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Women’s History Month at Prince Alfred College

5 March 2021

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, March 8 2021 #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021

Prince Alfred College Archives acknowledges and celebrates the history and achievements of women at PAC. Over the years, countless hours of care have been given by our dedicated teachers, staff, parents and guardians. Since COVID-19, frontline workers and heath care workers are receiving more recognition for their selfless contributions. We have recently seen some wonderful development in the provision of health at PAC. As well as our new Boarding House, our new Health Centre was opened 2019. Directed by Health Centre Nurse Manager Anna Thompson RN, our School Nurses have continued to work tirelessly to care for us all.

The job of looking after such a large family and keeping them as happy and as healthy as this one has been, is not one that many parents would envy. The boys and their parents owe a great debt to the Matron, for the most efficient manner in which she has carried out her exacting duties and for the very great care and interest she has shown at all times in the welfare of her charges.

PAC Chronicle, 1961.

Our Archives tell us stories of the Matrons of PAC, whose devoted service kept our boys alive and well. Usually Royal Adelaide Hospital trained, Prince Alfred College Matrons have been remarkable for their long tenure of office. There is little record of the name of the Matron before 1881. However, our Archives show that five women held the matronship for over a period of sixty-eight years, in the early days. Since then, a variety of dedicated women have nurtured our boys and staff though concussions, colds, flus, epidemics and even the existing pandemic; Sister Jenkins, also known as Housemother Jenkins, served 31 consecutive years in the role of Matron (1968-1999).

This is all surely a wonderful record of service. Please join me in celebration of these women;

  • c.1870s Mrs Le Page
  • c.1870s Mrs Mary Porter
  • 1881-1897 Mrs Smitch
  • 1897-1904 Mrs Bevan
  • 1904-1928 Sister A.M. Eley
  • 1928-1944 Sister Elsie May Nash
  • 1944-1949 Miss G.M. Sage
  • 1949-1951 Sister Ms Preston
  • 1951-1955 Sister Mrs Todd
  • 1955-1966 Sister Ms MacDonald
  • 1966-1968 Sister Ms McKenzie
  • 1968-1999 Sister Ms Jenkins (31 years)
  • 2003-2018 Caroline Lenman
  • 2000-2021 current Health Centre Nurse Manger Anna Thompson RN

Kate Pulford
College Archivist