Founding of the Alumane

Livingston Hall


On May 6th, 2005, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Alumnae Association of the Montreal General Hospital, School of Nursing. In honour of the occasion the Alumnae commissioned the building of a display cabinet which is located at the lounge end of Peacock alley on the 6th floor of Livingston Hall.

(Designed and crafted by Clark Hodgson, nephew of Joan Clark, Class of 1959)

At the coffee party, the anniversary cake (L) was cut by Margaret Wheeler, a past president and celebrating her 65th reunion and the current Director of Nursing of the MUHC, Anne Lynch. Fourteen of the past Presidents were able to join with us for the dinner celebrations. The evening was topped off with a memorable dessert (R).


The following are excerpts from the minutes of the meeting inaugurating the Club for Graduate Nurses’ of the Montreal General Hospital, forerunner of the Alumnae Association of the Montreal General Hospital, School of nursing.

"On April 17th 1905 the following nurses met in Miss Livingston’s room, and formally inaugurated the “Club for Graduate Nurses of the Montreal General Hospital” to be known as the Livingston Club.

Those present were Miss Livingston, Miss Dodd, Misses Webster, Young, Strumm, Parker, May Young, McCutcheon, Tedford. It was proposed by Miss Parker, seconded by Miss Young, that Miss Livingston be elected Honorary President. Elected unanimously. It was proposed by Miss Parker, seconded by Miss Strumm that Miss Dodd be elected President. Miss Dodd declined on the ground that she was out of town too much. Proposed by Miss Livingston seconded by Miss Young that Miss Parker be elected President. Motion carried unanimously. Proposed by Miss Parker, seconded by ____ that Miss McCutcheon be elected Treasurer. Elected unanimously. Proposed by Miss Young, seconded by Miss Dodd that Miss Tedford be elected Secretary. Carried.

Charter members: Miss Livingston, Miss Dodd, Misses Webster, Young, Strumm, Parker, M. Young, McCutcheon, Tedford.

It was decided that the following notice be sent to all Graduate nurses of the M.G.H.

“You are notified that the Montreal General Hospital Nurses’ Club for Graduates is being started in Montreal by the following charter members.

Miss Livingston, Honorary President; Miss Parker, President; Miss Tedford, Secretary, Miss McCutcheon, Treasurer; Miss Ida Dodd, Miss Webster, Miss S. Young, Miss Strumm and Miss Ada Young, Committee members.

It’s object being to set a high standard of professional work, subject to the rules and regulations. Each member to be balloted for a certain number of blackballs excluding a name and nurses not living up to the standard prescribed, will be compelled to resign and their names taken off the Club roll. The Club is to have its own Club House being, to start with, a house on Park Avenue which has been rented and furnished by nurses May Young and Parker, where accommodation for about 14 or 16 nurses may be had.

In it is a large Club Room where the meetings, tea, lectures will be held and which will be at the disposal of members where they can occasionally entertain their friends and enjoy the privilege of reading and writing.

It is also proposed to have a sewing machine for general use and our own registry. The fee will be $5.00 per year. You are requested to let the Secretary know within a week if you would like your name put up for membership. There will of course be a limited number.

We are taking the New York Hospital Nurses’ Club pretty much as our model, and hope to make it self supporting in the near future, having a larger accommodation for resident members, its own restaurant and many other additions.

As soon as the names are in you will be notified of a meeting of all members when rules and regulations will be given.”

(Source: Minutes of April 17, 2005 meeting, Alumnae Archives)



In 1954 construction was underway at the new site of the Montreal General Hospital and Nurses' Residence on Cedar Avenue. Mr. Westbury, the Executive Director, consulted the Alumnae Association regarding the naming of the residence. Following an executive meeting on February 17, 1954 Miss Norena Mackenzie, President of the Alumnae writes …………

“ The Committee agreed that the name Livingston Hall was quite appropriate. There would never be any doubt as to the Livingston we are immortalising"

Miss Nora Livingston


(Archives, Artist: George Horne Russell)*

* George Horne Russell, RCA (1861-1933) was born in Scotland and studied at the Aberdeen School of Art. In 1889 he emigrated to Canada and lived and worked in Montreal for the rest of his life. During the summers he painted in St. Andrews and St. Stephens in New Brunswick. Among galleries that display his work are the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Quebec and the Addison Gallery of Art in Andover, Maryland.


Nurses' Home Cornerstone Event Held


The President and Executive of

The Alumnae Association the Montreal General Hospital

School of Nursing

request the honour of your presence

at the laying of the corner stone of the new Nurses' residence


on Saturday, May 29th, 1954

at eleven o'clock



As president of the Alumnae Association of the Montreal General Hospital, Miss Mackenzie laid the cornerstone at the new hospital's nurses'residence on Cedar Avenue in a mid-morning ceremony marred by chill rain.

Bright splashes of color in the grey weather were the umbellas of women among the 150 spectators and the scarlet robes of Rt. Rev. John Dixon, Anglican Bishop of Montreal, who dedicated the stone.

Miss Mackenzie urged those who follow in the footsteps of Miss Livingston to "renew a responsibility for the school's supreme function" and keep a "vision of greatness."

"The supreme function is to try and create the best possible conditions for the right development of the nurses who enter it" she said. (Excerpts from newspaper clipping, Archives, source unknown)


Miss Norena Mackenzie

(Photo, archives, Source unknown)


The Platform Party

(Source, Archives, Program for Laying of Cornerstone)

W.S.M. MacTier, President

J.W. Eaton, Chairman, Nursing Committee

Dr. Edward S. Mills, Chairman, Medical Board

Miss A. Isobel Black, Director of Nursing

Mrs. Andrew Fleming, President, Women's Auxiliary

A.H. Westbury, Executive Director

Members of the Executive Committee of the Alumnae Association

The Foundation Stone of the Jubilee Nurses’ Home (original residence on Dorchester) laid by Lord Lister on September 2, 1897 was opened revealing many papers and artifacts of the day. At the ceremony in 1954 and “in keeping with the expression of Miss Norena Mackenzie that ‘continuity is dear to us’ “ the following items were placed in the cornerstone along with the articles from 1897."



The Montreal Daily Star September 1st, 1897 The Montreal Daily Star May 28th, 1954
The Gazette September 2nd, 1897 The Gazette May 29th, 1954
The Daily Witness September 1st, 1897 La Presse May 28th, 1954
The Herald September 1st, 1897 Silver Coins - 5-10-25-50-$1.00
Annual Report, The Montreal General hospital 1896-1897 Stamps (current issue)
Calling Card - Mr. Wolfersatn Thomas, President 1895-1899 Programme of this cornerstone ceremony
Invitation to cornerstone ceremony of September 2nd, 1897 Photograph of this cornerstone ceremony
List of distinguished guests present which included: - Calling Card - Mr. W.S.M. MacTier, President 1953 -
His Excellency, Governor General of Canada, The Earl of Aberdeen. Annual Reports of the Hospital and the Alumnae Association 1953
The Right Honourable Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal. Copy of the curriculum of the School of Nursing
The Right Reverend J.P. Dumoulin, Bishop of Niagara "History of the School for Nurses of the Montreal General Hospital" by H.E. MacDermot, M.D.
  Photostatic copy of Miss G.E. Nora Livingston's application to the New York Hospital School of Nursing

(Source, Archives, Program for Laying of Cornerstone)


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