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Galt Museum “ Taking Care” of nursing history in new permanent of exhibit

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 The Galt Museum is “Taking Care” of  a topic that seems obvious for the museum— recognizing The Galt Museum’s origin as Galt Hospital and Galt School of Nursing from 1910-1955

It seems like a long time coming, but the Galt Museum, has opened “Taking Care,” a new permanent exhibit reflecting the history of  the nursing school in Lethbridge.

 Galt Museum Curatorial Project head Myla Demers took on the project upon being hired as an intern in January 2023.

Galt Museum curator Tyler Stewart and  Galt Museum Curatorial Project head Myla Demers  open The Galt Museum's new permanent exhibit “Taking Care.” Photo by Richard Amery


 Approximately 18 months later, her hard work has come to fruition in the form of a series of  panels,  items from the  Galt Museum archives including shoes and uniforms and a couple interactive exhibits which will be switched over periodically.


“ My biggest takeaway is the strong connection and correlation between the mining community the nursing school had. It’s always been a part of Lethbridge’s history. The Galt family donated the money to start the school because they saw the miners needed health care ,” Demers said.


 Her favourite part of putting together the exhibit was working with Galt School of Nursing Alumnae Society members, who funded the project with donations from individual members.

“I got to meet and talk to these incredible women,” Demers said .


“They cared really deeply about this project and contributed a lot of tales and brought in items for the exhibit,” Demers said.

“The goal was to recognize them and their contributions to Lethbridge,” Demers continued.

“It definitely should have been done earlier. I’m incredibly honoured to  have been able to do this,” Demers continued.

Local cartoonist Eric Dyck designed the interactive parts of the exhibit.

Donna Karl,  president   of the Galt School of Nursing  Alumni association, is excited “Taking Care ” has finally come to fruition.


“ It’s a real dream come true. We really wanted to see this happen, so when Tyler (Stewart, Galt museum curator) came to us with the proposal, we thought it was really wonderful,” said Karl, who donated a pair of her old nursing shoes under her maiden name Donna Losey,  from the ’50s for the exhibit to accompany one of the nursing uniforms on display. 


“It’s been really rewarding,” she said adding the alumni association really embraced this project.

“The Galt Nursing school graduated 1,000 nurses and a lot of them have passed on,” she said , adding she remembers working with some of the  people who are mentioned in the exhibit, not to mention remembers how uncomfortable  it was to wear  her nursing shoes. 

“I wore those shoes for 53 years. They were so uncomfortable, but they were good army issue shoes,” she said, noting nurses  wore diffent uniforms depending on their level of training.

“ So you could always tell who  they were,” she said.


Curator Tyler Stewart is pleased the exhibit is now a permanent part of the Galt Museum.

“I’m very grateful to all the people who helped make it happen,” he said.

 There are a lot of sociopolitical issues involved with  the Galt Nursing school. Myla Demers did a lot of research and the Galt nursing Alumnae Society really supported it,” Stewart said.


“There was a lot of engagement. A lot of nurses wanted to share their stories.It was theirs to share. I’m very happy with the exhibit,” Stewart said, adding there weren’t a lot of  employment options for women then, so  they filled the demand for nurses.


“I hope people remember how much gender roles have expanded  over the past 100 years,”  he said.


 The exhibit located on the main floor of the museum, is open during Galt Museum’s regular hours.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 June 2024 15:15 )  
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