Graduation Ceremony at the Memorial Hospital
The first ceremony of its kind to be held at the Hastings Memorial Hospital was the graduation ceremony, when a large number of relatives and friends, board members and staff assembled at the new Nurses’ Home to witness the presentation of medals and certificates to those nurses who had passed their final examination.
Miss Russell, matron of the hospital, opened the ceremony with a speech of welcome to the guests. She gave a resume of the events which led to the hospital becoming a training school three years ago. Other speakers were Miss Croft, Lady Superintendent of the Napier Hospital, Mr. W. E. Bate, chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Hospital Board, Mr. R. Harding, chairman of the Hastings Hospital Committee, and Dr. A. F. Marshall, senior medical officer. Sister Russell then pinned on the medals, and Mr Bate presented the certificates. The successful candidates were: Nurses G. E. Burgess, N. B. Couch, Q. D. Greenfield, E. I. Leipst and M. H. Walker.
Adding further distinction to the ceremony was the fact that all five graduates had secured honours – four in nursing technique and one in surgical nursing. In recognition of this, each graduate was presented with a book from the Hospital Board. In making the presentation, the chairman, Mr. Bate said that the fact of each candidate securing honours in her final examination was probably unique in the history of training schools in the Dominion. A further book was presented by Tutor – Sister George as a prize for the nurse who had shown the most improvement in practical and theoretical work during her first year of training, this being awarded to Nurse E. J. Fraser.
Staff Nurse Burgess replied on behalf of the graduates, and expressed thanks to Miss Russell, Sister George, the ward sisters and the doctors for their assistance and encouragement.
The ceremony closed with a recitation by Pupil-Nurse E. A. Harper, “The Florence Nightingale Pledge,” after which afternoon tea was served to the guests.