South East honours Diamond Nurses to celebrate Queen's Jubilee Year
Published: 29 June 2012
Two Kent nurses have been honoured for long and faithful service to the public by the RCN as part of celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.
The Director of the RCN South East, Patricia Marquis, visited Nora Tolhurst, 91, of Bearsted, and Ellen Spry, of Orpington, this week. Both nurses joined the RCN in 1952, the year of the Queen's Accession to the throne.
Each retired nurse was presented with a commemorative paperweight and a letter from the president of the Royal College of Nursing commemorating the event.
Patricia said: “I was delighted to visit both nurses, and spent a lovely morning chatting with them about their wide experience of nursing over the years.
“With the changes currently taking place in the NHS, it was reassuring to learn from these inspiring women that the basic values of nursing that the RCN promotes – such as patient dignity and a commitment to patient care – have always been the same. I hope this will never change.”
Miss Tolhurst started working as a nurse during World War II in 1941 in East London, and was working on the children’s ward at Maidstone Hospital when she retired in 1981. She said: “I’ve done many different types of nursing. When I started during the war, the kind of work we did every day depended on what the bombs had been doing the night before.
“But the introduction of the NHS [after the war] was the biggest change that took place in nursing in my career. Where I was working in the East End, many families just couldn’t afford to go to the hospital before that.”
Pictured below: Patricia Marquis with Diamond Nurse Nora Tolhurst