There’s no doubt that special bonds are formed amongst nursing and other medical students during their years of training, but the Royal Victoria Hospital School of Nursing Class of ’69 is a testament to the friendships that can blossom and endure a lifetime.
“Year after year our alumni would all go out to dinner together, have tea time, things like that. And because I’m a nosey parker, I was often the one who organized it,” said Monica Bacon, a Class of ’69 alumnus and former nurse at the RVH for 20 years.
The Class of ’69 reunited on its own every five years since graduation in addition to the official reunions organized by the RVH Training School for Nurses, the last of which took place in 2010 and was attended by more than 800 graduates.
Since then the Class of ’69 gatherings have been the only chance for these former classmates to see one another, many of whom now live outside of Quebec. The most recent reunion took place this May in Montreal when they celebrated 45 years since graduating.
The two-day reunion was attended by alumni from as far away as British Columbia, California and Tahiti, and involved skits, a slideshow from 1969 to the present, a modelling of their original nurse uniforms, a dinner and brunch, and much reminiscing about fond memories, such as their shared frustration over the curfew imposed on them while living in the Nurses’ Residence.
“It’s an amazing experience – sitting next to some former classmates who you hardly knew all those years ago, you start gabbing and suddenly you realize that they’re amazing women,” she added. “Real connections are made here, I’ve made many new friends.”