UK nurses fly banner of care, commemorate Edith Cavell
A broad range of uk-based adventurers have capped their commemorative week in jasper by flying the Edith Cavell Nurses Trust banner atop the Jasper National Park mountain of the same name.
One hundred nurses, mid-wives and health care workers were in Jasper recently for the Cavell Challenge, the centrepiece of the Cavell Nurses Trust’s centennial celebrations to commemorate First World War heroine Edith Cavell. While the Challenge provided many different opportunities for members of the Nurses Trust to engage in outdoor experiences, reaching the summit of 3,363 m Mount Edith Cavell—the highest peak in the Jasper vicinity—was the climax of the group’s commemorative activities.
“When you come to Jasper National Park the mountains are something else, said Cavell Challenge operations director Jon Penhale, a 16-year veteran of the British Army and a keen mountaineer himself.
Penhale said although reaching the summit was a crowing achievement for those who did it, the true accomplishments, for those who participated, were realized internally.
“A number of people over the last 48 hours have found themselves in situations they’ve never been before,” he said. “They’ve had to reach to their inner strengths. They’ve had to support each other. In terms of what that does for personal development among the nurses and midwives, this is helping them know and understand how to work with people.”
The Cavell Challenge brought to Jasper a diverse group of Nurses Trust supporters. From executive officers of large financial companies to 18-year-old nursing students, from unions to universities, “it is an eclectic bunch,” Penhale said.
Participants of the trip used the Challenge as a way to raise money for the Trust, which was created 100 years ago after British nurse Edith Cavell was executed after she helped Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War. Today, as Edith Cavell is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides of the war without discrimination, the Trust helps care for nurses in times of hardship.
“We’re bringing those people together for the first time, all under the banner of Edith Cavell and the banner of care and looking after people,” Penhale said.
On Wednesday, August 26, Penhale was sharing the day’s highlights as members of the group rejoined the social atmosphere at MPL’s The Crimson hotel. Those assembled were still waiting for the first summit team to arrive after they flew the distinct purple banner over Jasper at 1 p.m.
“Teams formed under adversity are strong. Those bonds are reinforced socially by stories that are told,” he said.
“In my experience a few beers after a good day in the hills is really important.”