On behalf of Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird, the Honourable Pierre Claude Nolin, Senator, unveiled a plaque of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada today commemorating the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Hersey Pavilion.
“For 70 years, the Hersey Pavilion housed an entire generation of nurses who came for training,” said Senator Nolin. “Health care is a priority for Canadians, and our Government is proud to recognize the contribution of front line health care workers. Today’s designation speaks to the professionalism of our nurses and recognizes their exceptional contribution to the development of health care in Canada.”
The Hersey Pavilion, one of the first nurses’ residences in Canada, symbolizes the development and recognition of nursing as a profession in the early 20th century. From 1907 until 1972, this building housed students from the Royal Victoria Hospital’s School for Nurses, who cared for hospital patients as part of their training. Named for Mabel F. Hersey, prominent nursing leader and the school’s superintendent from 1908 to 1938, the residence provided a home-like setting, where a pioneering generation of professional nurses lived, trained, and formed lasting ties.
The Royal Victoria hospital opened in December 1893. The hospital was built with contributions from Lord Mount Stephen and Lord Strathcona, and its name commemorates the jubilee of Queen Victoria, in 1887. Since its beginnings, the hospital has undergone many expansions, including the addition of the Hersey Pavilion, designed in a Châteaux style by the Maxwell brothers.
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises Canada’s Environment Minister about the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada’s history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of their historic value and creates public awareness about Canada’s rich cultural heritage, which must be preserved for present and future generations.
(Information also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room)