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From the archive of Rowan Flack
Former Clinical Nurse Officer, Rushden Hospital, 1966-1990.
Transcribed & presented by Greville Watson, December 2009

The Resignation of Mrs Mair Perry

Mrs Perry was Assistant Matron at Rushden Sanatorium/Hospital for many years
and became assistant to Mr Flack when he came to Rushden in 1966.
He sent the following letter, dated April 4th, 1976, to her upon her resignation.

Dr Greig, Dr Lord & Mrs Mair Perry Staff with cake for Coronation 1953
Assistant Matron Mrs Mair Perry
pictured with Dr Greig and Dr Lord (in chair)
L-R: Matron Nellie Dickens, Alice Duffy (Head Cook), Mair Perry (Asst Matron), Margaret Stewart (Cook)
with the cake baked to celebrate the Coronation, 1953

Dear Mrs Perry

Thank you for your letter of resignation received sometime ago.  I note that your last day of service will be Sunday, April 4th.

It has many times been stated, that no person is indispensable and we have agreed that there will always be another able to take over any given situation, but, if anyone could lay claim to the category of ‘indispensability’, it would surely be you.

For very many years you have worked with unselfish devotion to the total requirements of both patients and staff.  Your personality and attitude to the job in hand is such that others would do well to remember with pride and a great sense of loss on the day of your retirement.

We are all pawns in the game and at all times, the minions of Management, having to accept rules and systems unrelated to our way of thinking.  It has been especially difficult for you because the need for change over the last ten years has resulted in feelings of insecurity and inadequacy which would have broken many a good soul; but you have bounced back with a tenacity which belies your stature and I am one of the few who understand and who appreciates how well you have performed under pressure.

We both subscribe to the same view in regard to public demonstrations in respect of others.  The wish, that the feelings of the individual should be respected will always be my view.  I wish that these words should be directed to you and not to a gathering of impersonal speech making orators who revel in the matters of the occasion.

My own experience in the hospital service over the last twenty-five years has been considerable, and during that time I have known many Managers and have managed many myself.  It has been my privilege to have worked with you for nearly ten years and your loyalty has been second to none.  It I could go back to 1966 and start again, you would still be the person of choice to whom I would entrust the duties of Assistant Matron, as no other could possibly have given allegiance to the cause so well.

Finally, the end of a period of history has arrived and now all the worries of work can be put aside.  You have thoroughly deserved a very happy retirement and your thoughts should be directed to that end.  Concentrate on the happy years ahead and enjoy every day as a new and interesting adventure, without the responsibility of an ever changing and ever more demanding employment at Rushden Hospital.

Whilst I remain in any capacity of authority here, please feel free to visit whenever you wish and if you ever want to discuss some future involvement I shall always be pleased to help.

Once again, thank you for all your help and good wishes for your retirement.

Yours sincerely,

R. J. Flack

Nursing Officer

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