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Inverness woman who trained a generation of nurses at Raigmore Hospital dies following a long battle with dementia

By Gregor White

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A nurse who worked in Inverness hospitals for more than 40 years has passed away aged 91.

Margaret Edwards, nee McCallum, died at her son’s home near Helensburgh on November 10.

Mrs Edwards worked in Inverness hospitals between 1948 and 1989. She was a nurse tutor at Raigmore Hospital between 1977 and 1989 before she retired.

Mrs Edwards worked for the NHS for the entirety of her career, training as a nurse just as the organisation came into being.

Her son Mike, an author and retired journalist who started his career with the Inverness Courier, described his mum as “an Inverness woman, who was very proud of the town, and all its achievements”.

Mike Edwards with his mum.
Mike Edwards with his mum.

Mrs Edwards was a nurse, a midwife and a sister, working in many departments including A&E and the maternity unit at Raigmore, Hilton, Culduthel and the RNI, but it was as a tutor that she had a huge impact on the many staff who continue to work in the hospital to this day.

Mr Edwards said: “My mum was born in a small flat in Inverness, on Tomnahurich Street, and she grew up in a tenement flat in Bridge Street. She went to primary school at Crown and attended Inverness High School.

“My mum loved Inverness and cared about the people of the town very much.

“She was very proud of the people of the town.

“Her decision to study nursing came about because she herself had contracted scarlet fever as a child.

“She said she had been nursed and cared for so well in hospital in Inverness that wanted to be a nurse to do the same for others.

“She studied in Inverness, and completed her midwifery training in Robroyston in Glasgow.”

After working in Glasgow, she returned home. She married Donald Edwards, who was a railway man, and they had their son, Mike.

“She loved her work. She worked very hard. She spoke about it the whole of her life,” Mr Edwards continued.

Mrs Edwards started her career in Inverness in 1948.
Mrs Edwards started her career in Inverness in 1948.

After she retired, Mrs Edwards decided to volunteer with the Romanian Angels charity, run by ex-Beatle George Harrison and his wife Olivia, working with children in Romania.

The children were suffering from AIDs and HIV, the horrors of which never left her.

Mr Edwards, who worked as a news reporter with STV for 26 years, said: “My mum would phone me every six weeks or so to tell me that another one of the children she had cared for had died.

“Her two six-month stints in Romania was something that she was very proud of but, at the same time, grieved her greatly.”

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