- Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County - http://cabhc.ca -

100 Years Ago: Belleville Hospital Nurses’ Graduation

The Intelligencer January 15, 1916 (page 7)

“Graduating Exercises at Belleville Hospital. A number of ladies and gentlemen of the city yesterday afternoon assembled at the Belleville hospital for the purpose of witnessing graduation exercises. …  Previous to the exercises, the orchestra of the 80th Battalion rendered a number of selections which were much appreciated.

The three nurses who, having completed a three years’ course and graduated were Miss Crozier, of Lindsay, Miss Howard, of Port Hope, and Miss Mastin, of Belleville. These talented young ladies offered their services for overseas work in connection with hospital work and were accepted. All are expected to leave Canada in the near future and will be taken to Cairo, Egypt. …

Mr. J.W. Johnson, M.P.P., was asked to preside, and did so in his usual affable and able manner. The proceedings were opened by an appropriate prayer, being offered up by Rev. A.M. Hubly, rector of the Reformed Emmanuel church. …

Mr. Johnson then gave an address, speaking as follows: The great war …  has given those sons of Canada …  the opportunity to prove their valour and tenacity as soldiers. …  Equally with the great Canadian fighting man, the surgeon soldier and the soldier nurse from Canada have given proof of possessing skill and bravery, indifference to danger and devotion to duty such as were never even dreamed possible before the war began. Yesterday’s papers tell how the King has honored them and we are proud beyond expression to know that our Belleville’s Matron Ethel Ridley and Kingston’s Dr. Ross are among those whom his Majesty has chosen for signal distinction. …

Dr. MacColl was called upon to present the diplomas and did so in a most graceful manner. Previous to handing the nurses their diplomas, he spoke briefly, but appropriately. …  Upwards of 1,500 Canadian nurses have gone to the front and what a name they have made, not only for themselves but Canada. This was an auspicious occasion as the nurses receiving their diplomas had volunteered their services for the work of attending to the sick and wounded. What a noble work this was. …

The nurses were then presented with their diplomas by Dr. MacColl and Mrs. J.C. Moynes pinned a clasp pin upon each, stating she did so on behalf of the Hospital Board and the Women’s Christian Association. …  The graduates were each presented with beautiful bouquets by their sister nurses.”