On 9 March 1964, a group of 19 young women began their training at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh School of Nursing.
Fifty years later, 16 of those nurses met in Edinburgh to mark their anniversary, staying in the Quartermile development that has replaced the ‘Old Royal’ and meeting for a reunion dinner in the library at the New Club.
Members of the group have gone on to enjoy varied careers: two were made Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for their services to nursing; two became directors of nursing services; two lectured at university schools of nursing; one received a lifetime achievement award from her health authority; one practises alternative therapies; and others filled senior posts in the UK and beyond.
Irene Callaghan, one of the nurses, says: ‘The class members have remained in touch and meet regularly.
‘The weekend was spent revisiting “old haunts” of our training days, reminiscing on the strict rules of behaviour and some “fearsome sisters”, endless discussions about healthcare and, of course, our children and grand-children – some of whom have entered the nursing profession.
‘The high point, of course, was the celebration dinner, where we toasted 50 golden years and absent friends, and parted, already planning another reunion.’