Staff, families and friends gather to farewell Calvary
The band played, the sun shone and the hospital courtyard overflowed as staff, families and friends gathered to farewell Calvary with a final picnic on Saturday.
Calvary National Chief Executive Martin Bowles said the past few months had been incredibly difficult for staff and patients but that he believed in the tenacity of the hospital executive team going forwards.
“You’ve already started to see some of the changes that are happening around the hospital. This is not something we wanted to see, ever. We’ve been here for 44 years – you get attached to that,” he said.
“From the moment I joined Calvary, I felt a strong sense of belonging. The hospital’s unwavering dedication to providing exceptional patient care, compassion and support shaped me into the nurse I am today.” (Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, Staff Member)
“To those staff that are here today, who will not be Calvary staff as of Monday, thank you very, very much for the work you do. Thank you for the care you deliver to patients every day. I know you’ll do that on Monday, and Tuesday, and so on and so forth, because that is who you are.”
Intensive Care clinical supervisor and educator Megan Reynolds, who has worked at Calvary for 12 years, said staff had been blindsided by the unexpected government takeover.
“It is hard for us to lead, when we don’t know what it looks like,” she explained.
“We have been told it is business as usual, but we can see that it is not. The lack of insight has been very challenging and adds an extra layer of pressure to our work, but we will keep our integrity and morals.”
“Although I have not been at Calvary long, I truly believe that I have joined a family. People who work here care for one another, they remember the little things and celebrate successes together. I feel so fortunate that I have become part of this amazing team. Thank you, Calvary.” (Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, Staff Member)
Megan, who was recognised in this year’s ACT Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards, said staff would feel the loss of the cross at the hospital entrance.
“We all went through the traumatic times of covid, especially in the specialities of ICU,” she said.
“We would look up at the cross daily to have the courage to keep going. There was a lot of strength that came from that, and you don’t have to be Catholic to need that.”
“Our message is we have ensured that we have fostered a culture that is holistic and inclusive here at Calvary,” she said.
“I hope we can continue with our motivation and integrity to provide the same high standards of care. I also hope we still see our pastoral care come around every day – they are so important, not just for patients but for staff as well.”
“Thanks for being a warm, welcoming workplace, where we can look forward to coming to work every day. In a short space of time at Calvary, I have managed to fall in love with nursing again.” (Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, Staff Member)
As Archbishop Christopher Prowse blessed Calvary for the final time, he thanked staff and acknowledged that it has been a traumatic time for many.
“You are so proudly part of this place, and these few days and this next couple of months are going to be possibly a bumpy ride, but I know in the years ahead – regardless of whether crosses are coming down and the Calvary logo goes – that you will carry the genius of the Calvary insight into humanity and to healthcare wherever you go,” he said.