Our Purpose

Our Purpose is to provide an organization for the graduates of the VGH School of Nursing and the UBC/VGH Collaborative programs:

  • to meet and share mutual interests
  • to connect at special events such as our Annual Luncheon
  • to receive financial assistance for continuing education
  • to preserve & display historical records & artifacts related to the School of Nursing, the Alumnae Assoc. & the Alumnae Building Society
  • to obtain other financial assistance

We rely on donations to support various programs including:

  • providing funds for scholarships and bursaries;
  • honouring alumnae with the Distinguished Alumnae Awards;
  • publishing our newsletter for alumnae and friends

Meet the Executive

The executive is elected at the annual meeting and serves for a one-year term.

Our job is to carry out the many functions of the Association and to be fiscally responsible for managing the finances. Income comes from membership fees and interest from investments. In addition to the positions of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, the remaining members chair the various committees.

We are always looking for more help.

Be a volunteer and join us in running our Association. Members are needed for every committee. You are welcome to attend our meetings held at 10:30 on the 4th Thursday in January, March, May, September & November. For more Information, contact us by phone or email – Welcome aboard!

History of our association:

A small group of dedicated graduates met in December 1908 and organized the VGH SON Alumnae Association. Initial membership was 12 and by the end of 1909, numbered 28.  The objectives were:

  • Promotion of unity, loyalty and good feeling among the graduates
  • Advancement of the interest in and upholding of the standards of the profession of nursing
  • Keeping in touch with the Alma Mater for mutual help

The beginning:

The first mention of an Alumnae reunion was in celebration of the 1923 graduating class – a resounding success.  Reunions continued to play a significant role as graduates gathered to share their memories.

Special reunions were held to mark milestones such as the School’s 50th anniversary in 1949, 75th in 1974 and the final closing of the School in 1998. Reunions continue as yearly events and an Annual Alumnae lunch is held in May attended by over 200 graduates.

The plight of nurses who became ill was uppermost in the minds of alums.  Efforts were undertaken to raise funds and in 1932, a Mutual Benefit Fund was established by the Association for members in good standing who paid an annual fee of $5.00. By 1938, $5,500 had been awarded. This fund operated until 1944, when other forms of health insurance were available.

This image is a photograph of the stained glass window in the Jim Pattison Pavilion. It was donated by us in celebration of the closure of the School in 1998 after 99 year of educating nurses.

A growing organization:

During the 1930s depression another fund was established – the Alumnae Nursing Fund – which provided jobs for private duty nurses as well as supplying much needed nursing care to patients.

In the 1940s a building fund was established which would  by the 1960s result in the construction of the Alumnae Manor – an apartment for retired VGH nurses who had poor pensions and were in need of affordable housing. It opened in 1964 and was sold in 2002.

The Christmas Cheer and Contingency Fund was also set up to provide small extras for members who were ill.

This evolved into the Friendship Fund which is still active.  Today the Cora Trethewey fund provides financial help.

A continuing legacy:

A bursary/loan fund was established in 1936 for post-graduate study and $400 was awarded in 1937. The program has continued and the Alumnae still operates a bursary fund for graduates.  In 2016 $11,250 was awarded to graduates, their children, and grandchildren. The first newsletter was published in 1938 and members continue to receive an annual one. An Archives Committee was formed in 1992 when an iron lung was donated to the Association. Since that time hundreds of items have been added to the collection. Donations to the archives enable us to continue this work.

Today the VGH SON Alumnae Association is a viable organization with 1100 members. It keeps in touch with graduates and is committed  to the 1908 objectives.  We rely on members to support the association. To ensure you continue to receive our publications and news, please renew/join for an annual fee of $20 – a real bargain!