Selkirk Mental Health Centre
Keeping Our History Alive!
Mary    Alberta    Hornibrooke     was    the    last    person    to    hold    the unique position of Matron at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre. Miss   Mary   Alberta   Hornibrook,   (RN   graduate   of   the   Montreal General    Hospital),    arrived    at    the    hospital    in    1946    and    retired twenty-one   years   later   in   December   1967   from   the   position   of Associate Director of Rehabilitation. She   arrived   at   was   then   called   the   Selkirk   Mental   Hospital   which   had   over 1200   patients.   Miss   Hornibrooke   functioned   as   the   head   of   the   female nursing   services   as   well   as   that   of   the   nurse   training   school.   During   her time   at   the   hospital   she   not   only   witnessed   the   advent   of   Electric   Shock Therapy   which   was   introduced   in   the   early   1940s,   but   also   witnessed   the hospital   performing   leucotomies   in   the   Infirmary   Building   operating   suite in the 1950s. In   the   1940s   male   attendants,   with   Miss   Hornibrooke’s   instigation,   were permitted   to   join   the   nursing   lectures   with   the   female   nursing   staff.   By   the end   of   the   1950s,   both   groups   of   staff   graduated   together   as   psychiatric nurses. Although   short   in   stature   and   kind   in   disposition   she   was   a   mighty   atom who   played   a   important   role   in   the   development   of   psychiatric   nursing   in Manitoba.   Mary   Alberta   Hornibrooke   whom   prior   to   her   death   in   April 1982,   returned   to   the   Centre   for   special   events   where   she   always   received a warm welcome.
Mary Alberta Hornibrook, RN