The school nurses
With the emigration of women and girls from our area to Egypt from the second half of the 19th century on, also the necessity for the spiritual support of the Slovenian women and girls, who lived and worked in a foreign country, arises and the Slovenian nuns, i.e. the School Sisters of St. Francis of Christ the King, got the task. At their arrival in the year 1908 they founded the St. Francis Asylum (former Franjo Josip Asylum) and worked hard for many years attending all their duties. Many »Alexandrian Women« got there not only a refuge but even their second home.
The School Sisters awaited the Slovenian girls and women at their arrival into the Alexandrian harbour and helped them find a suitable job. They even kept a book of not respectable families. On their premises the girls could meet, enjoy the cultural life and attend the Sunday Mass in the Slovenian language. The School Sisters of the Asylum in Alexandria and its subsidiaries in Cairo even managed a school for the children of the Slovenian emigrants.
The School Sisters of Christ the King from the Trieste Province were honoured with the Order for Exceptional Services conferred to them by the President Dr. Janez Drnovšek for the assistance they offered to the Slovenians who worked in Egypt, i.e. the »Aleksandrinke«. The Order was handed over at the unveiling of the Memorial Plaque in Alexandria on 7th November 2007 by the Slovenian Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Mr. Borut Mahnič.
On 21st September 2008, in the St. Catherine Church in Alexandria the celebration of the
100th Anniversary of their arrival to Egypt was held. Next to the Slovenian Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Mr. Borut Mahnič, also three more Slovenians were present: the Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Nova Gorica, Mrs. Darinka Kozinc, the journalist, publicist and »Alexandrian Women« researcher, Mrs. Dorica Makuc, and Mrs. Inga Brezigar-Miklavčič, curator of the Regional Museum Goriški muzej Nova Gorica. At the ceremony the letter by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Danilo Türk, and the letters of the Society for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of the Alexandrian Women and that of the Local Community of Prvačina were read aloud. The School Sisters published at this occasion the brochure »In honour of the Hundredth Anniversary of the Arrival of the School Sisters to Egypt, 1908 – 2008«, in which the centenary history of the School Sisters in Egypt is described.