June 1874 marked the beginning of nursing in Canada under the Nightingale system which insisted that a school for nurses be under the leadership of a woman who was herself a trained nurse.
The St. Catharines Training School and Nurses' Home later was renamed the Mack Training School for Nurses after its founder. Dr. Mack was familiar with Miss Nightingale's work in the Crimea and in the English hospital world. He adhered to her principles and in 1874 sent Miss Money to England to bring out a staff of nurses trained in the Nightingale System. She returned with three nurses from Guy's Hospital and several probationers. The School motto "Video et Taceo" - I see and I am silent - was undoubtedly chosen by Dr. Mack and is illustrated on the early diplomas which were made by hand in England. Portrayed on the diploma was a candle-holder in the form of a cherub with his finger to his lips.
Miss Margaret Hughes of the Class of 1896 had the vision and interest to become the founder of the Mack Training School Alumni Association. It was organized in 1901 but because Miss Hughes was involved with an important nursing position in the United States, the Alumni lacked much-needed Leadership.
In 1905 Nellie (Gadsby) Purnall (1896) was elected President and due to her leadership, enthusiasm and love for Mack, she inspired others and as a result Alumni membership became part of M.T.S graduation. She also encouraged M.T.S. graduates to become affiliated with the Graduate Nurses Association of Ontario which in 1926 became known as the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.
Through the years, the Alumni has offered financial support to students, graduates, the Residences, and charitable organizations, but especially to the St. Catharines General Hospital. The Alumni also awarded a medal for general proficiency for the deserving student of the graduating class - beginning in 1925. In addition, they sponsored an Annual Banquet for each Graduating Class and an annual summer picnic for all of the students.
Beginning with WWI, Canadian Nurses volunteered for services to the Military oversees and in Canada. To the right are those who were Mack Grads.