Class of ’56 celebrates emerald anniversary

30 March 2012

Class of '56 reunion - Class Gathering of 2012

Clockwise from top left: Jackie Drew Catto, Joyce Fines Dain, Mary Marshall Schmok, Irma McCallum Strantz, Joan Evans Rawson and Mary Bette Rumble

Alumni from the class of ’56 gathered in Vancouver for a reunion to celebrate the 55th anniversary of their graduation. Spread across the country and along the west coast from Ontario to British Columbia to California, it made the most sense to hold the get together at the centrally located home of gracious host, Mary Marshall Schmok.

The six women pictured formed a bond at the School of Nursing as they trained for tough but rewarding careers, most of which have spanned several decades and many of which continue today. It was an emotional moment as they so rarely get to see each other. There was so much to share, and before they knew it there time together was up.

Who they are:

Jackie Drew Catto does grief counselling and hospice work in King, Ont. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her large family.

Joyce Fines Dain runs a 15-meeting-a-year breakfast club as a part of an education series that hosts a variety of speakers, in addition to other volunteer projects. She’s worked in the public health-related field for 27 years and enjoys watercolour painting in her spare time.

Mary Marshall Schmok began with the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), before eventually going to the Vancouver Health Department where she remained for 30 years. Now, she indulges in time with her family and performs with the Richmond Choir, which plays across Vancouver.

Mary Bette Rumble also started with VON before working with the Vancouver Health Department on the North Shore for 31 years. She still volunteers there regularly.

Joan Evans Rawson went on to earn an MSc in psychiatric nursing and a VA Certificate in adult and mental health nursing in Palo Alto, CA. She remains actively involved in the field.

Irma MacCallum Strantz earned a PhD in mental health and psychology. She’s currently working hard to extend single payer universal health care to California.