Visits that become more precious each year

In May 1958, over 70 young ladies graduated from a class of 100 at the School of Nursing at London’s Victoria Hospital.

Sybil Mercer, Southampton; Janet Orr, Schomberg; Beth Henderson, Bermuda; Jean Kohli, Ottawa and Joan Pass, Cambridge

The school was Canada’s third nursing school that opened in 1893.  In 1954, a special dedication service was held in the chapel with 250 guests in attendance. The floor of the chapel was carpeted wall to wall with the gold carpet that was used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

In one student dorm, in 1958, there were eight young women in particular who bonded.

As often happens after graduation, everyone goes in a different direction.  These eight young women however, have stayed in touch for 60 years – through the good times and the sad.  They attended weddings and sometimes birthdays.

Today, there are only five left in the little group but they have remained very close friends.  Four recently retired and one is still nursing.

Each summer they gather in Southampton where one of them, Sybil Mercer, lives.  “Our town is a favorite,” says Mercer, “and this time we rode the S.S.Trolley to Port Elgin for the first time.”

“These visits become more precious each year,” adds Mercer.