As part of this years centenary commemorations to remember the life and work of Dr Elsie Inglis, I felt very strongly that Elsie’s relatives should have the opportunity to visit Serbia and follow in her footsteps and, also experience how passionate the Serbian people are with regards to Elsie and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. A tour of the Towns and Cities connected to Elsie was arranged by our wonderful hosts and on the 13th September we were joined by fourteen relatives in Belgrade.
Before the official proceedings got underway we visited the Bel-Hospice with a few relatives who had arrived earlier. Bel-Hospice are a charity who provide palliative care for cancer patients in Serbia. They are the first organisation to do so and at present can only work with outreach patients. The plans are to expand this programme in the future.
After an introduction at their offices we visited their new hospice building which is a “work in progress”. Once the Hospice is opened one of the wards will be named after Dr Elsie Inglis and we wish the wonderful and dedicated staff every success in this venture.
The first official gathering on our busy schedule was a visit to the British Ambassadors Residence, which bears the name of Dr Elsie Inglis house. We were all warmly welcomed to a very well attended function. Many of the Towns and City’s in Serbia were represented. It was an opportunity for everyone to meet and greet before leaving Belgrade.
A tree was planted in the grounds to commemorate the visit and Ambassador Keefe was joined by a number of the relatives in making a speech, which was warmly welcomed by the many guests.