Day 6: What, One Wonders, Would Madison Ever Do Without It?”

In September 1962 St. Mary’s Hospital hosted a series of activities to celebrate its 50th anniversary. One of the highlight events was a Mass and luncheon for the Sisters of St. Mary and their guests. In his “Hello Wisconsin” column on September 11, 1962, Capital Times columnist Miles McMillin shared anecdotes of the celebration. His observations provide a window into the pulse of the event and some of the issues of the day.

“…to pay tribute to the Sisters of St. Mary for the job they have done in providing Madison and this area a splendid hospital facility for the past half century….Lawrence Fitzpatrick, managing editor of the State Journal, and I find ourselves sitting at a table with the shiniest business brass in town—Duane Bowman of Bowman Dairy and Don Wagner of Borden; president of Gardners Bakery and Adolph Bolz of Oscar Mayer. With two dairy representatives at the table, the talk inevitably gets around to what cholesterol and fall-out are doing to the milk business. There is the usual wagging of heads over the irony of cigarette and liquor sales going up as unfavorable medical evidence piles up, while the consumption of milk goes on the skids with less credible evidence of danger.

“…Superb entertainment came from the Redemption Major Seminary Choir of Oconomowoc. The full choir sang “Sing Joyfully God” and an octette rendered “Serenade” and Meredith Wilson’s mellowing “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.” Three brothers who sing in the choir did a zippy version of “White Lies” which brought some hearty chuckles…

“Fr. Rummel was the main speaker, reminiscing about the early days of the struggle to establish the hospital and carry on its work. From his huge store of knowledge about the hospital’s history—he has been chaplain for 35 years—he painted a picture with heroism and humor. With a warm and quick wit, he jabbed at those present and paid tribute to those gone. Without exception the speakers expressed their gratitude to Madison for the support given to St. Mary’s. What one wonders, would Madison do without it?”

Postscript:

The menu for the luncheon included shrimp remoulade, charcoal-broiled filet mignon, golden browned potatoes, minted almond fresh beans, tomato rosettes, twisted-horn rolls, butter cherries jubilee, liqueur burgundy, coffee, tea and milk.

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