Left to right: Isabel Haslam, Roberta Butcher, Nancy Robinson, Marvyn Banks, Jan Hunter, Lorraine Paul, Karol Grainger, Florence Bonyun.
One flew in from Australia. Others drove in from London, Toronto, Kitchener, Michigan and places in between. Eight graduates from the McMaster Nursing Class of 1968 gathered at The Old Mill in Ancaster on May 3, 2017 and spent the day catching up on what’s been happening in their lives since their last meeting.
Lorraine (Brisbin) Paul is the alumna from Australia. “We originally started meeting every ten years,” she says, “but after 40 years we thought it would be good to meet more frequently with those who could attend. The mini reunions have often been scheduled to coincide with my trips to Canada and we have 8-12 attend each time.”
Her career in nursing began in the field of public health where she worked for nine years. “My first job was with the Kitchener-Waterloo Health department,” she says, “where I covered a rural area. After four years there, I moved to Toronto where I spent about one year doing district work and then went to Sick Kids as a liaison public health nurse. That was a fabulous job -- very rewarding and challenging. I moved to Edmonton and joined the health department there and worked in a lower socioeconomic area - once again rather challenging. Then I became a mother, had a second child, and moved to Australia. When I moved to Australia in 1982, university-trained nurses were virtually unheard of and I was faced with having to take far too many courses to be able to return to public health nursing. I changed careers and began working with the ethics committees at the University of Western Australia -- a job where my nursing background was a definite advantage.”
Back Row: Marvyn (Byrnes) Banks; Jan (MacLean) Kron; Judy (Whitcher) Johnson; Lorraine (Brisbin) Paul; Jan (Greenwood) Hunter; Karen Chalmers; Louise (Green) Scott; Isabel (Starley) Haslam; Roberta (Reid) Butcher; Florence (Shiraishi) Bonyun; Charleen (Smith) Evans
Front Row: Judy (Crowder) Loree; Jane (Buchan) Wellwood; Karol (Caudle) Grainger; Gloria (Whitfield) Beamer; Birute (Kybartas) Kvedaras; Nancy (McIlwraith) Robinson; Carol (Corlis) McMaster; Judy (Gillard) Furry.
Isabel (Starley) Haslam, another graduate of the Class of 1968, also enjoyed a career with “a lot of diversity”, which included working for the VON in Waterloo, teaching, and research. “Later, in Montreal, I went back to Concordia and became a Family Life Educator,” she says. “I got involved in the creation and setup of A Restorative Unit for people waiting for Long Term Care, and became very active in planning and implementing support groups for palliative, bereaved and chronic caregivers.” She was seconded to LTC Ministry to assist in implementing the RAI assessment as a Core Educator. Before retiring, she worked as an Educator at the Guelph CCAC as an Educator and continues to run support groups for the grieving.
The group plans to celebrate their 50th anniversary next year but the exact venue is yet to be decided. “We are planning a weekend away somewhere,” says Lorraine Paul. “We are giving some serious thought about what we do and where.”