Remarks by
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Government House
Friday, May 25, 2018 – 1:00 p.m.

Providers of hope, compassion and care, lovers of life, students of the human condition – members of the Class of 1968 of the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing, welcome to this celebration of life, caring and community.

We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.

Today, we have come together in a building that’s officially known as Government House, but that I like to think of as Manitoba’s House.

For 135 years, this building has been a Manitoba landmark. It has been a meeting place for generations of men and women who have built this province and this nation. So this is the ideal place for this reunion tea.

Building a great nation and a great province isn’t just a matter of pouring concrete or stacking bricks.

It’s a matter of bringing people together, creating bonds of compassion and concern and empathy. Nation building means encouraging people to feel that we’re all in this together, that we all matter, we all belong.

And nobody does that better than a nurse.

Fifty years ago, each of you stepped out into the world with a determination to make a difference in the lives of strangers.

Some of you remained in health care as nurses throughout your careers. Others may have moved into other fields within health care or other careers entirely. Others may have left nursing for extended periods to focus on the health and happiness of family.

Whatever path your life followed, nursing provided you with the perfect foundation of skills and attitudes. Nurses care for people as they are. Nurses see the dignity in everyone, at every stage of life. Nurses are clear-eyed about life’s challenges, while also saying “Yes” to life itself.

I have said on many occasions that the word “Yes” is the mother of all possibilities. When we accept a challenge or open ourselves to friendship and understanding, we open the door for the most priceless experiences life has to offer.

Each of you did that the day you began your journey in nursing. I congratulate you on this milestone anniversary and thank you for your openness to your fellow human beings and your contributions to our province, nation and world.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.