|The Nightingale Society|
|Newsletter||15 May 2016|
Report from Lynn McDonald, 15 May 2016
Apologies for some repetition with the CWFN email (some people are on only one or the other email list, and some items pertain to both).
I am back from an excellent two months in the U.K., giving talks (the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Assoc., Oxford-Brookes and Leeds), meeting with Nightingale supporters and signing up new members. and acquiring new material (from a private collection of Nightingale relatives and at the Bodleian Library).
Nightingale Memorial at St Margaret’s Church, East Wellow
I expected to attend, for the first time, and was invited to read a lesson at the annual Commemoration Service on May 8, thanks to the vicar, the Rev Chris Pettet. However, my trip was cut short by the death of my mother, at age 101 (we had a wonderful three week visit Feb-March before I left for the UK).
Eileen Magnello attended and enjoyed it enormously—there is great enthusiasm, naturally, for Nightingale in her home parish. A letter to the prime minister was circulated (see below) for signature, and many signed.
Letter to Prime Minister about Funding Seacole Statue
Prime Minister David Cameron, PC, MP
May 8, 2016
Dear Mr Cameron
We write with concern about the use of a £240,000 grant for a Mary Seacole statue at St Thomas’ Hospital. We do not object to Seacole being celebrated, but for the false description of her as a “Pioneer Nurse” and location of the statue at the hospital where Nightingale pioneered nurse training and professional nursing for the whole world.
Mrs Seacole was an enterprising and kind businesswoman, who ran a (for-profit) club for officers. Champagne, fine wines and catering for their dinner parties should not be confused with nursing care and improved nutrition for ordinary soldiers, Nightingale’s work.
Further, a Seacole statue should not face the Houses of Parliament, for it was Nightingale who wrote briefs and pressed MPs and Cabinet ministers for reforms in nursing, hospitals and health care.
We urge you to make the grant contingent on the use of an appropriate site for the Seacole statue, such as Forum Magnum Square, by the County Hall.
Copy: Caroline Nokes, MP, Romsey and Southampton North
(signed up numerous persons attending the Memorial event at the parish church)
RCN Still At It
Eileen reports that Cecilia Amin, president of the RCN, objected to the letter to the prime minister, on the amazing grounds that it said that Mary Seacole was not a pioneer nurse. Yet, when we wrote her, on April 5, 2015, one of many letters to the RCN, asking her what nursing Mrs Seacole had pioneered, we received no reply. No representative of the RCN, or St Thomas’ Hospital, or the Departments of Health or for Education have ever answered that question.