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Major milestone marked by East Suffolk Nurses League as group celebrates 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 17:02 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 21:06 19 May 2017

The East Suffolk Nurses League celebrate their 100th birthday at Ipswich Hospital. Pictured are the committee members along with their joint oldest member, 103 year old Lillian Caudle (front centre). 

Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING

The East Suffolk Nurses League celebrate their 100th birthday at Ipswich Hospital. Pictured are the committee members along with their joint oldest member, 103 year old Lillian Caudle (front centre). Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING

Former nurses from Ipswich Hospital nurses celebrated the 100th birthday of their society on Saturday with a reunion.

The Ipswich Hospital Band performing at the 100th birthday of the East Suffolk Nurses League. Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING The Ipswich Hospital Band performing at the 100th birthday of the East Suffolk Nurses League. Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING

The East Suffolk Nurses League marked the major milestone with afternoon tea and celebration cake in the hospital’s Courtyard Restaurant, with the Ipswich Hospital Band providing entertainment.

There was also an exhibition of nursing memorabilia for guests to enjoy. A range of special guests attended, including the league’s two oldest members, Lillian Caudle and Mada Claire, who are both 103.

Lillian cut the celebratory cake at the event, held the day after International Nurses Day, which was celebrated on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

The league was set up as an education and social club for any registered nurse who has trained or worked at Ipswich Hospital.

The East Suffolk Nurses League celebrate their 100th birthday at Ipswich Hospital with a reunion. 

Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING The East Suffolk Nurses League celebrate their 100th birthday at Ipswich Hospital with a reunion. Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING

It currently has 235 members, and holds a reunion every year while also producing an annual journal of news and information about current nursing practice.

Sue Scotchmere, who retired three years ago after 46 years in nursing, said she enjoyed attending the league’s reunions to reminisce with former colleagues.

“My mother was a nurse and I always wanted to follow in her footsteps and would play doctors and nurses a lot when I was a child.

“It was a really rewarding career and I met lots of great doctors, nurses and patients with whom I shared the good times and the bad,” she said.

The East Suffolk Nurses League celebrate their 100th birthday at Ipswich Hospital with a reunion. 

Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING The East Suffolk Nurses League celebrate their 100th birthday at Ipswich Hospital with a reunion. Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING

“These days people are living for longer and have more complex needs, which means there is a greater pressure on beds.

“When I started working at Ipswich, patients would stay for much longer and would spend a week in hospital for a hernia operation, whereas nowadays people having minor operations usually go home the same day.”

Of the event, she added: “The celebrations were a great success, with lots of members of the East Suffolk Nurses League returning to the hospital for the afternoon.

“Everyone was really pleased to be able to mark such a major milestone, and enjoyed being able to reminisce with old colleagues and friends about the way the profession has changed.

An exhibition of nursing memorabilia was held at the East Suffolk Nurses League's 100th birthday event at Ipswich Hospital. 

Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING An exhibition of nursing memorabilia was held at the East Suffolk Nurses League's 100th birthday event at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING

“Our exhibition of nursing memorabilia proved a great talking point and sparked lots of memories and helped make the afternoon extra special.”

Lisa Nobes, director of nursing at Ipswich Hospital, said: “For many years, the East Suffolk Nurses League has been bringing together nurses to share their experiences of working or training at Ipswich Hospital while reminiscing about the way the profession has changed.”

The 100th anniversary celebrations kicked off with a special service in the hospital chapel at 1pm.

The main party began at 3pm in the Courtyard Restaurant, and included an exhibition of nursing memorabilia for guests.

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