Class of 1967 nurses reunite in Kitchener for 50th reunion

The class of 1967 in the Kitchener Waterloo Hospital School of Nursing is returning to Kitchener for their 50th reunion. The multi-day event will include a tour at the Grand River Hospital.

'When we got in trouble, we did it together, every one of us'

The graduate class of 1967 at the Kitchener Waterloo School of Nursing is returning to Grand River Hospital for their 50th reunion. (Photo from Barbara Norris)

The summer of 1967 saw mischief at the Kitchener Waterloo Hospital School of Nursing. The school was building an emergency addition to the hospital. A red fence propped up to surround the construction site.

One evening, members of that year's graduating class went out to the fence and painted their names with white shoe polish. This act of boredom did not go over well with their Director of Nursing Ms. Beamish.

"We thought it would wash off but it didn't," said June Ventresca.

She recalled getting in trouble with her friends.

"When we got in trouble, we did it together, every one of us," she said. 

Her old friends from the class of 1967 are gathering in Kitchener for their 50th reunion on Wednesday. Over 40 alumni will tour the KW campus at Grand River Hospital and Kaufman building, their former on-site nursing residence.

"We've stayed extremely close," Ventresca said living on residence and working shifts at the hospital helped the class bond. "You see each other in your good days and bad days."

Snail mail instead of newsfeed

Keeping in touch wasn't as easy with alumni scattered across North America.

They made it work with a class newsletter, which included updates on everyone's lives so you wouldn't be out of the loop if someone got married or had a baby.

"Originally it was all through snail mail," said Sandra Latham, a member on the reunion planning committee. "We'd actually contribute money towards the stamps for whoever was doing the mailing."

The committee plans the reunions that happen every five years. This year's big 50 took over a year and a half to organize.

The reunion will begin tonight with an evening cocktail party. Celebrations will continue through Wednesday's tour and formal dinner, concluding on Thursday after a breakfast together.

Ventresca said this year's turnout is the biggest to date.

"There'll be a lot of talking," she said. "A lot of catching up."


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