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Poignant moment

(November 18, 1999, Gazette)

By Gina Pecore

When Maureen Stapleton retired in October, it was a poignant moment for a small group of women who took part in her good-bye celebration. They, along with several others friends, affectionately refer to themselves as the Creaking Bones. What ties them together is the fact that they all began working at Memorial during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ms. Stapleton was the last of them to retire.

Back when members of the Creaking Bones starting working for Memorial, the university was a very different place. When Ms. Stapleton, at 18 years old, started working as a stenographer in the President’s Office, there were just eight administrative support staff at the university, which was then located on Parade Street. Those eight women, who became friends as well as colleagues, were the foundation of the Creaking Bones. Ms. Stapleton fondly remembers the closeness of Memorial’s staff during those years.

“It was a lovely environment. Everybody knew everybody, faculty, staff and students. The personal contact today, I think, has been somewhat lost. Once we started moving into our own buildings, you didn’t have a chance to see others. I really missed the close contact we had with people in those early years.”

After working in the President’s Office for 18 years, Ms. Stapleton took some time off to spend with her children and then returned to work at the Faculty of Business Administration’s Centre for Management Development, where she stayed until her retirement. The Creaking Bones are already making good use of the extra time Ms. Stapleton has on her hands – they’ve named her host for their annual Jigg’s Dinner get-together coming up in November.