Eight members of Launceston General Hospital nursing class of 1958 reunite for anniversary

SHINING BRIGHT: Judith Edhouse, Gwen Deane, Sheila Rist, Helen Sandner, Christine O'Toole, Lyn Waddington, Jennifer Bannerman, and Margaret Stirkul.
SHINING BRIGHT: Judith Edhouse, Gwen Deane, Sheila Rist, Helen Sandner, Christine O'Toole, Lyn Waddington, Jennifer Bannerman, and Margaret Stirkul.

The average house price was under $3000 and and a gallon of gas cost 25 cents.

A lot has changed since 1958, but memories of the year remain fresh for many. 

Nostalgia reached peak levels for eight members of the Launceston General Hospital Nursing class of 1958 last week, as they gathered for their Diamond anniversary.

Judith Edhouse, Gwen Deane, Sheila Rist, Helen Sandner, Christine O'Toole, Lyn Waddington, Jennifer Bannerman, and Margaret Stirkul had the opportunity to see how far the health facility had come since they graduated.

Less than half the group are still based in the state, with two flying in from Queensland, one from New South Wales, and two from Victoria. 

Helen Sandner travelled from Geelong for the reunion, which ran from Tuesday until Saturday.

The 77-year-old said it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip down memory lane.

“We did a lot of walking around the old nursing homes, and around the hospital,” she said.

“It was quite emotional, because we all have such wonderful memories of our time at the hospital.

“I’ve always considered Launceston to be a second home.”

Mrs Sandner was one 24 students in nursing class of 1958.

A resident of the nursing quarters, she had a curfew of 10pm for every night of the week except one where it was 11.30pm.

The retiree nurse said the obligations of a trainee in the profession were what had changed the most in the past 60 years.

“Discipline was such a big part of our training,” she said.

“We had supervisors who would make sure we were back at the right time each night, and would lock the doors.

“I can’t imagine the young ones today following the same rules as we did.”

They may be spread throughout Australia, but contact between ladies in the group is not just restricted to milestone anniversaries.

Mrs Sandner said their golden anniversary turned to be the first of many gatherings.

“We first met up ten years ago and decided we wanted it to happen more frequently,” she said.

“The last time we all saw each other was three years ago.”

IN OTHER NEWS: