and for the Mary Potter Hospice. Despite the training school closing in 1980, the association's events continue to be well- attended and there are 284 members on the mailing list. Mrs Omond said the 75th anniversary celebrations would be a great chance to catch up and reminisce. "You'll think you're at a chook parlour at the show," she laughed. Anyone interesting in attending the dinner at the Glenelg Golf Club on September 9 can call Mrs Omond on 8239 0203 or email her at dougaljd@ optusnet.com.au Nursing friendships thrive Jenny Brinkworth REMINISCING: Jill Hutt and Terry Omond look over old photos as they prepare for the 75th birthday of the Calvary Past Nurses Association being held in September. Below: The first graduating class of nurses from 1905. MacKillop College Kensington Mary M Thursday 8 September, 8am know more do more be more . Principal's Breakfast &School Tour Please book by phoning the Principal's Secretary on 8333 6300 10-14 High Street, Kensington SA 5068 www.marymackillop.sa.edu.au Bea MacKillop girl...