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Analysis

Celebrating 100 years of professional midwifery

25 June, 2008

Celebrating 100 years of professional midwifery

This year the RCM has been celebrating 100 years of professional midwifery in England and Wales. The first six months has seen a variety of celebrations and publications to mark this historic event.

 

This year the RCM has been celebrating 100 years of professional midwifery in England and Wales. The first six months has seen a variety of celebrations and publications to mark this historic event.

 

Midwives magazine: July 2002

 

Centenary calendar

The College began the centenary celebrations by producing a special calendar featuring images of midwives and midwifery over the past 100 years.   

 

The calendars proved enormously popular, with many midwives using the historical images as the basis for their own centenary displays.

 

Commemorative certificates

In March the College sent special Mother’s Day commemorative certificates to all women who give birth during the week starting on Mother’s Day, 10 March 2002.

 

The card read: ‘The Royal College of Midwives sends its congratulations on the birth of your new baby at a time when midwives are celebrating 100 years of professional midwifery within the United Kingdom.’

 

The cards were supported by Marks & Spencer and signed by RCM President Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE and RCM General Secretary Dame Karlene Davis DBE.

 

House of Commons reception

A reception held on 31 January in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons was attended by midwives, representatives from related organisations, parliamentarians and the press. Retired and student midwives also attended.

 

The host, Kerry Pollard MP, welcomed the assembled guests, and said that the House of Commons was an appropriate place to begin this year’s celebrations, since it was in Parliament that the RCM received official recognition in 1902.

 

Many high-profile supporters of the RCM attended the event, including RCM Vice President and MP for Leyton and Wanstead Harry Cohen, and fellow RCM Vice President Nicholas Winterton.

 

Westminster Abbey

The first half of the centenary year ended in grand style when more than 2000 midwives joined Her Royal Highness Princess Anne and Cherie Booth QC for a special service at Westminster Abbey on Friday 31 May 2002.

 

The ceremony featured a guard of honour consisting of student and newly-qualified midwives, plus a procession of midwives in costume depicting midwifery through the last century, accompanied by children.

 

The service itself included an act of thanksgiving, prayers and hymns sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, plus readings by RCM General Secretary Dame Karlene Davis DBE and RCM President Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE. 

 

 

 

 

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