"A Moment in History – The Guild of Nurses":
ON MAY 12th. The Guildhall in the City of London was the magnificent setting for an historic event, as the City welcomed a new addition to its Livery world. It was the occasion for the Installation of the first Master and 45 nurses took their Declaration Oath and were granted the Freedom of the Guild of Nurses. It was a wonderful occasion that saw nurses from many different specialties and backgrounds, qualified and student, practising and retired, coming together with pride and to celebrate their profession. The Declaration ceremony was in the presence of the sponsoring Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley MusM Hon FGS who welcomed the new Guild and became its first Honorary Freeman. Over 100 members and their guests attended the reception and banquet that followed, with invited speaker Professor Elizabeth Robb OBE, Chief Executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. The Guild of Nurses was also delighted to welcome as guests the Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court, and The Masters of both the Worshipful Company of Barbers and the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries.
After the banquet, City custom includes the passing of a Loving Cup to symbolise unity, fellowship and trust amongst the diners. As a unique interpretation of this centuries’ old tradition, two nurses lamps were blessed by the Guild Chaplain and passed amongst the guests as a symbol of care and good fellowship. The lamps are replicas of those used by nurses in Scutari Hospital whilst caring for the wounded of the Crimean war with Florence Nightingale. It is hoped this will become a lasting tradition of the new Guild.
Brenda Griffiths, elected as the first Master of The Guild of Nurses said "Florence Nightingale’s birthday was a fitting date for us to celebrate our newly formed Guild of Nurses in the magnificent setting of the Guildhall. We have received such a warm welcome from the City and we are delighted that nursing has taken this first step on the journey towards joining the many noble professions already represented in the City of London’s venerable Livery movement. We aim to offer fellowship and support to older and young nurses alike”
Some quotes from those who attended:
“Last night was amazing and I am so looking forward to helping in any way I can to assist the Guild in its goals and achievements”
“As a fairly hard boiled member of the City community, I have to tell you how proud I felt yesterday. Many congratulations! I look forward to many happy evenings together.”
“The Master and Wardens have done a magnificent job with commendable expedition in launching your new Guild.”
“The inaugural dinner was a great success”
"Although every day in Nursing means that we are able to influence people`s lives, I think that an event like last night shows just how cohesive we are as a profession."
“You cannot have been in any doubt following the Installation Banquet that you and your friends have done in establishing the Guild of Nurses is so right for Nursing. Thank you.”
“My thanks to all concerned in making the Dinner so successful, it was a real pleasure to be able to attend and meet so many enthusiastic people and supporters of the Guild”
“I found it a really inspiring that so many people came to be installed.”
“So very well done to you all – long may you flourish”
The Master's Dinner Speech is here.