|The Nightingale Society|
Report from Lynn McDonald, 4 June 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).
Mary Seacole Statue at St Thomas’ Hospital
A reliable source informs us that the date of unveiling of the Seacole statue—at Nightingale’s hospital!—has been selected, June 30 2016, with a royal personage (as yet unnamed), doing the honours. Shame on whoever that is!
We will be alerting the media as to the fallaciousness of the claims. We invite anyone who can to add their own voice. Please note, if you see an article in a newspaper that accepts letters-to-the editor, please forward it to email@example.com. (Do your own reply! Let us try one!)
History Hoax Awards Committee
A History Hoax Awards Committee was formed in 2015 when it appeared likely that the Seacole statue campaign would be successful. A separate entity from the Nightingale Society (with overlapping membership) it has one particular goal, to expose the gross historical inaccuracies of the Seacole statue campaign. It will spring into action for the unveiling of the statue.
Anyone (Nightingale Society members obviously, but anyone) may nominate persons or institutions for the History Hoax Award—by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the committee’s website at www.historyhoax.com.
Persons: Name the person and why they deserve the award, i.e., what gross misinformation the person has disseminated.
Institutions: Name the department or agency and say what gross misinformation it has disseminated. Institutions include government departments, nursing organizations, nursing unions, broadcasters, etc.
The History Hoax Awards Committee will evaluate the nominations between the June 15 closing date for submissions and the June 30 unveiling.
We tried very hard to stop the statue going up at Nightingale’s hospitals, but have lost. We do not oppose Mrs Seacole being honoured, and strongly recommended alternative sites. When the UK government announced that public money would go into this travesty, we urged that the grant be made contingent on an appropriate site being chosen. Mrs Seacole is not to blame for any of this, and will likely, in the future, be the butt of bad feeling when the facts of the matter come to be recognized. She deserves better!
How Bad Is the False Information?
A website sets out many of the myths, with primary sources of reliable information in rebuttal. See http://www.maryseaocle.info/
Did the Perpetrators Know How Bad It Was?
The Nightingale Society sent many prominent purveyors of misinformation letters, showing what was wrong with their statement, and asking them to correct it or retract it. A few (academic) websites did. However, the major sources of misinformation, both government and nursing organizations never did. Typically they did not respond at all, or, if they did, there was only a brushoff, not a serious answer or reference to a reliable source.
Letters, with numerous co-signers, are available on the website of the Nightingale Society.