For more than a century the Royal Jubilee Hospital has touched the lives of countless Victoria families. Many heritage buildings have not survived the passage of time. The Chapel is a fortunate exception.
On June 20, 2003 the Chapel once again opened its doors to reclaim its special place as a retreat for patients, staff and others; a bridge spanning Then and Now.
In 2004, the Chapel received “The Heritage Building Restoration” award from the Victoria Real Estate Board, Commercial Builders Division. The award was received by our Alumnae President and is now mounted at the Chapel entrance.
The Chapel is open 24 hours a day and our Visitors Book attests to its continuing role in the lives of patients and their families; staff and visitors’ comments reflecting its use as a refuge for solitude and contemplation.
The Casavant organ, gifted to the Chapel by an Alumnae member, has been restored and now resides in the choir loft where it resonates beautifully through the Chapel.
The Chapel is available for weddings, spiritual rituals and ceremonies, choirs and memorial services. There are charges for these services for its general use. For further information contact the Royal Jubilee Hospital Chaplains.
As you may have read on our home page, the Alumnae was granted the use of the lower level area of the Chapel in recognition of our work in the Chapel restoration. Blasting and other preparations took place early in the restoration process to provide greater square footage and in the fall of 2005 the Archives Committee moved our collections into their new home. For further information about the Alumnae Archives Committee, view their pages on the website.
As can be imagined, there is now ongoing upkeep for which the Alumnae are responsible. The organ and piano require frequent tunings given their regular use. Further adornments are required to enhance the comfort and access for patients and visitors.
The enthusiastic response to our fundraising campaign from 1997 to 2007 is a testimony to the charitable ethic that inspired the original gifting of the Chapel in 1909 by Teresa Jane Despard Pemberton, nee Grautoff, widow of the Hon. Joseph Despard Pemberton. A plaque in recognition of donations is permanently mounted in the walkway that connects the restored Chapel to the new Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.
This commemorative window was originated in 1984 by Nursing Sister Wherry, and created by the Nursing Sisters’ Association (Victoria)
with support from Padre Peter Isles and Veterans Affairs Canada.
Maurice Hartle, an orderly at the D.V.A. Hospital, designed the window. Tom Mercer of Orillia Glass made the window for $5,000 – which the Nursing Sisters raised.
The window was installed in the Memorial Pavilion Chapel, May 12, 1985. In 1995 the window was removed (for redevelopment of the Memorial Pavilion) and it was reinstalled in the new Pemberton Chapel vestibule in the spring of 2002.
The window depicts:
- A World War I Nursing Sister
- A Royal Jubilee Hospital Graduate Nurse
- Florence Nightingale
- Pins and caps from both the Royal Jubilee Hospital School of Nursing and the St. Joseph’s School of Nursing Graduates.
In 2003, The Alumnae Association commissioned Nathan Scott of Victoria to create an image of a Royal Jubilee Hospital Graduate Nurse. The RJH nurse statue was placed in the entrance way to the Chapel in honour of all nurses who graduated from the RJH School of Nursing during its ninety years of educating nurses. The commemorative statue recognizes and celebrates the contribution of the RJH nursing graduates to their nursing profession and history. The plaque on the base of the statue reads:
1891 – 1983