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The concept of an organization for Graduate staff of psychiatric institutions in Manitoba is not new, going back to the postwar era and possibly beyond. However, it is only in the past decade, as more graduate staff appeared, that anything concrete developed. In the mid-fifties similar organizations were established in the three Western Provinces and in 1959 it was Manitoba's turn.

I t started in Portage la Prairie in May of that year. A large number of the Graduate Staff of the Manitoba School gathered to­ gether under the Chairmanship of Mr. Aimie Omichinski, the then President, of Portage Unit of the Government Employees Association. At this meeting, Doctor Atkinson, the Medical Superintendent out­ lined the administration's viewpoint and strongly recommended that the formation of a professional body be seriously considered. After much discussion, it was agreed that the idea was favored and a slate of officers was elected to look after this business.

This sla te was based on the executive of the Provincial council of Alberta and the officers were as follows: President - Miss Rose Skirupski; First Vice - Mr. Leon Baart; Secretary - Mr. Jack Devaney; Treasurer - Miss Fern Dryden; Registrar - Mr. Garth Cook; and Council Member - Mr. Peter Klarnut.

During the remainder of 1959 and early 1960 the above group acted as a steering committee working closely with similar com­ mittees in Brandon and Selkirk to lay the groundwork of our Provin­ cial organization.

In the Spring of 1960, the Legislature of Manitoba passed two bills. The Psychiatric Nurses' Training Act (Bill 66) and the Psy­ chiatric Nurses' Association Act (Bill 86). The first to set out educa tional standards and policies on a Provincial basis. The second Act was probably the greatest milestone in history of the organization. Not only did it allow for organizing an association, but a truly professional group, in that power was given to license psychintric nurses and also to discipline such people, even though they possibly were not members.

In May 1960 the Portage officers, together with similar groups [rom Brandon and Selkirk, gathered in Portage to hold the first Provincial Council Meeting under the terms of the Act.

At this meeting basic guidelines were established and a slate of Provincial Officers elected as laid out in the Act. Two officers from