Reunions provide the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and former colleagues, share our stories and enjoy great conversation and company.
The stories below highlight just a few of our many reunions to date. If you would like to include your stories, or organise a reunion for your year group, contact Jill McKenna, Events Managers on Tel: (03) 9288 3287.
In October 2009, our September 1955 PTS and spouses enjoyed our annual ‘get away’ for three days together in Bendigo. The trip was wonderfully organised by Bev Elliott and Gavan. Rita Phillips and Noel are planning the next get-together.
For the last 25 years we have experienced annual events ‘somewhere’ as couples, while the girls also enjoy twice-yearly lunches. Fifty years plus, ‘in touch’ and with many happy friendships.
Phyl Naughton (Commons)
March and May 1959
On Saturday 18 April 2009, a 50th year celebration lunch was held at the Park View Hotel on St Kilda Rd, combining the PTSs of March and May 1959. Of the 37 invitees, 27 accepted and four sent their apologies. Participants came from Deniliquin, South Australia, Tasmania and many regional and suburban areas. A most enjoyable time was had by all and plans were tentatively made for a further reunion to celebrate 50 years since graduation. We were able to support the Graduate Nurses' Association through the purchase of several books and many aprons. St Vincent's holds a special place in our hearts and memories.
In September 2009 a group of ten girls attended a lunch for Mary Fagan (Quinlan), who was in Melbourne visiting from England where she has lived for many years. The group included Margaret Keogh, Mary Arter (Doherty), Brenda Ryan, Marea Corrigan (Cuereden), Frances Noye (Connellan), Mary Hevern, Margaret Klages (Rasmussen), Margaret Lowden (Dunn), Mary Fagan (Quinlan) and Kate Cross (Kathryn Hewitt Nov’61).
With a few glasses of champagne and lots of fun and laughter, a great time was had by all by going over the times spent at St Vincent's and sharing family photos and life experiences spent in different parts of the globe since those days. Time has gone so quickly.
It is amazing how the ‘grapevine’ works. We were able to contact all but one of the 30 or 32 very naive young girls from everywhere who walked through the doors of the Nursing Home in March 1964. Of these, 22 were able to attend our Reunion held in October 2009.
It was just like coming back from holidays at the end of each year. There was so much to tell each other. We have all ‘worn’ very well and recognised each other – though we had name tags just in case! Our life stories were varied, interesting and in some cases amazing. Some have endured more heartache than others, but present in the room was this feeling of survival and awe at how they had managed to ‘come out the other side’. There was much laughter and it seems that the ‘defining part of our education’ was the trip to Surfers Paradise at the end of second year. The screams of laughter from little groups scattered around the room as they swapped stories were terrific.
The time went all too quickly. For a group photo we all tried to stand in the same position as our original graduation photo, and we left an empty seat in the middle for ‘absent friends’. The next morning, along with our partners, a few people were able to meet again for brunch. Astonishingly, as some of us stood at the counter to place our orders, who should walk in to have a ‘quiet’ breakfast with friends but Miss Evans – Carmel Evans, one of the night supers during our time. She couldn’t believe it. She has not changed one bit. We might add it was not a quiet breakfast as there was lots of noise and laughter coming from the other side of the restaurant!
We left each other with plans to meet again in March 2014 to celebrate our fiftieth year of ‘first meeting each other’. We plan to have the reunion at The Heritage Centre, as it is central with ramps for wheelchairs and handrails to negotiate the footpaths. We just might need them!