On Thursday, October 17, 1957, Their Imperial Majesties awarded diplomas to 24
Graduates of the Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and
to 8 graduates from the Empress Zawditu Memorial Nursing School. The
ceremony took place at the Princess Tsahai Memorial Hospital in Addis Ababa.
His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I made the following speech:
“There is nothing that tends more readily to induce in our heart feelings of joy and solace, than to see the youth of Our land growing up and maturing through education, in whatever sphere it may be. All the knowledge to be drawn from the fountain-head of education, not only contributes to the well-being of mankind and to the performance of humanitarian deeds, but is also a veritable pillar upholding the liberty of the land. It is by the strength of the knowledge gained from education that man develops his ideas and brings his labours to success.
In choosing for your own sphere the vocation of nursing – the caring for and tending of the sick – you have made a noble choice, for it is one of the truly humanitarian professsions. However, it will not always be in hospitals fitted with every convenience that you will carry out this your chosen task; you will have to go to all sorts of places where toil and trouble await you. Your training and your profession make this incumbent upon you. But how great a thing it really is, to be able to help your fellow-men, tortured by pain and troubled by disease – to bring rest and relief to body and soul alike! Your own awareness of it may be limited, but the patient who receives your care will surely feel it and appreciate it deeply.
This said, it becomes necessary for Us to repeat to you today the words of advice which We gave in 1956, to your sister nurses, on the occasion when they similarly received at Our hands their certificates of graduation: “Your profession calls for discipline – the discipline of study and devotion to obedience and duty, the discipline of self-restraint and cleanliness, and the discipline of life-long devotion to learning, since knowledge knows no bounds. If you take these fundamental disciplines as your guiding principles, your work will display the highest qualities.” You must be nurses not merely in name, but truly in the obligations of that noble calling.
We are today laying the foundation-stone of a branch, which – subsidized by a joint Ethiopian and Swedish fund – will, in connection with this hospital, care for the health of expectant mothers and infants. We are very much pleased that in addition to its other functions this establishment will provide training for the nursing profession. We trust that the School will prove fruitful in supplying an adequate number of nurses.
Our beloved daughter, Princess Tsahai Haile Selassie, who was cut off in the flower of her youth, completed her training as a nurse. Following the example of Florence Nightingale, she sought not her own comfort and pleasure, but sacrificed herself in the service of the sick and the suffering. With sincere devotion and compassion, she applied herself to the task of succouring and comforting the sick. You who work or learn in this Hospital which bears her name should have her example engraved on your hearts and minds!
We should like to thank the teaching staff of the Nursing School and the medical staff of the Hospital, who are caring for the sick and needy.”
Oct. 17, 1957.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 49 - &
Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 13 -