Miscellaneous

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Miscellaneous          
Mary Abbott


Wife of a Prime Minister
née Bethune. Born 1823. (sometimes reported as October  1824)  Died February 25, 1898. She married a young lawyer John Joseph Caldwell Abbott (1821-1893) July 26, 1849.  He was also a businessman, educator, politician who would become the 3rd Prime Minister of Canada 1891-1893. They would have eight children together. Raising four daughters and four sons no doubt kept this young woman completely occupied. She had no love of politics but supported her husband in his political career. No doubt Mary was satisfied that his term in office was somewhat short lasting from June 1891 until November 1892. She is the most obscure wife of any Prime Minister in Canadian history. She is a  relative of the famous Dr. Norman Bethune (1890-1939), the Canadian physician who served in the Spanish Civil War and during the Chinese revolution.
 
Mary Ann Casey Abbott née Casey. Born September 15, 1855. Died April 28, 1931, Toronto, Ontario. Not much is known about Mary Ann. She is listed as from Toronto and she married in Toronto to Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott (1837-1913) the 1st Black licensed physician in Canada. The couple settled 1st in Chatham and had three daughters and 2 sons. Mary Ann took her family relocating wherever her husband worked, Toronto, Oakville, Ontario and back to Toronto. They Moved to Chicago in 1894 where Anderson was surgeon in chief at Provident hospital and by 1897 they were once again in Toronto. Her story is just one of the many untold stories of wives and mothers that are untold in our history. Her husband’s story is well documented but only the name and recorded dates of birth, marriage and death are written for Mary Ann. Sources: find a grave website. (Accessed February 2015). 
 
Frances Elaine Aboud

Professor
Born February 7, 1947, Toronto, Ontario. She earned her BA at the University of Toronto and her M.A. and PhD at McGill University in Quebec. She has been a professor at the Department of Psychology at McGill University since 1975. She has also held positions at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at Western Washington University and has done research and teaching in Ethiopia as part of the McGill-Ethiopia Community Health Project with various visits between 1988 through 1994. She has written a book : Children and Prejudice (1988).
 
Bluma Levett Appel

Philanthropist
Born September 4, 1919 (sometimes reported as 1920), Montreal, Quebec. Died July 15, 2007 Toronto, Ontario.  She arrived in Canada with her Russian parents in the early 1900’s .Even as a youth growing up in Montreal Bluma recognized the value and the need for volunteering. She became a gifted fundraiser and sat on boards of directors and donated to dozens of art organizations including the Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage, National Gallery of Canada, Necessary Angels Theatre Company, and the Royal Ontario Museum. On July 11, 1940 she married a chartered accountant Bram Appel and with his financial success Bluma was able to not only volunteer but support philanthropic ventures. The couple had 2 sons. She was the personal representative for Marc Lalande the Minister responsible for the Status of Women in 1972. She got every bank in Canada to put a woman in their board of directors in 1975. In 1979 she was an unsuccessful Liberal Party candidate for the House of Commons in the Nepean-Carleton Riding (Ottawa area). In March 1983 the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto named the Bluma Appel Theatre in her honour. In the late 1980’s Bluma became part of the Planning Committee for the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research (CANFAR) and created a Board of Advisors and a Junior Committee as well as serving as Chair of the Executive Committee until her death.  In 1988 she became a Member of the Order of Canada and in 1998 she was awarded the Order of Ontario. In 2001 she was elevated to Officer of the Order of Canada  In June 2005 she was presented with an honorary Dora Mavor Moore Award for her lifelong dedication to the performing arts in Canada. In 2007 The Canadian Club named her Canadian of the Year. Source: Herstory; The Canadian Woman’s Calendar. 2010.
 
Karen Diane Baldwin

Miss Universe
Born London, Ontario 1963. In 1981 she was crowned Miss London in a city beauty pageant but she was destined for more. July 26, 1982 she was crowned Miss Universe at the pageant held in Peru. She was the first Canadian to become Miss Universe. For awhile, back in Canada, she hosed a Canadian fashion and lifestyle TV program called The New You. She married and is mother of two children. The family have settled in Los Angeles.
 
Mary Eleanor Nichols Bales née Nichols. Born March 19, 1942, Indiana, U.S.A. Died December 12, 2014, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1969 Mary earned her B.A. at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. and moved to Canada to earn her M.A. in 1972 from the University of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario. In 1974 she chose the career to be in Real Estate. She spent 21 years with Caldwell Banker residential Real Estate. In 1980’s she lead a fundraising campaign for Mary’s Place and served with the Board of the Kitchener Public Library, the United Way Campaign, the YWCA  and the Community Foundation. She served as a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Waterloo and the National Alumni Council of the University of Waterloo. She would be the Zonta Club’s Woman of the Year. In 1994 she was top producer in Canada in a network of 4,000 real estate agents. From 1998 through 2002 she was on the Board of the Grand River Hospital and in 2002 she funded Heartwood Place providing affordable housing for individuals and families. That same year she was presented with the University of Waterloo Arts Alumni Achievement Award, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and Oktoberfest Woman of the year and Community Leader recognition from the Chamber of Commerce. In 2006 she received the Meritorious Service Award from the Governor General of Canada.   In 2007 she received the Realtor Merit Award from her local Real Estate Association. Source: Obituaries, Globe and Mail December 17, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Annie Bannatyne née McDermott. Born 1830, Manitoba. Died May 14, 1908, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  On August 19, 1851 Annie Married Andrew Graham Bannatyne a general merchant. Their first son was born in 1852 but sadly died the following year during a visit to Scotland. The couple would have 9 more children and Annie would outlive 7 of them. Annie was a well known worker for various charity including the building of Winnipeg’s 1st hospital. Annie was a proud Métis and she stood up for the Métis women , many of who had married white men in the community like herself.  A local man by the name of Charles Mair was a well known bigot. Some of his offending remarks about Métis women were published in an article the Toronto Globe and Mail. Mair came to the Bannatyne store every Saturday to gather his mail. When Annie heard he was in the store she arrived a whip in hand. She lashed Mair several times claiming that this is how women handled such comments. Mair would hear about his humiliation for several decades after the event. Source: Annie Bannatyne, 1834-1910 in Metis Resource Centre metisresourcecentre.mb.ca (Accessed March 2013)
 
Bronislawa "Betty" Barban

Music administrator

Born September 3, 1913, Przemysl, Austria (Now part of Poland) Died June 26, 2013, St John’s Newfoundland. She fled from the Nazis in Vienna just prior to  World War ll. In Shanghai, where she married Andreas Barban (…-1993) in 1939. Shanghai was the only country in the world at this time that did not have any immigration restrictions. After the war, in 1947 the couple settled in Newfoundland and opened a piano studio in their house. She looked after the business side of the work while he took his music to the radio, worked with Kiwanis Music Festival. The couple arranged community concerts and he was the 1st conductor of the St John Symphony Orchestra. Source: “She helped bring classical arts to St John’s”. by Joan Sullivan, The Globe and Mail July 15, 2013. Suggested by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Elsie Catherine Barclay

 

Hosteller

Born October 22, 1902 Joliet, Illinois, U.S.A. Died1985, Calgary, Alberta. In 1905 George and Elsie Barclay brought their 3 children to homestead in Lacombe, Alberta. The children grew up loving the outdoor and exploring the countryside. The family was not destined to earn a living by working the land and by 1913 the bankrupt family relocated to Calgary, Alberta. The children however never lost their love for the outdoors. Catherine and her older sister Mary established the first youth Hostel at Bragg Creek, Alberta. They wanted others to enjoy the outdoor life of their beautiful province. The first hostel was a plain ten but it soon grew to a tent with a wooden door and creates that served as shelves for storage. By 1939, only 6 years after pitching their first tent there were 16 hostels between Banff and Calgary. Catherine attended the University of Alberta, studying English and French. Before it was in vogue she was a champion of bilingualism. In the summers she helped create and encourage student exchanges between Quebec and Alberta. She even attended the famous Sorbonne in France to improve her French. She would earn a masters from Columbia University in New York, U.S.A. She had attended normal school (teacher’s college0 and taught at the Banff School of Fine arts becoming involved in drama and theatre. . In 1973 Mary and Catherine were Citizens of the Year in Calgary. In 1975 the sisters were presented the Richard Schirrman Medal in recognition of their work in Canada by the American Hostelling Association. The University of Calgary created the E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship supporting students wishing to study in France. Source: 100 more Canadian heroines by Merna Forster, Dundurn Press, 2011.
 
Mary Belle Barclay

Hosteller

Born July 30, 1901 Joliet, Illinois, USA. Died 2000 Calgary, Alberta. In 1905 George and Elsie Barclay brought their 3 children to homestead in Lacombe, Alberta. The children grew up loving the outdoor and exploring the countryside. The family was not destined to earn a living by working the land and by 1913 the bankrupt family relocated to Calgary, Alberta. The children however never lost their love for the outdoors. May with her sister Catherine established 6the first youth Hostel, a tent, in North America in 1933 at Bragg Creek, Alberta. Membership was $1.00 plus 25 cents a night. The area would eventually be declared an Historic Site by Parks Canada in 2012. By 1939, only 6 years after pitching their first tent there were 16 hostels between Banff and Calgary. Off season Mary and Catherin attended Normal School, (Teacher’s College) and began teaching in schools around the countryside. Mary attended the University of Chicago but after a year transferred to the University of Toronto and obtained her B.A. She returned to Alberta and served as principal in several schools. The summers however sere still used to build hostelling within the province and indeed across the country. In 1973 Mary and Catherine were Citizens of the Year in Calgary. In 1975 the sisters were presented the Richard Schirrman Medal in recognition of their work in Canada by the American Hostelling Association. In 1987 Mary was invested with the Order of Canada. In 1998 the Banff Hostel built the Mary Belle Barclay Building. A far cry from the first tent was Mary’s observation. Source: 100 more Canadian heroines by Merna Foster, Dundurn Press. 2011 : Mary Belle Barclay: founder of Canadian Hostelling by Evelyn Edgeller, Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 1988 PDF format www.hlhostels.ca/docs/HIC/livre_Mary_Belle.
 
Elizabeth Jane "Eliza" Barns "The Witch of Plum Hallow"

Clairvoyant

Born Ireland 1800?. Died 1893. She ran away from home as a young girl and was not long before she was married. She emigrated to Canada and settled in Eastern Ontario in the area of Plum Hollow in 1843. Married a second time to a David Barnes they would have 9 children. In her old age she became known as Granny Barnes, the witch of Plum Hollow. She was described as an amazing clairvoyant. She helped local farmers find missing livestock and her physic powers helped solve a murder resulting in the execution of Edgar Doxtater was executed. Her fame spread when she began to tell fortunes. The fame earned income to help the family and led to her becoming a legend. Source: Legends Told in Canada By Edith Fowke (1994)
 
Joan Barrington

Therapeutic Clown

Joan is also known as “Bunky” . She is a therapeutic Clown. In 1993 she launched Ontario’s first therapeutic clown program at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital. In 1999 she was a co-founder and director of the Therapeutic Clowns Canada Foundation. It is a non-profit organization created to bring therapeutic clowning to major Canadian pediatric facilities. In 2005 Joan was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clown / l’association Canadienne des clowns therapeudiques. In 2007 therapeutic Clowns of Canada disbands because its mandate to take the program national has been met. Suggestion submitted by Fran Herman.
 
Marie-Jeanne Bartleman

Political wife

née Rosillon. Born 1948, Luluabourg, Belgian Congo. She moved with her family to Belgium in 1958 where she studied at secondary school and university. In Brussels she would meet and in 1985 marry Canadian diplomat James Bartleman. She has been a full partner to her husband in his position as head of Canadian Missions to the European Economic Union, Australia and Brussels, and his appointment as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. She is the Honorary President of the provincial chapter of the Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E), an honorary member of the University Women's Club, Toronto and was appointed an Officer in the Order of St John and an Honorary Detective in the Toronto Police Service. She received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.
 
Norma Marion Beechcroft

 

Composer

Born April 11, 1934, Oshawa, Ontario. Norma grew up in an musical environment with her father a musician and her mother having been trained in music and dance. As a youth she studied piano. In 1954 she worked as a script assistant for CBC music programming. She earned a bursary with the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1957-8 and continued her studies in composition with a scholarship at the Berkshire Music Center. She studied in Rome and in 1961 she received an Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Scholarship. She also studied in Germany and England. Returning to Canada she studied electronic music at the University of Toronto and at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Centre in New York, U.S.A. In 1963-4 she also  returned to work at various positions at the CBC. She resigned in 1969 to begin a freelance career as a producer and commentator on contemporary music. In 1971 she co-founded New Music Concerts where she served as president and general manager. In 1976 her documentary The Computer in Music won a Major Armstrong Award for excellence in FM broadcasting. From 1984-1987 she taught music at York University, Toronto. In 2002 she was awarded an honorary membership in the Canadian Acoustic Community. Source: Canadian Encyclopedia, Online. 
 
Jenny Belzberg
 

Philanthropist

Born January 7, 1928, Calgary, Alberta. Jenny married Hyman Belzberg and the couple had three children. From 1987 through 1991 she was Chair of the Banff Centre for the Arts. She served for 14 years with the Calgary Philharmonic Society. She also volunteered with the Royal Conservatory of Music Foundation and the National Council of Jewish Women. In 1997 she received the Queens Jubilee Medal for her volunteer work. In 2000 she was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence. And that year she served on the Board of Trustees, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ontario. She has also received the Paul Harris Fellow Medal from the Rotary Foundation. Source: Alberta Order of Excellence, Online Accessed May 2013.
 
Ellen Agnes Billbrough-Wallace

 

Home Child administrator

Born November 21, 1841, Leeds England. Died September 23, 1900, Belleville, Ontario. In  the 1860’s Ellen worked with philanthropist Annie Macpherson of London England. Miss Macpherson was concerned with the “waifs” of London and began to send children to Canada for a chance at a better life. Ellen emigrated from England and set up Marchmont House, Belleville, Ontario, Canada accepting the first immigrant children on May 13, 1870. The children would arrive from England in groups often exceeding 100 at a time. From Marchmount Ellen oversaw the distribution of the immigrant children to either be adopted or contracted to work in homes and farms throughout the province and even into the North-West Territories. The original Home was destroyed by fire in 1872 and yet again a few years later. After the fires a large brick building was constructed. In 1877 Annie Macpherson turned the Marchmont Home entirely  over to Ellen. In 1887 she married the Reverend Robert Wallace and the couple continued to manage Marchmont.  By the late 1880’s over 7000 children had passed through the Marchmont Distribution Home. As a “Distribution” center Marchmont was used by various British child welfare organizations including the Quarrier and Barnardo Homes  who eventually would establish their own distribution centres in Canada. While many of the immigrant children would go on to lead health and productive lives, research has shown than perhaps as many as half the children were placed in unfortunate or abusive circumstances. One adopted child wrote to a friend that she often saw Auntie and Uncle Wallace who brought gifts to her.  Other children were indentured out to work with monies being paid to the Home until they reached 18.  Although Ellen and Robert Wallace had people sign contracts which required that the children be educated at least 4 months of the year, with reports from teacher, and that they be required to attend Sunday Services and be provided with clothing, many situations were not followed up. The home would be closed in August 1925, 25 years after Ellen’s death. Sources: Various web sites on Marchmont Home including reports on immigration in the Senate of Canada. (Accessed April 2014)  
 

Emily Hilda Blake


Accused murderer

Born 1877 England. Died December 27,1899.   She was sent to Manitoba by an English benevolent society. She became a domestic servant to the Lane family of Brandon and in 1899 shot Mrs. Lane with a pistol, claiming she was jealous of the mother’s relationship with her children. Tried for murder, she was convicted in five minutes and sentenced to be hanged. Amelia Yeomans began a movement for clemency, which insisted Blake was “morally degenerate” and suffered from “moral insanity.” Blake was hanged on 27 December 1899, the last woman executed in Manitoba. Suggested reading: Walk Towards the Gallows: The Tragedy of Hilda Blake, Hanged 1899 by Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell, University of Toronto Press, 2007. : Source: Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted University of Manitoba Press, 1999. Memorable Manitobans Online Accessed December 2011)
 
Laura Bordon

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Bond. November 26, 1889 Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died September 8, 1940 Ottawa, Ontario. On September 25, 1889 she married an up and coming young lawyer, Robert Laird Borden (1854-1937). He would become the 8th Prime Minister of Canada serving from 1911-1920. Robert Borden was knighted in 1914 giving Laura the title of Lady Borden. The couple did not have any children. She was well known for being a gracious host. The terms of affability and graciousness have been used to describe the woman. Like her husband she was a proud Canadian and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada presented her with an automobile in gratitude for her contribution providing other nations with a view of the Canadian identity while her husband was in office. At the Paris Peace talks ending World War l Canada was represented by Sir Robert and Canada was allowed to sign the treaty along with and as a separate entity to Great Britain.
 
Harriet Louise Bowell

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Moore. Born May 11, 1828. Died 1884. On December 23, 1847 , in Belleville, Upper Canada, she married Mackenzie Bowell (1823?-1917) who at that time was a partner with the newspaper, the Belleville Intelligencer, and who would be Prime Minister of Canada 1894-1896. The couple has 9 children, 4 sons and 5 daughters. Sources: The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (University of Toronto Press) Accessed July 2013
 
Yvonne Madeline Brill

Pioneer engineer
née Claeys. Born December 30, 1924, St Vita, (Winnipeg) Manitoba. Died March 27, 2013, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. There were no facilities for women at a mandatory camp for engineering students at the University of Manitoba so Yvonne studied chemistry and Math and was 1st in her class. She went on to post graduated studies and earned her Masters from the University of Southern California. She began her engineering career at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. where she was one of the only women working and the 1st American plans and projects for satellites. In 1951 she married William Franklin Brill. The couple had three children. Her career carried her across the country where in 1981 through 1983 she worked at the National Aero Space Administration (NASA). She invented a propulsion system to help keep communication satellites in their orbits which is still in use today in 2015. It was in the 1980’s that Harper’s Bazaar magazine and DeBier Corporation presented her a Diamond Superwoman Award for combining family life and successful career. In 2001 she was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal which was followed in 2002 with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Wyld Award. She also earned the American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal which is the highest award in the engineering profession. In 2010 she was inducted  into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and in 2011 President Obama presented her the National Medal of technology and Innovation. Superwoman indeed! Source: Douglas Martin, Yvonne Brill, a pioneering Rocket Scientists Dies at 88, in the New York Times March 30, 3013: Memorable Manitobans Online. (Accessed June 2015)
 
Marjorie Bronfman

Philanthropist
Born Montreal Quebec. Died February 24, 2012. Marjorie married Gerald Bronfman and the couple had four children. Marjorie was the driving force behind the Gerald and Marjorie Bronfman Foundation which is well known for its extensive charitable donations. A patron of the arts as well she donated not only works of art but large financial contributions to numerous galleries including the National Gallery of Canada. Marjorie was equally a giving with her volunteer time. She was an active member of numerous boards of directors for such organizations as the Université d Montréal, the McCord Museum, the National Council of women of Canada, the Arthritis Society, the Mount Sinai Hospital Corporation, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Ballets Jazz de Montreal to name but a few. She established the Marjorie Bronfman chair for Social Studies in Medicine at McGill in 2003 and   little later a palliative care centre at the Jewish General Hospital. Marjorie was a recipient of many awards in recognition of her philanthropy including being inducted into the Order of Canada in 2001. Source: Obituary, The Gazette. February 25, 2012.
 
Anne Brown
Political Wife

Mother of Confederation

Born 1827 or 1837?. Died May 6, 1906, Edinburgh, Scotland. Anne was the daughter of a prominent publisher Thomas Nelson of Edinburgh. On November 27, 1862 she married George Brown 1818-1880) a successful newspaper businessman of Upper Canada. Historian Frank Underhill stressed that Brown, after his marriage became an accommodating politician. He was known for his outstanding political views which were often in opposition to those of Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891), the 1st prime minister of Canada. George and Anne had three children. She was no doubt a prominent hostess during the Canadian Confederation era of the 1860’s. After the death of her husband from being shot by a disgruntled employee Anne returned to Scotland with her children.
 
Elizabeth Bushell

Printer

Born Boston (?) USA. She moved from Boston to Halifax with her father in the 1750’s. In 1751 he set up Canada’s first printing shop.  Little is known about Elizabeth’s life but there is some documentation that indicates that she worked in the print shop from 1752 until the death of her father in 1761. On March 23, 1752 John Bushell, with the help of his daughter, launched the Halifax Gazette. The press and Elizabeth were responsible for printing of government documents as well as print jobs for local businesses. She shares a place with her father in our history as establishing the first printing office and the first newspaper in Canada. She may have returned to the United States after the death of her father. It is known that her brother ran a printing business in Boston until his death in 1797. She may have worked with her brother.
 

Ashley Callingbull-Burnham

Beauty contestant
Born October 21, 1909, Enoch, Alberta. She enjoyed various forms of dance including tap and ballet. Her talents were put to use when she was ten and she won all of Enoch’s Princess crowns. She went on to win a place in a Hudson Bay Company commercial and appeared a a TV mini series as well as doing some stage work. In Jun 2010 she was 2nd runner-up in the Miss Universe Canada Pageant, the 1st member of the Cree Nation to achieve such a position. She was the youth representative for the Stollery Children’s Hospital. In September 2010 she won Miss Canada to represent Canada in Miss Friendship International Pageant in Hubei, China. She also represented Canada at the Queen of the World Final in Germany. In October 2016 she was the representative from Canada at the Miss Humanity International pageant in Barbados. In 2012 she took top honours at the Miss World Canada. She is a student at university and is often a motivational speaker at various venues including Harvard University in the U.S.A. In 2011 she earned the Role Model Award at the Dreamcatchers Gala, Calgary, Alberta. As a model she posed for the cover poster for the ‘Fight the Violence’ advertisement to stop abuse in the home. In 2014 she worked the Catch the Dream with Actor Adam Beech. August 29, 2015 she earned the title Miss Universe the 1st First Nations woman to win this title.
 
Lizzie Cyr?

Born 1888? ,Canada. She was described as a half-Breed. One legal form lists her as a wife so she may have been married. Her alias was Waters. Her recorded narrative begins on May 17, 1917. She was broke, without a place to sleep and ended up spending a few nights in the home of John James Ryan who subsequently, had her arrested and charged with vagrancy. At her trial the next day her defense lawyer, John McKinley Cameron (1879-1943), appealed her conviction on the grounds that the female magistrate, Alice Jamieson, who made the ruling, did not have the legal authority to act as a judge because, as a woman, she was not a person under the British North America Act. The Alberta Court of Appeal struck down the appeal in November 1917, a decision later overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Persons Case eventually came before the British Privy Council, which asserted October 18, 1929, that women were in fact persons under constitutional law.
 

Agnes Deans Cameron


Adventurer
Born December 20, 1863, Victoria, British Columbia. Died May 14, 1912. (sometimes recorded death May 13, 1912) A teacher, she was the first high school teacher and the first woman principal in the Vancouver, British Columbia Area in 1994. This educator was also a real life adventurer who would successfully write about her explorations. In 1906 she was an elected school trustee in her home in Victoria, British Columbia. She was dismissed from her teaching position when she allowed a student to use a ruler in an art exam! In 1908 she made a 10,000 mile journey from Chicago to the Arctic Ocean including traveling the famed Mackenzie River. In 1909 she published her record of her experiences in "the New North" She would continue to write articles and toured in a lecture circuit throughout North America with accounts of her incredible northern journey. Read about her adventures: The New North: an account of a woman’s 1908 journey through Canada and the arctic. By Agnes Deans Cameron. Source: The History of Metropolitan Vancouver http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/whoswho-C   Accessed June 2009)
 
Mary Agnes Joe Capilano

Aboriginal Leader

Born Potlatch Creek, Howe Sound, British Columbia. 1836. Died December 15, 1940. She was also known by the name Lay Kho-Lote, or Lahuliett (pronounced Lay-yulette). A Squamish elder with a family background back to the landing of George Vancouver she was the daughter of chiefs and earned the title of Indian Princess of Peace. A great orator in the Squamish language she also had great knowledge of the genealogy or of the western coastal tribes. All her life she traveled by dugout canoe over dangerous First Narrows from her tribal home and Vancouver. Many foreign dignitaries made sure to include a visit to this leader during visits to the area. Source The History of Metropolitan Vancouver  www.vancouverhistory.ca (accessed June 19, 2009)
 
Rosetta Ernestine Carr

Photographer

née Watson. Born 1845 (sometimes reported as 1844) Drummond Township, Upper Canada. Died July 6, 1907, Ottawa, Ontario. As an adult she studies photography in New York City and in Ottawa under the famed Canadian photographer William Notman. In 1883 she moved to Winnipeg and purchases Sears Photography. Not wanting to have a photography business in the name of a woman she called her establishment American Art Gallery. She became well known for her portraits many of which she hand coloured in watercolours and oils. She photographed personalities of the day such as Premier John Norquay, Catholic Archbishop Antonin Taché as well as hospital nursing classes and other students. In 1889 she was given exclusive rights to photograph at the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition. Her competitors boycotted the showing and she won every photography category at the show! She employed the latest technology in the shop as well as the latest marketing savvy  with special charges for baby photos, offering coupons and special holiday discounts.  There is little information on her private life other than she did marry. She sold her business in 1899 and soon moved to Ottawa, where she died in 1907. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Biography by Virginia G. Berry. Accessed online March 2012.
 
Aline Chrètien

 

Wife of a Prime Minister

née Châiné. Born  May 17, 1936 Saint-Boniface-de-Shawinigan, Quebec. As a teen she met a young man on a local bus and the relationship grew and blossomed. On September 10, 1957 she married a young up and coming lawyer Jean Chrètien (1934 -   ) who would serve as the 20th prime minister of Canada from 1993-2003.The couple have three children and an adopted child. Aline is fluent in 4our languages and while in her 50’s she began to take lessons and earn of love of the piano. She became an active advocate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She is extremely bashful often described as having a quiet elegance. She may have shunned the limelight during her husband’s political career but he admits that she is his confidant and advisor. He often made jokes to the press about having to ask his wife first. She was thrust into the headlines when on November 15, 1995 at the Prime Minister’s official residence at 24 Sussex Dr., Ottawa,  she was laying awake and while her husband slept she interrupted an armed intruder by shutting the bedroom door in his face!  She was appointed as the first chancellor of the bilingual institution, Laurentian University, in 2010.She presides over convocation ceremonies, confers degrees, advises the president and help promote the University. Sources: Ottawa Women; milestones and mentors Online Accessed July 2012 ; Biography of Aline Chrètien by Lawrence Martin. Canada.com July 12, 2002. Accessed 2012.
 

Patricia Claxton

Translator
Born 1929, Kingston, Ontario. Most of her early childhood was spent in India. When she returned to Canada she settled in Montreal, Quebec and earned her B.A. from McGill University. She continued her studies at Université de Montreal earning a M.A. in translation. She remained at the Université for 8 years after graduation as a teacher. She is the founder and President of the Literary Translators Association of Canada. In 1987 she won the Governor’s General Award for translation for her translation from French to English of Gabrielle Roy’s La Detress et l’enchantment = Enchantment and Sorrow.  In 199 she won her second Award by translating the Biography of Gabrielle Roy. She has translated additional well respected authors including works by former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
 
Maria Lindsey Cobham

 

Pirate

nee Lindsay. Born England. Maria Marie Eric Cobden. In 1740 she was a pirate with a hideout on the west coast of Newfoundland. She preyed mostly on French ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence.. She would kill all witnesses and scuttle the ships she attacked. The ships would be recorded as lost at sea. Her husband Eric supposedly wrote a confessional autobiography in France on his deathbed in 1780. The document has never been found. A book was published on the stories of the pirate husband and wife but their distraught children destroyed all copies of the publication. Philip Grosse in is 1924 publication The Pirates Who’s Who included the story of this pirate team saying they met in the seaport of Plymouth, England. Nor record of a marriage can be found but they were life partners. Their ship was a 65 foot long sloop of shallow draft of 8 feet which allowed top speed and entry to shallow waters to escape pursuing ships. David E. Jones wrote Warrior Woman in 1997 describing a Pirate queen doing her own share of killing. After two decades at sea the couple retire to France as wealthy landowners and had three children. An alcoholic who was considered crazy she disappeared one day and her body was found at the base of a sea cliff. In 2009 Dan Colin included the couple in his work Pirates of the Atlantic: Robbery, Murder, and Mayhem of the Canadian East Coast. Source: Canada’s Pirate Queen. Canada’s History Online.
 
Mercy Anne Coles

Diarist

(Note Anne is sometimes reported as Ann) Born February 1, 1838, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Died February 11, 1921, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Not much is known about mercy. She was one of 12 children of George Coles (1810-1875) and Mercy (née Haines) Coles of P.E. I. Mercy would accompany her parents in 1864 to the events leading up to Canadian Confederation. They travelled to Quebec City, Montreal, and on to Niagara Falls. It is known from comments in documents from Sir John A. Macdonald Canada’s 1st Prime Minister and a political power figure in the years building up to Confederation that the Coles’ daughters were attractive, well educated, and well informed. On his part, at this time he was a widower who was considered quite eligible to unattached women. At 26 years of age in 1864 when the Quebec Conference to consider Canadian Confederation took place, Mercy would have been one of the older unattached women. She was an ardent diarist and her legacy is that she has left behind the scene details which serve to enliven the rather dry political happenings of the day. There were numerous soirees, balls and other social events that were used to court the visiting politicians to join Canada but were also used by the unattached ladies, such as Mercy, to entice courting from the eligible single politicians. Details such as those of the ball of October 14, 1864, hosted by Governor General Lord Monck in the Parliament Buildings were recorded by Mercy with particular attention paid to these unattached gentlemen. Alas Marcy did not gain a suitor for the described events  but remained single living out her life in Charlottetown. Sources: Anne McDonald, Mercy Coles of PEI in Canada’s History August-September 2014 ; Ancestry Canada Accessed June 2015)
 
Chloe Cooley

Slave
Very little is known about Chloe Cooley, but her importance to Black history in Canada and to the abolitionist movement is great. On March 14, 1793, Chloe's owner, William Vrooman, sold Chloe to another man who lived on the American side of the Niagara River. Chloe did not want to be sold. She resisted the sale. Peter Martin and William Grisley saw Chloe being sold, and her struggle to stay in Upper Canada. They reported this incident to the Executive Council of Upper Canada. Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) was angered by this sale. Simcoe did not support slavery. This incident led Simcoe to have a new law passed on July 9, 1793, that prevented anyone buying a slave and bringing them into Upper Canada. While the new law did not abolish slavery, and settlers could still bring up slaves that they already owned, this was the first legal effort to end slavery in Upper Canada. Source: Slavery in Canada. Online
 
Marie-Josephite Corriveau.

Legend
Born Saint-Vallier, Quebec May 14, 1733. Died on the gallows April 18(?) 1763. She has become simply known as La Corriveau.  After two trials she was condemned to death for murdering her second husband Louis Dodier in January 1763. She was, as the law provided, hung and her body exposed in chains. Her body was exposed for about a month in an iron cage, The cage would be found in a graveyard in 1850. Writings over the years drew on the story as a base.  These stories never quite separated facts and fiction. Legends grew and are still recounted as fantastic tales. 
 
Helen Mary Creighton



Folklorist
Born September 5, 1899, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Died 1989. She studied music at McGill University in Montreal in 1915 and attended the Halifax Ladies College in 1916. During WW1 she worked as a military chauffeur. After the war she worked as a journalist and a children’s radio show host in Halifax and then took off on an adventure to teach in Mexico. In 1928 she became interested in stories and songs of the early days. By 1940 she was working in the National Museum in Ottawa as a recognized folklorist. During her career she would collect and in many cases record the folktales, songs and stories of the Canadian Maritimes leaving a legacy of some 4000 records. She would publish  several books of the stories and songs that she had located. In 1976 she became a member of the Order of Canada.
 
Sonia ‘Toni’ Esmée Florence d’Artois   
 

World War ll spy

née Butt. Born May 14, 1924, East Church, Kent, England. Died December 21, 2014, Pointe-Claire, Quebec. As a youngster her parents divorced and she spent 6 months a year with her mother in the south of France where she was a feisty tomboy. In 1943 she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in Canada and became part of Special Operations Executive (SOE). Women were sought to be spies as they were less likely to be suspect. In April 1944 she married a Canadian military officer, Gary d’Artois (d 1949) from the SOE.  On May 28, 1944 she landed in France to work as a courier for undercover agents working in LeMans. She would be withdrawn a few months later. Toni worked under the name Suzanne Bonvie of a Parisian fashion company. Her code name was ‘Blanche’. On one occasion she bicycled several hundred kilometers through dozens of German roadblocks attempting to obtain a radio of SOE communications. After the fall of LeMans on August 8, 1944 to allies she and her partner crisscrossed lines to scout German defenses. She was described in reports as ‘utterly fearless’. By December 1944 she and her husband sailed for Canada. He was posted several times across the country and internationally with this Royal 22nd Regiment (The Van Doos). The couple eventually settled in Montreal and Toni worked in retail fashions and volunteered at the local veteran’s hospital. Toni was inducted into the order of the British Empire for her war efforts. In 2000 she worked on a BBC documentary on women in the SOE during the war and as a surprise was reunited with her comrades with whom she had served. Source: David Stafford, Secret Agent Was ‘Utterly Fearless’. Globe and Mail January 10, 2015. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.
 
Lisa De Wild Born 1956 Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she was just ten her family relocated to Montreal where she became fluent in both French and English.. She attended McGill University for her Bachelor of arts degree and went on to McGill Law School. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She began her career in legal services with the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) and went on to the private sector becoming President and CEO of Astral Television Networks. In 2005 she was appointed CEO of TV Ontario. She has served numerous charities including being on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Film Festival. In 2009 she was Canada’s Most Powerful Women awarded by the Women’s Executive. In 2012 she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2015 she became a member of the Order of Canada.
 
Edna May Diefenbaker

 

Wife of a Prime Minister

Born November 30, 1899*  Wawanesa, Manitoba Died February 7, 1951.  She was the daughter of Chauncy and Mary Brower.She met her future husband while she was still in school.  June 29, 1929 she married John George Diefenbaker (1895-1979) the future 13th Prime Minister of Canada. The couple married in Toronto.  When she married she gave up her teaching career to devote herself to politics and support her husbands career. She was a hard working campaigner for her husband, arriving at venues prior to him to assure everything was set up. She was known to have worked on his speeches and to have acted as his chauffeur. Once established in Ottawa when John became an elected Member of Parliament she worked with the Parliamentary press gallery to assure information was correct before it was published. She was a frequent visitor to the Parliamentary public gallery. She was considered instrumental in laying the foundation much of her husbands early  political success. Sources: Memorable Manitobans Profile by Gordon Goldsborough.  Online (Accessed December 2011) Suggested reading: The Other Mrs. Diefenbaker by Simma Holt, 1982, Doubleday Canada. ; More Than a Rose by Heather Robertson. (1991)  * Some sources report her birth date as 1901.
 
Olive Evangeline Diefenbaker

 

Wife of a Prime Minister

née Freeman. Born April 14,1902 Roland, Manitoba. Died December 22, 1976 Ottawa, Ontario. As a youth she met a young John Diefenbaker. Her family moved a lot and although he wrote to her the letter was delayed. She earned her BA from Brandon College in 1923 and became a high school teacher. She married a lawyer,  Harry Palmer in 1933 and the couple had one daughter, Carolyn born in 1934. When she became a widow she returned to teaching. When in Toronto she was spotted by widower John Diefenbaker and the two were married two weeks later on  December 8,1953. John George Diefenbaker (1895-1979),a Saskatchewan politician who became Prime Minister of Canada. Olive was an ardent and active supporter of her husband’s political career. She often entertained the press and even cooked a turkey dinner for them at one time.  In 1979 her remains were taken to Saskatoon to be reburied with her husband. Olive Diefenbaker Drive in Price Albert, Saskatchewan was named in her honour. Source: “Both Diefenbaker wives vital to husband’s career.”, Star-Phoenix, August 23, 1979 Copy provided by Archives, University of Saskatchewan.
 
Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cécile, and Marie Dionne

Quintuplets
All share the same birthday in Corbeil, Ontario May 28, 1934. They were the only known-surviving quintuplets in the world at the time of their birth. Emilie died in August 1954. Marie died February 1970. While they were young they were wards of the provincial government of Ontario. Most of their youth they were exploited. People came from all over to see the tiny tots play in their back yard. They were even taken to Hollywood where they would do commercials for products. In 1965 the remaining four sisters published their story in the book We were five. Three of the sisters would marry but their marriages did not survive and they returned to living with one another in Montreal.
 
Winnifred Blair Drummie

 

Miss Canada

née Blair. Born Saint John, New Brunswick 1903. Died May 23, 1983. She was working as a stenographer when she was encouraged to enter a contest in Saint John searching for a representative young woman for a proposed pageant at the Winter Carnival in Montreal.   The contestants  skated before the judges and partied on the evening of the event itself. On February 10, 1923 the first Miss Canada Winnifred Blair was announced.  The new Miss Canada  followed a round of social engagements at hospitals, schools, plays, teas and she did drop pucks at hockey games. On March 8, 1923 she attended the opening of the New Brunswick Legislature and became the first woman allowed to sit on the 'floor' of a Canadian Parliament. She also tried a screen test for the movies in New York City, but she decided that it was not for her. With little financial support for attending special events she soon searched out a job as stenographer at the Power Commission at the City of Saint John. She continued to work until she married a young lawyer, Harold Drummie  in 1930. She became a housewife and soon mother of 2 sons. 
 
Lorrie Alfreda Dunnington-Grubb

Town Planner/Gardner
Born England 1877 Died January 17,1945. She could perhaps be called a child of the British Empire as she grew up in India, South Africa and Australia. She studied garden design at Swanley Horticultural College in England and applied her trade throughout the Empire. After her marriage  she and her husband emigrated to Canada in 1911. The two would work as individuals and at times as partners designing public gardens, town planning and suburban design in the Toronto area. She had a talent for encouraging other artists, such as sculptors, to include their works in public areas. She lectured at the University of Toronto on town planning and housing and she was a prolific writer on the subject of garden design. She is considered a true and extremely successful pioneer of the professional field of landscape architecture.
Nicole Dunsdon

Last Miss Canada

Born 1971, British Columbia. On October 28 1991 she was crowned Miss Canada and since the pageant was cancelled a few months later she is considered the last Miss Canada. She participated in the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, no doubt as part of her obligation to being Miss Canada. She then turned her efforts to her education earning a B.A. at the University of Alberta in 1994 and followed this with a Masters Degree in journalism. She enjoys her profession. She made the news headlines again in 2007 when she shaved her head to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.
 
Diane Dupuy


Famous People Players
Born 1948, Hamilton, Ontario. As a youth she herself was a high schools drop out who has been labeled as a "slow learner" in 1974 she founded the Famous People Players, a professional black light theatre company that combines music with the size characters that pay tribute to the music and artistry of Famous people. The actors are developmentally challenged youth. The group was discovered by the famous entertainer Liberache who took them to Las Vegas to perform. They have been performing around the world ever since. Diane's artistic and humanitarian works have earned her numerous awards including several honorary degrees from universities, the 1981 Woman of the Year from the B'Nai B'rith Women, the Vanier Award and and appointment to the Order of Canada in 1982.Married and a mother of two daughters she is also the first Canadian to receive the Library of Congress Award. She has written to books, Throw your heart over the fence and Dare to dream: the story of the Famous People Players. (1988)
 
Flora Eaton

 

Socialite and philanthropist

née McCrea. Born 1879 (sometimes noted as 1880) Omemee, Ontario. Died July 9, 1970. As a young woman she moved to Toronto where she became a nurse at a private hospital, Rotherham House. It was here that she met a young patient John Craig Eaton (1876-1922) the son of entrepreneur Timothy Eaton (1834-1907) The couple married and they had 4 sons, one daughter and an adopted daughter. In 1915 she became Lady Eaton when her husband was knighted. She would serve 21 years as a director on the Board at Eaton’s department stores where she took varied interest in the business and retiring from the position in 1943. In 1944 she turned her mansion in King Township, Eaton Hall, to the Royal Canadian Navy to use as a convalescent home for 75 servicemen. . She was a life member of the Woman’s Hospital Aid Association, Dame of Grace for the St John Ambulance, and served as Joint Master of the Toronto and North York Hunt. She worked with the CNIB and the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene and was an active member of the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. She also was Vice-president of the Canadian Red Cross and president of the United welfare Chest. The Eaton family were responsible for constructing several prominent building in Omemee and at one time proposed that the town be renamed Eatonville but the town fathers refused. There is however a Lady Eaton Elementary School in the town. The family was also generous to Trent University in Peterborough and Lady Eaton College was named in her honour. Source: Rod McQueen. The Eaton’s: the Rise and Fall of Canada’s Royal Family. (Toronto: Stoddart, 1998)
 
Madge Edgar

 

Lady Lynn Bagnall

Born 1898, Sterling, Scotland. Died Victoria, British Columbia 1984. Her family emigrated to Canada in 1913 and settled in Edmonton, Alberta. After her schooling she worked as a secretary. By 1920 she had ventured to Chicago and New York, expanding her career opportunities even trying modeling and acting. When her mother died in 1923 she returned to Western Canada. Putting her Chicago court experience to good use, she worked with a lawyer and politician Newton Rowell. Her experiences included working for the development of the United Church of Canada, the Protocol for the Pacific settlement of International Disputes (Geneva Protocol), with the League of Nations establishment of the Federal External Affairs Department, the great distillery scandal of 1925 and the development of the Canadian Communication Service, forerunner of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). She also worked with Rowell when he was working the famous Person’s Case. In 1930 she married Major Alan “Mike” Turnbull who sadly died in 1933. In 1934 she remarried John Bagnall (1888-1954) who called her Lynn. John was knighted for services to his country in 1936. The couple lived and worked in Singapore and then South Africa and by 1947 they were exploring businesses in New Zealand, Australia. While living in Brazil she learned Spanish and while in France she mastered French. After John’s death she returned to Canada to be with her family. Source: Lady Lynn Bagnall (Madge Edgar) by Margaret Edgar Benetz Section15.ca accessed June 2009.
 

Clementina Fessenden

Social Activist
née Trenholme. Born Kingsley Township, Lower Canada (Quebec) May 4, 1843. Died September 14, 1918. Shortly after her marriage in 1867 she was left a widow. She turned her loyalty for the British Empire into her work as organizing secretary of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. It was largely due to her efforts that May 24, originally celebrated as EMPIRE DAY was established as a holiday in Canada. It would have a change of name to Victoria Day. She wrote about this holiday in a pamphlet entitled. Our Union Jack: the genesis of Empire Day.
 
Sheila Leah Fischman


Translator
Born December 1, 1937 Moose Jaw , Saskatchewan. Her family relocated to Ontario where she attended the University of Toronto where she earned a Master’s degree. She has worked as an editor for the Montreal Star and a columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette. She is also a broadcaster for CBC Radio. She is a founding member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and founding co-editor of Ellipse: Oeuvres et traduction/writers in Translation. She has translated over 150 Quebec novels for the enjoyment of England language readers. Since 1987 she has received 14 nominations for the Governor Generals Award for Translation, receiving the Award in 1988. In 1974 and again in 1984 she won the Canada Council Prize for Translation. In 1989 and again in 1990 she earned the Felix-Antoine Savard Award from the Translation Center at Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. In 2000, she was invested into the Order of Canada and, in 2008, made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. She won the 2008 Molson Prize for the Arts.
 
Rose Fleury

Aboriginal Canadian

Genealogist

née Gariepy. Born November 26, 1926 MacDowall, Saskatchewan. She grew up on a homestead just north of Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. She learned reading and writing at school but considered of equal value the education received at home. She listened to her grandmothers stories of the peoples and their travels, she became fluent in Cree and Michif-French and learned to respect the family history. She ran a trap line as a teenager before leaving home at 17. When she was 21 she married Ernest Fleury. A dedicated keeper of journals of daily life she mourned the loss of her early journals in a fire in 1960. In 1967 while  confined to a wheel chair recovering from broken bones she used her time to learn about and record the family genealogy. As time passed she expanded her research to the other Métis families of the area. In 2010 she was continuing in her full time position as a resource person and Elder at the Batoche National Historic Site. She has been inducted into the Silver Order of Gabriel Dumont and is proud to have been a touch Bearer in Duck Lake for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2012
 
Rose Fortune


Law Enforcement
Born Virginia, U.S.A. 1774 Died February 20, 1864. The daughter of a loyalist slave family they all immigrated to Nova Scotia in the 1780's. To ear money she worked as a baggage carrier, using a wheelbarrow to move luggage from the docks. Soon she expanded her business and covered the entire town and added a "wake Up' service so that clients would not miss their next ship. Eventually she appointed herself as a police officer in the town of Annapolis Royal. She imposed and enforced curfews and kept the wharves under control. She was the first woman to be a police officer in Canada. Today her descendants work in the trucking and hauling business.
 
Cynthia Adelaide Foster


Social Activist
née Davis. Born April 14, 1844, Hamilton, Ontario. Died September 19, 1919. Her first marriage to a man who became the Mayor of Hamilton and a Member of Parliament ended when he deserted her. She moved herself to Ottawa where , while running a boarding house, she met and married George E. Foster, a temperance advocate and Conservative Member of Parliament. She was also a devoted temperance worker as was president of the Ontario Woman's Temperance Union from 1882-1888 and publisher of the WCTU Women's Journal for the Ottawa area. A devoted and hard worker for the causes she embraced she was 1st president of the Ottawa district board of management of the Victoria Order of Nurses. During the second world war she worked with the Women's Canadian Club of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley Branch of the Canadian Red Cross. When she had spare time she enjoyed membership in the Humane Society, the Women's Historical Society, was president of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. There is no doubt that she also put energies into the political career of her husband who was Knighted in 1914 giving her the title of Lady Foster.
 
Verna Isabel Margaret Freeman

Music teacher

 

née Carrathers. Born January 4 1923. Died March 2, 2002, Winnipeg Manitoba. Verna attended Normal School (teacher’s college) in Gimili, Manitoba and from 1944-1947 she attended United College (Now University of Winnipeg) majoring in Music. A lifelong learner she would return to university to ear her masters degree in Educational Psychology at the age of 65. She would teach school, music and piano. On May 23, 1947 she married John Freeman and they would have three children. She was an active leader in Marriage Encounter dealing with health relationships between marriage partners. She also was a clown and palliative care worker. Sources: Lois M. Wilson, I want To Be in That Number: Cool Saints I Have Known (Self published, 2014) ; Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press March 30, 2002.
Rachel Goldbloom

Philanthropist

Born circa 1865, New York, U.S.A. Died April 1931. Rachel married William Goldbloom in 1882 and the young couple moved from New York to Fort Garry. Nell, their daughter, was the first Jewish girl born in Winnipeg. In the mid-1900s, they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Their home at 540 Burrard became the centre of Jewish community life, with almost every Jewish organization of that time said to have started there. The Hadassah's second Vancouver chapter was named in Rachel’s honour during her lifetime. Sources: Pioneers, Pedlars, and Prayer Shawls by Cyril E. Leonoff.; Vancouver Hall of Fame online accessed January 2013.
 

Anne Golden

Administrator

Born 1941 Toronto, Ontario. . BA University of Toronto in 1962. MA Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. and Ph.D. in American History from the University of Toronto in 1970.S married Ronald Golden and the couple have two children.  In 1982 joined the Greater Toronto United Way Campaign and served as President from 1987 to 2001.  She chaired the Greater Toronto Area Task force for Ontario in 1996 and in 1998 she was appointed chair of the Toronto Homelessness Action Task Force. Leaving her position she began working as President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada. April 2012 she became Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Special Advisor at Ryerson University, Toronto. She also has taught at Newark College of Engineering, and York University in Toronto. In 2003 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2013 she was made a Member of the Order of Ontario.
 

Lucile Garner Grant

Stewardess
Born June 14, 1910 Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. Died March 4, 2013, Oakville, Ontario. She studied nursing at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Quebec , graduating in 1937 and moving to Vancouver, British Columbia. It was 1939 when she heard that Trans-Canada Airlines (later Air Canada)was hiring.  She applied and became the 1st woman hired to be a stewardess. The requirements were strict: must be 21 to 26 years old, must be a registered nurse; must not be married along with strict weight and height regulations. Lucille was also asked to  participate in the design of her new uniform. The job required that she monitor weather, handle radio communications, and establish a food plan for flights. In 1941 she established the stewardess programme for Yukon Southern Air Transport (Later Canadian Pacific Airlines) She married Norman Dennison a aeronautic engineer. The couple had two children. Stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1951, with Norman working for the United Nations, Lucile worked for the ministry of education teaching at a commercial school. The family settled in Lachine, Quebec. After the death of her husband she married a second time March 31, 1936 to Jack Grant and raised a combined family of four children. Source: “She was Canada’s firs airline stewardess” by Nora Ryell The Globe and Mail, March 29, 2013.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Ibola Szalai Grossman

Holocaust Survivor
Born Hungary, December 10, 1916. Ibi is a self described ordinary woman. She is also a survivor. She survived attempts on her life. She survived the physical and mental horrors of the Hungarian Holocaust, she survived to escape to the “west”, she survived the obstacles of being a European immigrant Jew and she survived the chant to a new and foreign culture and way of life in Immigration to Canada. She did all of this after her husband, her mother, her father and her sisters died in the death camps. She survived to raise her son alone in Canada. She survived to tell her story in the hopes that the horrors will not happen again. Read her story in “Great Dames” [Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1997.]
 
Violet Irene Guymer

Funeral Director
Born July 18, 1885. Died 1955. At the age of 33 with a family of 5 children to support she took over the undertaking  business that had been started by her late husband in a small community in Manitoba. In August 1919 she received her Diploma in studies as a Funeral Director and Embalmer. January 16, 1922 she received her Manitoba Embalmers License and became the first Canadian woman Funeral Director. Sources: Family member Myrna Guymer.
Louise Guyon


Spy???

Born circa 1668, Ile Orleans. Orphaned as a youngster she never the less acquired a good marriage at 16 to Charles Thibault. Unfortunately the young mother was widowed at 17. She was soon married again in 1686 to Mathieu Damours de Freneuse. The couple moved to his seigneury in Acadia and had a family of five children during their ten year marriage. Unfortunately he died of wounds received defending his family and home from an American attack. Louise moved her family to Port Royal. Here she became involved in a scandalous affaire and had a child with a certain married M. Bonaventure. The affair ended when the legal wife came to Port Royal and Louise found she and her family in Quebec. She was back in Port Royal , Visiting in few years, when the area was under British rule. Suspicions of her being a spy were never officially reported. Was she a spy? It is here that she becomes a footnote to history perhaps moving to France where some of her children were recorded as living in New Rochelle. Suggested sources: Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press) Vol. 1 p. 245 and Vol. 11 p 167.
 

Ruth Hammond

 

Public Relations

Born July 6, 1920, Toronto, Ontario. She graduated with her B.A. from the University of Toronto and attended the Ontario College of Education in 1944. She taught for a couple of years before becoming a reporter and Women’s Editor at the Toronto Star newspaper from 1946-1950. On October 7 1950 she married her 1st husband David Wall Bunting (D. 1988) and the couple had 2 children. As a member of Canada’s first newspaper Guild at The Toronto Star, Ruth was among the first women to speak out in the interests of achieving significant gains in terms of employee salaries, rights, and working conditions in the newsrooms of the day.  In 1951 she established Ruth Hammond Public Relations and had a successful career in this field. Among her first clients was Kate Aitken, then one of Canada’s foremost journalists. Ruth took over the public relations program for the Women’s Division of the Canadian National Exhibition. In 1956, Ruth Hammond joined the Canadian Public Relations Society, one of the first women public relations consultants to participate in Society activities. She , established, with colleagues, public relations courses at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University), York University, and the University of Toronto. In 1968 she became the 1st woman accredited by the Canadian Public Relations Society. From 1966/67 she served as the President of the Canadian Women’s Press Club in Toronto.  She served as a director of the Canadian Public Relations Society in Toronto from 1969-1974 and was the force behind the professional accreditation for the Society. In 1985 she received a Certificate of Achievement, Public Relations and Education, Government of Ontario, and was the YWCA Woman of Distinction for the Year. This was followed in 1986 by the Award of Excellence in Communications from Ontario Community Colleges. In 1989 she became a Life Member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and was inducted into the Society College of Fellows in 2001.

 

Agnes Harrigan

Park Guide

Born Port of Spain, Trinidad. Died 1988. The family moved to Salmon Arm, British Columbia when Agnes and her sister Mona were toddlers. Growing up on a farm the girls learned to love the outdoors. The girls were first offered women’s work of cooking and cleaning at camps and so the girls began their careers in Jasper Park, Alberta. They soon learned about the terrain, the flora, fauna and the animals. In 1928 they stood firm with demands to work out of the camps as guides. Figuring some women might prefer to travel with women guides, Fred Brewster hired the two as the first women Guides in a Canadian National Park. Since men trail help would not work with either of the women they were forced to tend the animals and cook meals on the trail. In 1929 Agnes married Mark Truxler. The couple raised two children. The pair retired in 1970. The sisters’ stories were told by Cyndi Smith in her book Off the beaten track: women adventurers and mountaineers in Western Canada. Coyote Lake Louise, 1993. Source:  Harrigan Sisters by Frances Rooney Section15.ca accessed June 2009.
 

Mona Harrigan

Park Guide

Born Port of Spain, Trinidad Died 1983. In 1908 the family emigrated to a farm in Salmon Arm, British Columbia where Mona and her sister Agnes grew up with a love of the outdoors. Unable to secure jobs as guides in Jasper Park they originally accepted “women’s work” of camps and did cooking and cleaning. In 1928 Mona and Agnes stood firm and because of their acquired knowledge of the area and the fact that Fred Brewster though women clients might prefer a woman guide, the girls became the first women guides in Canada National Parks working in Jasper Park, Alberta.  Their trips soon became in demand but they were still forced to tend animals and cook as no men world work the trips with them! The girls worked successfully on separate trails. On New Years Eve 1930 Mona married Charlie Matheson, a Park Warden. The couple opened and operated an outfitters and riding stable in Jasper in 1937. By 1940 they operated their own guest ranch until they retired in 1952. The sisters’ stories were told by Cyndi Smith in her book Off the beaten track: women adventurers and mountaineers in Western Canada. Coyote Lake Louise, 1993. Source:  Harrigan Sisters by Frances Rooney Section15.ca accessed June 2009.
 

Pearl Hart




Bad girl of the American West
née Taylor. Born November 13, 1871(Sometimes reported as 1876), Lindsay Ontario. Died (Reportedly) December 28, 1955,(?) Globe, Arizona, U.S.A. Pearl’s family was financially well off enough to send their daughter to boarding school. While at school the teenager fell in love with a certain Mr. Hart (reported by various names such as Brett, Frank or William) and the couple eloped. Pearl soon learned that she had married an abusive individual and returned to be with her mother who was now living in Ohio, in the United States. The couple would reunite several times and Pearl would have two children who were reportedly raised by their grandmother. Pearl supposedly became enamored with the western American life when she saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1893. She headed west working a numerous jobs such as she could earn some monies on which to live. Pearl would meet Hart yet again in Arizona where, once her money ran out he took off to join the Spanish American War. Pearl returned to working odd jobs. Needing money to return home to her ill mother she cut her hair, donned men’s clothing took a partner and robbed an Arizona stagecoach. It would be one of the last few recorded stage robberies. Arrested she was acquitted but the Judge saw to it that she was charged with a second crime of tampering with US mail. By this time she was a popular subject for pulp fiction dime novels. She served two years of her five year prison term, receiving a governor’s pardon in 1902. From this point her life is sketchy with a mixture of truth and myth. She reportedly ended up running a Cigar Store in Kansas City. It was also reported that she portrayed her story on stage and even worked in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. In 1904 she was arrested again for receiving stolen property and again acquitted of any crime. There is a report that she married George  Calvin Bywater and the couple lived in Arizona until they died. The couple’s tombstone reports her death as December 28, 1955. An early movie, a musical, songs and a book of historical fiction have all been based on her life.  
 
Anna Maria Head


Political Wife

née Yorke. Born 1808, England. Died August 25, 1890,t Oak Lea, Shere, Guildford, England.  On November 27, 1838 she married Sir Edmond Walker Head (1805-1868) who would serve as Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick (1847–1854) and serve simultaneously as Governor General of the Province of Canada, and Lieutenant Governor of both Canada West and Canada East (1854–1861).  The couple had 3 children. a son accidentally drowned in Quebec's Saint-Maurice River in September, 1859. One of their two daughters was born at Fredericton, New Brunswick on 6 February 1849. Anna Maria was an artist, who sketched a picture of a view from Major's Hill, Ottawa, Ontario which she subsequently presented to Queen Victoria. (1819-1901). A month or 2 later Her Majesty chose Ottawa as the seat of Government of United Canada. Lady Anna Maria Head was known for volunteering and distributing alms among the poor. A memorial of her Ladyship's visit to the Upper Ottawa, in a bark canoe, in 1856, stands at Portage-du-Fort, Quebec. In the county of Renfrew, a township Maria, was named in her honour and the Renfrew county of Head was named in honour of her husband. Source: Henry James Morgan, Types of Canadian women and of women who have been connected with Canada. Vol. 1 (Toronto: William Briggs, 1903) Online (Accessed January 2016)
 

Eva Marlene Heddle

 

"Canada's Loveliest Child"

Born 1933, Caledonia, Ontario. Died Hamilton, Ontario September 25, 2009. At three years of age she would become Canada’s sweetheart. On July 4, 1936 her grandmother sent an 8 X 10 photograph of her daughter into a contest. Marlene was chosen out of almost 1200 entries to become an instant star as “Canada’s Loveliest Child” in the contest held by the Toronto Star Weekly. She won $250.00 and an official portrait by Joshua Smith and a trip to see the famous Dionne Quintuplets. But her winning the contest provided more when Marlene’s face appeared on billboards and corn syrup containers. She had invitations to fashion shows, store openings and other special events. The Town of Caledonia even named a Street Heddle Street, in her honour. Attention dropped during World War ll. In 1954 her wedding  to photographer Patrick Sullivan was covered by the Toronto Star. The couple would have one daughter. Her stardom was brief and because she was so young she actually did not remember much of the fanfare. A shy person she never really wanted to cash in on any of the fame but she never forgot and had photographs of 1936 hung in her home. In 2005 Marlene returned to Caledonia to attend a special welcome and a special day commemorating the event that had put the town on the national map. Source: Contest catapulted child to stardom by Raveena Aulakh Toronto Star October 15, 2009.
 
Martha Lou 'Louie' Henley

Philanthropist

For more than three decades Louie Henley has been an avid supporter of the Vancouver Opera giving both financial and volunteer hours in support of this organization. She has support in addition some 70 additional organizations and the Mary Lou Henley Foundation helps women meet their full potential. She has received the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts. In 2011 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 2012 the Simon Fraser University President’s Distinguished Community Leadership award was given to Martha Lou Henley.
 
Julia Wilmotte Henshaw.

 

Botanist

née Henderson. Born 1869 Durham England. Died November 18, 1937, Vancouver, British Columbia. On June 15, 1887 she married Charles Grant Henshaw (1869-1927) of Montreal and the couple had one child and settled in British Columbia in 1890. She used the nom de plume of Julian Durham and in 1889 wrote her 1st novel, Hypnotized, which was called the Canadian Book of the Year. Her second novel appeared in 1901. Julia mapped Vancouver Island's interior during 1910–1911. The Royal Geographical Society made her a Fellow in 1911. She also wrote for two newspapers in Vancouver. She was an outdoors woman and explored and even mapped Vancouver Island. She loved the mountain wild flowers and in the early 1900’s she produced botanical books about the Mountain Wild Flowers of North America. In 1914, she and her husband were the 1st people to drive a car across the Rocky Mountains. Although she was 45 years old when World War l began she was ready to serve. Even though she had no medical trainings in 1915 served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as an ambulance driver as part of the British Red Cross Society where she earned the rank of Captain. For her bravery she was awarded the Croix de Guerre with a Gold Star for "evacuating and recuperating inhabitants under shell fire and aerial bombarding. She was also awarded the British, Allied and Canadian war medals and other honours.  She served with the French Red Cross until November 1918. Source: Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Toronto: 1978 Page 355.
 
Margaret 'Marmie' Perkins Hess
 

Specialist in Inuit art and Aboriginal arts and crafts.

Born May 3, 1916 Calgary, Alberta. Died September 2, 2016 Calgary, Alberta. In 1934 Marmie began university studies at the University of Alberta and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1938 with a BA. She had an interest in indigenous peoples art and received the Inuit name Angauka Nu Natsuit. Her interest would be lifelong. She completed graduate studies at the University of Iowa in 1947. In 1970 she established Calgary Galleries Ltd, and helped established the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary. She was regarded as a world authority on Northern Inuit and First Nations arts and crafts. She was a volunteer for the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede for many years and the 1st woman to receive the Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Award. She worked on the Board of Calgary Rotary International, the Glenbow Museum and the Board of the Canadian National Museum. In 1967 she was the recipient of the Canadian Confederation Medal followed by the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 1981 she became a member of the Order of Canada which was upgraded to Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993. She also held the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Alberta Centennial Medal. She also earned the Northern Territories Commissioner’s Award and the Grant MacEwan Lifetime Achievement Award from City of Calgary. In 1999 she was the YWCA Woman of Diction for Calgary. Source: Obituary Globe and Mail September 9, 2016. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.
 

Madeline Hinchey
Researcher
née Tiennet.  Born Toronto 1922 Died January 5, 2005. She had a successful career the the government of Canada in the National Research Council of Canada. She was the 1st woman to hold a number of senior management positions in the council including chairing the selection committee for Canada's first astronauts. She retired in 1984 as Secretary General to the National Research Council.
 
Pat Holden Collins

Photo journalist

Born August 28, 1924, Wallasey, England. Died November 26, 2011 Toronto, Ontario. She came to Canada with her mother and brother in 1939 to escape the aerial bombardment of war time Britain. Though her mother returned to England to work for MI 5, the children settled in Winnipeg where Pat shortly enlisted. She fudged her age and to hide the fact she told recruiters she was born on the now Nazi occupied Isle of Guernsey. She took training in photography, a profession with few women. Eventually posted overseas she was the lone woman in photographer galleries. As a professional photographer he presence surprised men like Dwight Eisenhower. After the war, working for Reuters she was one of only 6 photographers allowed inside Westminster Abby for the wedding of then Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip in 1947. On leave in Ottawa she met her future husband Flight Lieutenant Arthur Collins. N novelty as a professional photographer she was the subject of a British Pathé Films  short documentary: Women Going Places. Back in Canada she was the subject of an article in the Toronto Telegram that was seen by Arthur Collins who sought her out. The couple married in 1948 and would have five children. Her home was a welcome refuge for pregnant girls in need. Once her family was grown she embarked on a successful Real estate career. Sources: Groundbreaking wartime photographer was first woman to shoot Eisenhower by Michael Posner. The Globe and Mail December 9, 2011; Chrystia Chudczak, Documentary photographer. Online (Accessed January 2012)  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
 
Elizabeth Bessie Prichard Hall

Sea Captain
Born April 7, 1849, Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia. Died June 30, 1930, Nova Scotia. At 17 she began to go to sea joining her seafaring father who was the captain of large square rigged sailing vessels. With him she learned celestial navigation. On March 4, 1870 the sailed from New Orleans, U.S.A. on the Rothesay with a crew of 10. 4 days at sea off the coast of Florida, U.S.A. the 1st mate fell ill with small pox followed shortly after by the captain himself. Bessie had to take over sailing the ship and after the crew met decided to sail to Liverpool, England arriving May 12, 1870. While some may have wished to celebrate Bessie’s accomplishment the rush of making up for delays in New Orleans meant avoiding quarantine regulations so no formal acknowledgement of the feat was made. Women were not allowed to apply for Mates nor Captain’s papers so Bessie left seafaring. At 21 she married James Hall. The couple had 4 children. Her home in Granville Ferry serves as a Bed and breakfast known as the Seafaring Maiden. Source: Ryan Scrantan. The Seafaring Maiden of Granville, Annapolis Royal Heritage. Online. Accessed January 2016.
 
Dora Ridout Hood
Book Dealer
Born January 23, 1885, Toronto, Ontario. As a young widow with two children Dora supported herself by opening a small reading room in her house. She was one of the first book dealers in Toronto to specialize in 'out-of–print' Canadian books. The Dora Hood Book Room received royal warrant from Buckingham Palace to acquire Canadiana! She developed precise and profitable catalogue of Canadian books. After retiring from the Book Room she became an author herself producing two books
 
Mina Hubbard

 

Adventurer / Explorer

née Benton. Born Bewdley, Ontario 1870. Died May 4, 1956. She began her working career as a teacher but soon found herself studying to be an nurse in New York State, U.S.A. It was while caring for a young journalist that she found romance Leonidas Hubbard Jr., assistant editor of the U.S. magazine Outing, married his nurse in 1901. In July 1903 Leonidas and a colleague became lost in the backwoods of what was then part of Quebec and he died of starvation. Mina took over the idea of her husbands exploration and on June 27, 1905 she set out in her husband's footsteps. She would write about her two months exploit in her book A woman's way through unknown Labrador. During her trip she recorded maps which were accepted by the American Geographical Society and the Geographical Society of Great Britain. Her mapping work provided details of Labrador and gave insight into the massive Caribou migrations. She eventually remarried and settled in England to raise her three children.
 
Mary Irene Patricia Jolliffe

 

Theatrical Press Agent

Born November 11, 1923, Chengda, China. Died October 29, 2014, Toronto, Ontario. Mary was the daughter of two Canadian foreign missionaries of the Methodist/United Church of Canada. Her younger years were spent in China where she learned to speak Chinese fluently and easily handle chopsticks. In 1945 she graduated from the Canadian Missionary School in western China. She attended the University of Toronto graduating with a B.A. in 1949. After graduation she returned to China to teach with the United Church of Canada’s Overseas Mission for 2 years. Mary then decided to teach high school in Welland, Ontario. In 1954 she went to work at the newly established Stratford Festival while it was still held in a tent. Here she honed her craft where the opening event at Stratford made the cover of Life Magazine and had detailed coverage from Time magazine. She stayed 7 years at Stratford refining her Public relations skills. She would go on to be the 1st notable theatrical press agent working at the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., The Metropolitan Opera touring company, New York, U.S.A. and returning to Toronto in 1959 working at the O’Keefe Centre (now Sony Center) as Communications Director. She also worked at Expo 67, Canada’s Centennial fair in Montreal, the National Ballet, the National Arts Center, the Canada Council and the Arts Center. Dedicated to her career she never married. She liked to smoke, drink what she wanted and had a functional street vocabulary. In 1985 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 1993 she was one of the founders of PAL, a Toronto living facility for members of the performing arts. Source: Obituaries; Mary Jolliffe, Arts Press Agent. Globe and Mail, December 6, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.
 
Sharon Johnston

Wife of a Governor General
Born 1943, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Sharon graduated from the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario in London and McGill University in Montreal to become a physiotherapist. In 1965 she married her high school sweetheart David Lloyd Johnston who would become the 28th Governor General of Canada. The couple has 5 daughters. She worked at the Crippled Children Center, Toronto (now called Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital). The family lived 20 years in Montreal moving in 1999 to Waterloo to accommodate David working at the University of Waterloo. Sharon enjoyed reading historical fiction and she is taking courses at Humber College to perhaps write her own novel. On September 5, 2010 Queen Elizabeth ll conferred her with the Order of Canada. She was also appointed as Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. She enjoys riding horses and even runs a shores training center at the family’s Chatterbox Farm near Waterloo. Source: Governor General of Canada . Accessed January 2013.
 
Nicole Juteau

Law enforcement

Born September 22, 1954, Laval, Quebec. She was the first woman to earn her diploma in correctional studies at College Ahuntsic in 1975. Police recruitment officers had no jobs to offer the graduate providing any excuse they could think of to turn down her enquiries of work. Eventually La Sureté du Québec (Quebec provincial police) and the police of the City of Sainte Foy expressed and interest. It was on June 19, 1975, the International Year of the Women, she began her internship with La Surité du Quebec à Parthenais working for the 1st few months making photocopies in their office, mainly because they had no uniform for a woman. She took a position with the police of Shawinigan becoming the 1st policewoman in Quebec. Source: Pionnières Québecoise accessed June 2013.
 
Violet Keene

Portrait Photographer

née Keene. Born 1893, Bath, England. Died May 10, 1887,Oakville, Ontario.  Violet was the daughter of acclaimed pioneer photographer Minna Keene. Violet learned her love of photography and her knowledge of the art from her mother. As a youth the family had moved from Montreal to Toronto where Violet would begin her career in portrait photography. He married Harold Edgar Perincheief but retained her maiden name for her professional work. She photographed many important artists and statesmen, inducing the Governor General, Alduous Huxley, the author, and the playwright George Bernard Shaw. She also worked as manager of the Eaton’s College Street Portrait Studio. Her works were exhibited throughout North America and Europe. Some of her works are owned by the National Gallery of Canada, the and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Source: Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Online Accessed August 2011.
 
Molly Kool

Sea Captain

Born February 23, 1916, Alma, New Brunswick. She would learn and take to the ways of the sea from her father. She learned quickly and could repair an engine, run the winch, handle the lines and set sails as well as cook and sew canvas! She was a woman who became accomplished in a man's profession with courage and tenacity. She received a telegram on April 19, 1939 from Navigation School...she passed. She was the 1st registered woman sea captain in North America and second ( to a woman in Russia) in the world! She would sail as a Sea Captain for five years before she married in 1944 and while she enjoyed sailing for pleasure she never worked for pay at sea again.
Olga Alexandrova Kulikovsky
Russian Royalty
née Romanof. Born June 14, 1882. Died November 24, 1960.Grand Duchess of Russia and sister to Czar Nicholas. She was saved from being executed with the rest of the Russian Royal family in 1917 because she had decided to become a nurse and was working with the wounded. She and her husband narrowly escaped, first living in exile in Denmark, England and finally in 1948 they immigrated to Canada. Here she was a farmer's wife leading a very ordinary  life compared to the lavish upbringing she had a  young girl. She enjoyed painting and actually had a showing in of her art works in Toronto in the 1950's. 
 
Zoe Laurier

 

 

Wife of a Prime Minister

née Lafontaine. Born March 26, 1849, Montreal, Quebec. Died May 10, 1930, Ottawa, Ontario. A child of a modest family she taught piano lessons to help family finances. She met a young lawyer in Montreal but he felt himself too poor and too ill at the time to be a suitor. When Wilfrid Laurier learned of her impending engagement he immediately went to Montreal and on May 13, 1868 Zoe and Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919)were married. The young couple lived in Arthabaska (Victoriaville), Quebec until his role in politics forced a move to Ottawa where he served as Prime Minister. Sadly they did not have any children. While the couple remained married, it is known that Sir Wilfrid did have a relationship with another woman, Emilie Lavigne. It seems both Zoe and Emilie’s husband were both aware of the situation with their spouses. Zoe kept herself busy and served as one of the Vice-Presidents on the formation of the National Council of Women of Canada. The NCWC was founded on October 27, 1893, at a public meeting in Toronto, chaired by Lady Aberdeen, wife of the Governor-General of Canada and attended by 1500 women. She would join Sir Wilfrid and move to Ottawa in 1896. By 1897 Sir Wilfrid cut off his relationship and he and Zoe became close once again. Working with Lady Aberdeen (1857-1939) on February 10, 1897 Sir Wilfrid Laurier offered the motion inaugurating the Victorian Order of Nurses, (VON), honouring the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s assent to the throne of the British Empire. Lady Laurier served as honourary Vice-President of the V.O.N. While the Lauriers maintained their home in Arthabaska for holiday visits, the Liberal Party of Canada provided a fine yellow brick home in Ottawa for the couple. A lounge in the famous Chateau Laurier Hotel, Ottawa is named in her honour. The Home in Arthabaska (Victoriaville) became a museum. Laurier House in Ottawa was used by Prime Minister William Lyn Mackenzie King as his residence and bequeathed to the Public Archives upon his death. The house is now a Museum dedicated mainly to W.L.M. King but with a room dedicated to Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier.
 
Jeanne Brault Laurin

Mechanic
Born 1923, Beauharnois, Quebec. Died September 11, 2012, Beauharnois, Quebec. Even at the early age of 9 Jeanne was interested in all things about cars and trucks. Her father was a mechanic and she spent many hours of you youth helping him at the family garage. In 1943 she became the 1st official woman mechanic in Canada. In 1945 Jeanne married Rolland Laurin (d. 2001) and the couple had three children.  Her biography has been written with the help of her oldest daughter Jocelyn: Ma Vie Pleine de Vie. (2012) Source: Elles du Nord online. (Accessed August 2014) Suggestion submitted by Jeannine Ouellette, Elles du Nord.
 
Marie Louise Emilie Lavergne

 

Socialite

née Barthe. Born March 26, 1849. Died May 19, 1930, Montreal, Quebec. She was well travelled as a young woman, having been to Paris and London. In 1876 she arrived in Arthabaska, Quebec (Victoriaville) where her charm and self confidence soon made her the  celebrated hostess in the town. She enjoyed reading English Literature and soon caught the eye of Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919), an up and coming politician at that time. Emilie married Joseph Lavergne, the law partner of Wilfrid Laurier. The couple would have two children in whom Sir Wilfrid would take a life long interest. Letters written by Emilie to Sir Wilfrid Laurier were returned to her by Sir Wilfrid in 1897 and she later gave them to a family member. The letters reappeared in the 1960’s and are in the collections of the National Archives. The letters are written in the style of the Victorian Era and are proper and polite in content leaving history to question the state of the connection between Sir Wilfrid and Emilie. Sir Wilfrid cut off their connection when he returned her letters. Her husband’s career took the family from Ottawa to Montreal at this same time. Emilie kept up social appearances but it is said that she was never the same after they moved to Montreal.
 
Judith A. Lawrence


Puppeteer
Born Australia. Judith learned to make puppets when she was 12 years old from instructions mailed to her from a popular radio show. She put on her own shows from behind the family couch. After the television popularity of the 1956 Melbourne, Australia Olympics she foresaw a place for TV puppet shows. Judith moved to Canada at 22 and worked at 1st as a kindergarten teacher. In the 1960’s she founded the Voice of Women expressing her pacifist and feminist sides.  She soon found herself working at the CBC where she was asked to join the team of the popular children’s programme with Ernie Coombs (1927-2001), Mr. Dressup which began in 1967 and ran until 1996. She forged Casey and Finnegan and performed the voices for the show’s 2 popular puppets as well as other characters on the show. In the 1970 she served on the National Action Committee for Women.  She also wrote books for children the Young Canada Reading Series and books on women and work for D.C. Health.  She worked 23 years on the show retiring in 1989 and taking her puppets with her. In 1990 she and her partner Thea Jansen retired to Hornby Island, British Columbia in 1990 where Judith became involved in community recycling and other environmental projects. October 18 2001 she became a member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to the performing arts. Her will provides that her beloved puppet creations will find eternal rest at the CBC Archives.
 
Elizabeth Le Geyt


Birder
née Rothera. Born June 28, 1914, Bushey Heath (London), England. Educated in Great Britain she married an engineer in the Royal Navy, Jack Le Geyt. Pronounced Le Jet) the couple had 5 sons and when Jack was loaned to the Canadian Navy his family followed in 1952 to Halifax and later to the Ottawa area. After the marriage dissolved in the late 1950’s Elizabeth worked cleaning houses and as a waitress to support her family. She retired at 65 as administrator at a local chiropractor’s office. But for most of this time she used her love of learning about birds of all kinds to begin a second career. She often called to report her bird sightings to Wilf Bell at the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. When he became bored with the topic he asked his phone buddy if she would take over. In March 1973 her 1st column appeared and for the nest 39 years she shared her enthusiasm of birding with Citizen readers.  She was an active supporter of the Wild Bird Care Centre in Ottawa. The center created the Elizabeth Le Geyt Environmental Award that it presents annually in appreciation. When she could afford to travel she headed out on birding trips around the world elating her readers with her adventures.  Source: Charles Enman, Elizabeth Le Geyt: A lifetime of Birding. Ottawa Citizen, October 31, 2009.
 
Flores (Florence) Le Due


Rodeo Star
née Grace. Maude Bensell. Born Montevideo, Minnesota 1883. Died 1951. Imagine following your dream and running away to join the circus! She took the professional name of Flores La Due and never looked back! She had grown up on ranches in Minnesota and South Dakota and she knew how to ride horses. She joined a wild west show as a trick rider and roper. In 1909 she married a handsome cowboy, Guy Weadick, and the young couple performed and toured together throughout North America and Europe. She became World Champion Trick and Fancy Roper ( three times actually) at the first Calgary Stampede in 1912, which was produced by her husband. The couple eventually became semi retired ranchers , performing the circuit for part of the year and running their ranch in the Alberta foothills. She performed for some 31 years in total. In 2001 she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth , Texas, the only Canadian resident to date to receive this honour.
 
Marie-Charles-Joseph LeMoyne de Longeuil

Baroness de Longeuil

(Baronne de Longueuil) Born March 21, 1756 Montréal, Québec. Died February 17, 1756. Born a posthumous twin, her sister Marie-Catherine-Joseph died when just a few months old leaving Marie-Charles the only surviving daughter of the late 3rd Baron of Longueuil. May 7, 1781 she married David Alexander Grant (d. 1806) The couple had three sons, one of whom Charles William became the 5th Baron de Longueuil. Marie-Charles owned and managed land in Lower Canada as well as ½ of Wolfe Island in Lake Ontario, Upper Canada. It was she that had planner Joseph Weilbrenner draw up plans for the town of Longueuil. She was extremely generous when it came providing the Catholic Church with lands. She established and was president of the Orphelinal Catholique de Montréal. She would be the last of the legal French descendants of the LeMoyne de Longueuil family.
 

Isabella 'Belle' Clarke Lougheed.

 

Political Wife

née Hardisty. Born 1859. Died 1936. Isabella was born into a Metis family, one of the richest in the Canadian North west. After primary education she attended the Wesleyan Female College, Hamilton, Ontario. On September 16 1884 she married a young and upcoming lawyer, James Lougheed (1854-1923), who would go on to serve as a Canadian Cabinet Minister and senator. The couple would have 4 sons and two daughters. In 1891 the Lougheeds moved into a large house on the outskirts of Calgary which would become a cultural centerpiece of the area where Belle was grand hostess to such notables as the Governor General and the Prince of Wales. Belle as an active participant in the growing community. In 1890 she was treasurer of the Women’s Hospital Aid Society and in 1896 she was Vice-President of the Alberta District National Council of Women. In 1916 James was knighted in recognition of war effort work on the home front. Lady Bell was the 1st President of the Victorian Order of Nurses, active with the Children’s Aid Society and the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. In 1922 she helped to found and served as 1st president of the Southern Alberta Pioneers and Old Timer’s Association. Lougheed House, the family mansion is both a provincial and in 1992 became a National Historic Site with restoration to the days when Lady Bell was denizen of Calgary.
 
Isabella Macdonald

 

Wife of a Prime Minister

née Clark. Born 1811. Died December 28,1857. Isabella was the 1st cousin of Sir John A. Macdonald. They met in Scotland in 1842 during one of Sir John’s trips to the United Kingdom. Later in 1842 Isabella visited her sister in Kingston, Upper Canada and met once again Sir John. On September 1, 1843 the couple were married. After two years of marriage Isabella became ill. Although she removed from this bout of ill health she became ill once again in 1844 and this time she became an invalid and never really fully recovered her health. The couple travelled in the United States in 1845 in the hopes of Isabella regaining her strength. She would remain in the U.S.A. for the next few years while Sir John travelled between her and his political offices in Ottawa. In August 1847 a son, John Alexander Macdonald Junior was born. Unfortunately tragedy struck when the 13 month old died suddenly. A second son Hugh John Macdonald was born in March of 1850 (1850-1929). When Hugh was just seven years old he mother succumbed to her illness and died.  Sources: The Canadian encyclopedia online accessed July 2013 ; The Invisible Lady by James McSherry (1989) accessed July 2013) ; Women of Ottawa: mentors and milestones Online accessed July 2013
 
Susan Agnes Macdonald

 


Wife of a Prime Minister

née Bernard. Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe. Born Jamaica August 24,1836. Died September 5, 1920. Brought up in Jamaica and England she came to Canada  to live with her brother. It was through her brother, Hewitt, that she met the Canadian politician, Sir John A. Macdonald. They married February 16, 1867. She was the 2nd wife for Sir John but as the wife of our 1st Prime Minister she Canada's 1st "First Lady".  She was intelligent and curious about life but she had little patience for the social graces and duties of the wife of a Canadian Prime Minister. In 1886, following the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway the Macdonald's set of on a transcontinental rail trip. Consumed by the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, the 50 year old woman raised concerns from the crew when she enjoyed part of the trip wrapped in blankets and perched atop a candle box on the locomotive's cow catcher! The diaries she wrote, now preserved in Canada's National Archives, provide a fascinating view of the early years of Canadian Confederation. She and Sir John had one daughter Margaret Mary Theodora Macdonald, who was born severely handicapped, both mentally and physically (1869–1933).After her husband's death in 1891 she was raised to the peerage in his honour as Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe, in the Province of Ontario and Dominion of Canada. She eventually returned to England where she died and is buried.
 
Gladys Cameron MacGregor Watt

 

Theater promoter

Born Galveston, Texas, U.S.A.. Died Ottawa, Ontario October 15, 1979. Her mother died in childbirth and Gladys was sent to Brooklyn to live with an aunt and Uncle. She graduated from Brooklyn’s Adelphi College with her B.A.. Shortly after she married a Canadian forestry engineer Roy MacGregor Watt January 10, 1917. The young couple moved to Dauphin, Manitoba where she was paramount in establishing a local library and a little theatre. During the great depression she operated a billboard company to make ends meet for the family. In 1937 the young family, now including two sons, moved to Ottawa, Ontario. It did not take Gladys long to become involved with her beloved theatre work. In 1958 she was Governor of the Canadian Drama Festival and was presented with the Canadian Drama Award for her efforts. In 1963 Lady Bird Johnson, first lady of the United States presented Gladys with the Margo Jones Award for her impact on encouraging live theatre. Gladys was instrumental in preserving Ottawa’s old Union Station building in the heart of downtown Ottawa and campaigned vigorously against the demolition of the Wet block of the Canadian Parliament buildings. In 1964 the City of Ottawa honoured her for her dedication. In 1967 she was recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal. When she retired from the Ottawa Little Theatre, where she had advanced the One Act Play contest to a national level, she was presented with an engraved silver tray and a seat in the Theatre with her name on it. Source: Gladys Cameron Watt by Valerie Knowles.

Jane Mackenzie.

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Syms. Born Perthshire, Scotland March 22, 1825. Died March 30, 1893.  Married on June 17, 1853, she would become the second wife of Alexander Mackenzie, second Prime Minister of Canada1873-1978.. The Toronto Globe newspaper described her as "the best-known woman of Canada...and one of the most admired and respected." It was a role she did not really enjoy but she supported her husband and  entertained all of Ottawa's politicians                                                                           
 
Sheila Ann Martin
Wife of a Prime Minister
née Cowan. Born 1943 Windsor, Ontario Was neighbor to Paul Martin and his family A Canada Steamship Lines ship, Sheila Ann, is named in her honour. Before her husband, Paul Martin, became the Prime Minister of Canada, Sheila Martin's work in Ottawa included serving on a committee called Politics and the Pen, and on this committee she helped give prizes and money to Canadian writers.
 
Patricia 'Pat' Mary McDonagh Born March 17, 1934 Manchester, England. Died May 31, 2014 Toronto, Ontario. Her mother was a seamstress and created for Pat the latest in fashion that the youth showed her mother from a magazine. She attended Manchester University where she was approached, much to the horror of her parents, to become a model. In August 1960 she married David Main and the couple had 3 children. She opened a dress shop in Horwick, England which proved to be popular and led to a second shop opening. In 1966 with her husband having a job offer from the CBC the family immigrated to Toronto, Ontario. Pat found the city void of fashion sence and opened a shop in Toronto providing up to date fashion for the city. She soon recognized the need for Canadian modern designing and in 1968 opened her 1st factory. Her designs have been worn by such notables as Cher, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Rigg, and our own Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean. She won the New York Times Award for Design Excellence in 1992 followed in 2000 with the Best Shoe acknowledgement from the Bata Shoe Museum. In 2003 she was presented with a lifetime Achievement Award from the Fashion Design Council of Canada. Source: Susan Ferrier MacKay, She brought Carnaby Street to Toronto, The Globe and Mail, July 5, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Theresa Helen McNeil

First woman High Sherriff

née Membourquette. Born 1928 Lower Ardoise, Nova Scotia. Died March 11, 2009. Theresa married Burt and was the busy stay at home mom to the couple ‘s  17 children. When Burt died suddenly in 1973 there were still 7 children under the age of 10 at home. Theresa was hired by  Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, as High Sherriff. She was the first woman in Canada to hold such a position. She inspired all of the people around her including her children who would in time become teachers, public Servants, police officers, small business owners even a Nova Scotia Member of Parliament. She was also a tireless volunteer who worked in and for her community until she became ill to deliver Meals on wheels.  In 1992 she received the Canada 125 Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 2005 she was named to the Order of Nova Scotia. Source: Protocol Office, Order of Nova Scotia http://gov.ns.ca/prot/2005 recipients (Accessed August 12, 2008. )
 
Judith "Judy" Winifred Mappin

 

Book Dealer

née Taylor. Born 1929, Toronto, Ontario. Died February 14, 2014. She grew up in a wealthy family in Toronto. She attended McGill University where she earned a B.Sc. in 1950. This may have been where she met her husband of 50 years, John N. Mappin. After all the two had an insatiable love of books. In later life, John turned in the family jewelry business to deal with historical publications while she preferred current Canadian Literature. The couple had five children. In the mid 1970’s she became a 3rd partner in the Double Hook Book Store in Montreal. When her partners left the business she took it on by herself. She sold currently published Canadian books in the heart of Montreal where English language works were often difficult to find. She welcomed and supported Canadian authors.  In 1999 she served on the jury for the Giller Prize for Canadian Fiction. In 2000 and again in 2002 she founded scholarship programmers at McGill University. In 2005 Judy decided to retire and close the Book Store. That same year she was honoured with the President’s Award of Distinction from the Association of Canadian Publishers for her 31 years of support of Canadian literature. In 2006 she received an honourary doctorate from McGill University and in 2008 she became a member of the Order of Canada. Source: “Judy Mappin Championed Canadian writers in her Double Hook Book Shop”  by Katherine Wilton. The Gazette, Montreal, February 19, 2014 ; personal information.
 

Marie-Joseph-Angélique.
Slave
Born circa 1710 Baptized June 28, 1730. She was a black slave who had the misfortune to fall in love with a white man, Claude Thibault. They fled from Canada  to New England. To mask their escape she set fire to her master's house. The fire burnt out of control and 46 homes were destroyed along with the famous Hotel Dieu. She was captured and sentenced to have her hand cut off and be burned alive. The sentence was changed to handing before her body was burned. Her ashes were scattered to the wind.
 
Judith Maxwell

Economist
Born July 21, 1943 Kingston, Ontario. Judith attended Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia earning her Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 1963. She studied at the London School of Economics in England from 1965-1966. On May 8 1970 she married Anthony Stirling and the couple have 2 children. She first worked as a researcher with the Combines Investigation Branch of the Federal Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs until 1965. She worked an economist and writer for the Financial Times of Canada from 1966 through 1972 and then was Director of Policy Studies at the C.D. Howe Institute until 1980. She worked with the Economic Council of Canada from 1985-1992 prior to becoming Associate Director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston and Executive Director of Queen’s-University of Ottawa Economic Projects in 1992-1994. She was a member of Ontario Premier’s Council from 1998-1990. She has authored several books the economics and social role of government. In 1996 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. She was a founding president of the Canadian Policy Research Networks until she retired in 2005. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Community Foundation of Ottawa and is part of a group of volunteers working to establish a Citizens Academy of Ottawa. Source: The Canadian Who’s Who, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997)
 
Jessie Isabel Meighen

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Cox. Born April 18, 1883, Granby, Quebec. Died September 6, 1985, Toronto, Ontario. Isabel left home to teach in Manitoba. It was while here that she me a young man who had also been a teacher and then studied law. In June 1904 she married Arthur Meighen (1874-1960) who would become the 8th Prime Minister of Canada. The couple had three children. Sources: Une Granbyenne, première dame du Canada by René Beaudoin in Société d”Histoire de la haute-Yamaska, Fév. 26, 2012. Online accessed July 2013.
 
Mikak

Aboriginal woman

Born circa 1740, Labrador. Died 1795, A daughter of an Inuit Chief, Mikak lived with her husband and son in a small British fishing station when the settlement was raided and her husband was killed. The young widow learned to speak English from a British solder, Francis Lucas. She and her son went to England with Lucas. Here she  was treated like the Inuit Princess that she was. She and her son had their portrait painted by the famous artist John Russell. In London she met Jens Haver, a Moravarian Missionary. She helped the missionary raise funds for a mission and in the summer of 1768 she returned to Labrador with Francis Lucas. When Jans Haven arrived in 1769 she helped establish the mission for which she had helped to raise funds from the British. She remarried to an Inuit hunter, Tugavina, and settled with her family in her homeland.      
 

Eleanor Joan "Dusty" Miller

Theatre Administrator

née Faircloth.  Born August 3, 1929. Died February 14, 2012.  In 1949 she married  Thomas B. Miller (  - 1996) and the couple moved to England returning to live in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1954 where Dusty would become Artistic Director of the Cambrian Players for nine years. She also taught theatre and television arts in high schools and designed and co-directed the Fine Arts Division at Lakehead University. She also taught in the Confederation College Performing Arts Management Program.  She became active in politics and in 1974 was elected as a city councilor. In 1978-1980 she was the first woman mayor of Thunder Bay,.  She was elected again to city council in 1985 and served through 1991. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Lakehead University for 11 years and was a founding member of Theater Ontario. Influential Women honoured her with the Northwestern Ontario Business Award and was presented the Maggie Bassett Award from Theatre Ontario for her outstanding contribution to theatre. She received the Order of Ontario and was appointed a Fellow of Lakehead University. Source: Obituary  Globe and Mail March 10, 2012. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario
 
Milica  "Mila" Mulroney

 

Wife of a Prime Minister

née Pivnicki. Born July 13,1953 Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina .Her father was a doctor and could not advance without being a member of the party politics.  He took a research fellowship in Montreal in 1956 and worked the next two years through red tape necessary to bring his family to Canada. Mila was 5 when she arrived in Canada and had her first glimpse of snow. She registered at Concordia University to study engineering and fine art but became diverted in her studies. In 1972 She met  an up and coming lawyer from Bae Como and they married May 26, 1973. Brian Mulroney (1939 -   ) would become the 18th Prime Minister of Canada 1984-1993. Mila dropped her university studies becoming a housewife, mother of 4 children and staunch supporter of her husband’s political career.  Both were involved with the Progressive Conservatives in Westmount. Mila played a large role in Brian’s first campaign for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership. Many PC campaign buttons featured both Mulroney’s face and hers. She was known for having a good handle on fashion but she could also work a crowd with her friendly manner making people feel at ease. Her charity works included being a director of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation . After politics and with her children grown and married she rekindled her interest in the arts. She enjoys making necklaces that she gives to family and friends. She also enjoys painting and abstract works of art. Sources: “Mila Mulroney : Designing Woman” by Julia Smith. Maclean’s Magazine July 12, 2013. Online accessed July 2013. ; “Meet Mila Mulroney’s greatest asset.” By Hubert Bauch. Montreal Gazette September 3, 1983 Online accessed July 2013.
 
Letitia Munson

Slave/healer
Born North Carolina, U.S.A. ca 1820 Died Ca 1882. Born a slave she was sent by her master to learn the art of healing to help other slaves and protect the investment of the master. By 1861 she had gained her freedom and was settled in Woodstock in Canada West. By 1870 she was a well established herbalist and fortune teller and her home was the place that many unwed women visited when they became pregnant. She became involved in a scandalous legal case where she was accused but acquitted of performing abortions. In her day orphanages did not accept illegitimate children and many women felt their choice was limited to visiting her home.
 
Sheila NaGiera

Legendary pioneer

(Magella or MaGeila?) Is she real? Only the undiscovered foggy history of Newfoundland knows for sure. As oral history tells it, she may have been an O’Connor, the daughter of a claimant to the Irish Throne of Connaught. Oral traditions abound in tales of Newfoundland’s early Irish Princess. She is reputed to have come to Newfoundland in the early 1600’s and married one Gilbert Pike. The couple became planters and small business people in nearby Carbonnear Island in 1611. Were they indeed the first European couple to settle Newfoundland’s shores??? Check out The Beaver, February / March 2005 pages 44-45 at your Public Library.
 

Angelina Napolitano

 

Convicted murderer.

Born near Naples, Italy 1883(?) Died after 1924.  In 1909, Angelina and her husband emigrated to Canada fro Ital via New York City. The settled in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. On April 16, 1911 she hugged her children good bye and went to jail. She had waited for the police. She had killed her abusive husband. In 1910 she had been disfigured when stabbed by her abusive husband.  She saw no other way out for the safety of her children.  He had tried to force her to prostitute herself to earn money to build a family house. She was convicted and sentenced to hang after the birth of the child she was expecting. A protest erupted following the conviction. Organizations from across North America and Britain. Feminist groups screamed 'self Defence'. On July 14, 1911 her sentence was commuted to life in prison. December 30, 1924 she was granted parole. She had kept in touch with her children but it is not known what happened after 1924.  Her case was the beginning of recognition of a major problem of western civilization. Was she guilty. Yes, but in the modern millennium law and society would have provided at least alternative solution to her situation.
 
Catherine Norton

 

 

Aboriginal women

Born ca 1797, U.S.A. ?. Died January 16, 1827 Thamesville, Upper Canada (Now Ontario). Her Aboriginal name was Karighwahcagh. In 1813 when she was approximately 16 years old she married the 50 year old Chief John Norton. John was the son of a Cherokee father and a Scottish mother who was probably born in Scotland. As a youth he had joined the British Army making his way to North America where he eventually became adopted by the Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant (1743-1807). After their marriage Catherine accompanied John during his service in the War of 1812. She would have been exposed to the rough living in army camps. After the War John took Catherine to Scotland where she attended school in Dunfermaine. While in Scotland Catherine became acquainted with the Duchess of Northumberland who had a portrait of Catherine commissioned. In 1816 the couple returned to Upper Canada and eventually settled on a large farm at Sims Locks overlooking the Grand River. In 1823, believing Catherine to have been unfaithful to him, John Norton became embroiled in duel. He was charged with murder and convicted of manslaughter and paid a fine of 25 pounds. John settled a portion of his British army pension on Catherine and left for the U.S.A. There is evidence that he intended to return to Canada but there is no proof that he did indeed return. Catherine settled in Thamesville in Upper Canada. Sources: Carl F. Klinck, “NORTON, JOHN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 14, 2015, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/norton_john_6E.html.  : Women of Valour , in Canadian History Aug-September 2013;
 
Isabella Pain
Negotiator
née Ford. Born 1968 Nain, Labrador. She left home to study at Memorial University in St. John’s Newfoundland earning a degree in political science. She joined the Labrador Inuit Association land claims negotiating team in 2001  was named co-chief negotiator. In 2001 she was also appointed chief negotiator on Inco’s Voisey’s Bay development. Agreement was reached in 2002 and the project proceeded as planned in 2004. In 2004 she became Inuit Affairs Officer with INCO. In 2004 she was named one of Canada’s Top forty under forty. She is married and the couple have one daughter. Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006. Saskatoon: Coteau Books, 2005
 
Maryon Elspeth Pearson

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Moody. Born December 13,1901 Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died December 26,1968Toronto, Ontario. While attending the University of Toronto in her 4th year of studies she enrolled in tutorial classes given by Lester Bowles Pearson (1897-1972) On August 22, 1925 the couple were married in Winnipeg. He soon became involved in politics and would become the 14th Prime Minister of Canada 1963-1968.They would have one son and one daughter. She did not really care for wearing hats nor politics but she was a staunch defender of her husband. She was known for speaking her mind and for off the cuff “quips” with the pres. She was known to have said “Behind every great man is a surprised woman.”  Evidently the couple argued as a way of life but still had a loving relationship. Reportedly at her request that the practice of curtseying to the Governor General and his consort was discontinued (apparently because Maryon refused to act deferentially toward her old friend Norah Michener, the wife of Rolland Mitchner, the Governor General). It is interesting that while she does not have an entry of her own in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, a paragraph in the biography of her husband is dedicated to her. Source: “Lester Bowles Pearson”, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (University of Toronto Press) Accessed July 2013.
 
Sophia Pooley

Slave

née Burthen. Born Fishkill, New York, U.S.A. A slave by birth she was stolen with her sister by the owner’s son in law when she was 7 years old. In Genesee, New York, she was sold to Joseph Brant (1752-1807) a Mohawk leader who sided with the British during the American Revolution. Sophia helped Brant hunt deer by scaring the deer towards Brant and his sons to them. While Brant himself was not disposed to mistreating his slaves, evidently his third wife was extremely brutal. he sold Sophia when she was twelve years old to Samuel Hatt who lived in Ancaster. Eventually freed in 1813, Sophia  moved to Waterloo County where she married Robert Pooley. When 90 years old she and other former slaves were interviewed to collect their stories and memories about their time as slaves.  Source:  Slavery in Canada. Online WWW.canadachannel.ca/slavery/index (accessed February 2015)
 
Harriet Powel





Passenger on the Underground Railroad

Born 1815 ? . Died February 5, 1860, Kingston, Canada West (Now Ontario). 
Harriet was ¼ African heritage and was sold at auction in New Orleans when she was 14 years old. She arrived in Syracuse, New York, on a trip with  the Davenports, a wealthy family from Mississippi, U.S.A. The group caused great discussion when word got out that the beautiful young woman with the Davenports was not a companion but rather a slave. While staying at the Syracuse House Hotel with her owners, Harriet was approached by some of the black staff of the hotel. Did she wish to escape from being a slave? They could help her escape. She worked her way through several safe houses on the famous Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves find their way to Canada and freedom. At one stop,  the home of Gerrit and Ann Smith in Peterboro, Madison County, New York, Harriet told her tearful story to a young cousin visiting the Smith home. Elizabeth Cady Stanton would go on to become a prominent feminist and she would remember the young slave woman’s story. On October 29, 1839 Harriet left Cape Vincent, New York and landed on Wolfe Island, Upper Canada and then made it safely to Kingston, Upper Canada where she lived with  Charles and Charlotte Hales There were rumors that the Davenport family had hired men to kidnap and return the errant slave, so life at first was tense. In April 1840 Harriet married Henry Kelly, a respectable gentleman of colour who was a musician. The couple  had 5 children who lived to be adults. A son Charles and his daughter Hattie were professional musicians in Guelph, Ontario. A granddaughter, A granddaughter, Katrina Coffin Kelly, was a missionary in Chile. Their son Edward was a barber in Winnipeg who Canadian checkers champion
. Source: A brief account of Harriet Powel’s Escape to Kingston by Joanne Stanbridge. A paper presented at the Kingston Genealogical Society February 2009. Suggestion submitted by June (Hales) Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 

Anne Powell
 

Doyenne of Toronto

née Murray. Born April 26, 1755, Wells, Norfolk, England. Died March 10, 1849, Toronto, Canada West (Now Ontario). As a young woman she had been forced to learn the profession as milliner which she felt was beneath her station in life. On October 3, 1775 she eloped without permission of family with William Dummer Powell (died 1834) and the couple set off for England. The couple would have 9 children. By 1780 she and her children joined William in Montreal. The family moved numerous times to various locations in the U.S.A. and England finally settling in Toronto in 1799. Here William served as a judge providing Anne with a suitable station in the community where she became a well known social arbiter. In  April 1813, during the War of 1812, the Americans attacked Toronto Anne fearlessly determined to remain In her house while other families fled the town. She did not however survive the scandal with her promiscuous daughter Anne who was involved with the married John Beverly Robinson. The mother, at one time, sought to have her daughter committed to an asylum. Young Anne died in a shipwreck in 1829. The mother was brought to disgrace and withdrew from society. In 1826 the couple moved to England for a few years but by 1829 there returned to Upper Canada. In 1840 a ‘wicked’ granddaughter was embroiled in a messy divorce, the first divorce in Upper Canada. Much of Anne’s life is known through the some 700 detailed letters to family and friends which have survived. A portion of Anne Powell’s voluminous correspondence has been published under the title “Letters of Mrs. Wm. Dummer Powell, 1807–1821,” ed. By Janet Carnochan, in the Niagara Historical Society, no.14 (1906): 1–40. Sources: Edith G. Firth, “MURRAY, ANNE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 14, 2015, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/murray_anne_7E.html. ; Women of valour , in Canadian History Aug-September 2013;
 
Gladys Powers

World War l veteran

Born 1899, England. Died August 14, 2008, Abbottsford, British Columbia. She served in the British Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp in World War 1. She also served in the British Royal Air Force when she worked as a barracks waitress. After the war she came to Canada as a War Bride of a Canadian Soldier, Ed Luxford. She proudly became a Canadian Citizen. The couple settled at first in Calgary, Alberta but Gladys found it rather cold so the couple walked the rails in 1925, 1000 kilometers to settle on the west coast. Hollowing her divorce from Ed, Gladys married three more times, only to outlive all three husbands. Upon her death she was believed to have been the last woman World War One veteran. She was 109 years old.  Source: Heroines.ca. Online (Accessed February 2009)
 
Minnie Sophia Prat

Book Binder

Born Wolfeville, Nova Scotia 1868. Died Wolfeville, Nova Scotia September 4, 1901. Minnie and her sisters, Annie and May were adventuresome spirits leading up to the turn of the century. At one time Minnie was engaged to marry Goodridge Roberts, brother of the poet Charles G. D. Roberts, but Goodridge dies of flu in 1892. In 1897 Minnie boldly moved to New York City to study the art of book binding with Evelyn Nordhoff, the first independent woman bookbinder in North America. Her sister May joined Minnie in New York t, learning about leatherwork for binding. The women were all pioneers in this male professional bastion. After Evelyn died, Minnie and May opened their own Primrose Bindery in New York City in 1900. Minnie won a silver medal at the 1900 Paris Exhibition and a Bronze Medal for her work in Buffalo, New York at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Minnie died in 1901 of typhoid contracted during a visit home to Wolfeville. May kept the Primrose Bindery working with the help of big sister Anne but was forced to close it down in 1904 when she returned home to marry. Source: Nova Scotia Archives. The Prat Sisters. Online http://gov.ns.ca (accessed June 2011) ; Herstory: the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2007 Coteau Books, 2006 page 74.
 

Catherine Anne Prevost

Political Wife
née Phipps. Born 1766. Died August 1, 1821 Belmont Bedhampton, Hampshire, England. On May 19, 1789 she married Sir George James Marc Prevost (1767-1816). Sir George held several political posts where the British government desired to have a military competency. The family was in Dominica when he served as Governor General. He was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia January 15, 1808 and Catherine followed arriving in Halifax in August of 1808 where she took up duties as official hostess. On October 21 1811 Sir Charles was appointed Governor General of British North America and the family relocated to Quebec. Catherine presided over formal occasions and often represented her husband socially during absences leading forces in the War of 1812. Upon the death of her husband in 1816 she declined offer of peerage in honour of her husband as she did not consider herself or her family to have sufficient means to support the dignity. Source: Women of Valour , in Canadian History Aug-September 2013;
 
Jane Elizabeth Proctor Born December 25, 1949. Died July 25, 2014 Richmond Hill, Ontario. Jane married Ronald Boss and the couple had one daughter. She was by profession a physiotherapist and she ran her own clinic in Etobicoke, Ontario. She was also physiotherapist for team Canada at such international events as the Pan-American Games, the Commonwealth Games and both summer and winter Olympics. At these games she served figure skaters and volleyball players with compassion. Source: Obituaries, The Globe and Mail, July 31, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Monica Proiette

Machine Gun Molly

Born Feb 25, 1940, Montreal, Quebec.  Died September 19, 1967.  Monica was born to a poor family that had of tussles with the law. At 13 she was a working prostitute.  In 1956 at just 17 she married Anthony Smith, a Scottish gangster who was almost twice her age. The couple had two children. In 1962 Anthon was deported from Canada. Two years after her marriage a fire in their home killed 4 of her brothers and sisters. After the loss of her husband Monica became involved with a bank robber Viteur Tessier and this couple had one child. Eventually Viteur Tessier was caught and was sent to jail for 15 years leaving Monica on her own again to raise her three children. She began her solo robbing career. Monica and her accomplices held up more than 20 banks in the Montreal area stealing over $100,000.00 dollars. The media dubbed her Machine Gun Molly/Monica La Mitraille. She used numerous disguises ranging from feminine outfits to masculine outfits. On September 19, 1967 Monica died after crashing into a bus and being shot twice by an undercover police officer following a high-speed chase through the north-end of the city. Reportedly, this was to have been her last bank robbery, intended to fund a new life in Florida. During her lifetime in robbery she became known by the nick name Machine Gun Molly. A 2004 Quebec film Monica la mitraille (Machine Gun Molly in English) was loosely based on her life. The film was adapted from the book Souvenirs de Monica by Georges-Hébert Germain.
 
Rose Marie Rauter

 

Forester

Marie was the 1st woman to graduate in forestry from the University of Toronto. She went on to earn her Masters in forestry genetics. She began her career with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario. In the 1970’s she served a Supervisor of the Tree and Seed and Forest Genetics Unit.  In 1984, Marie convinced the forest industries of the Province of Ontario that they should actively participate in the tree improvement program, which resulted in 1985, in the formation of the Ontario Tree Improvement Council. chaired a working group in the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). She has presented papers throughout North America and abroad and has been an invitational participant in events such as the world forest policy forum in Indonesia. In 1992, she became the President and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association, a position she held until 2000. Marie lead the development of Ontario Industry Codes of Forest Practice and been involved in many regional, provincial, national and international discussions on behalf of Ontario forest industries. She is an active member of several committees and associations including the board of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, the National Roundtable of the Economy and Environment, the Environment Forestry Task Force to the Biodiversity Advisory Committee for Environment Canada and External Affairs, and she was prominent in developing Canada's position at the Rio Conference. She served on numerous boards including the Advisory Committee of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia and the Ontario Board of the Canadian Nature Conservancy. Source: Jean Bannerman, Leading Ladies of Canada (Belleville, Mika Publishing, 1977);
 
Kate Reed née Armour Born September 16, 1856 Cobourg, Ontario. Died September 18, 1928 London, England. On a trip to New York City, USA Kate met her 1st husband, an American lawyer, Grosvenor Porter Lowery. The couple had two children. After her husband’s death she returned with her children to Ottawa where she shortly married a former fiancé Hayter Reed(1847-1936) on June 16, 1889. The couple had one child. While in served as an early governor of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Kate was also a founding member of the Aberdeen Association (Now the National Association of Women of Canada) By 1900 Kate, with the family now living in Quebec City, began to help decorate the Chateau Frontenac Hotel of which her husband was in control. A connoisseur of antiques and paintings her efforts were noticed by the powers at be of the Canadian Pacific hotels and by 1905 when her husband was manager and Chief of the CP Hotel department Kate was using her skills to do interior décor with the architects of the hotels across the country becoming perhaps the 1st professional woman in interior design. She also encouraged the exhibiting of works of Canadian female artists. After her husband retired from CP hotels she helped with hotels owned by Canadian Steamship lines. Her personal papers including her journals are retained at the McCord Museum in Montreal.
Miriam Alleyne Priscilla Renouf

 

Archeologist

Born August 8, 1953, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Died April 2014, St. John’s Newfoundland. Priscilla loved to sew as a youngster and as a teen she won a Miss Singer Sewing Contest. She attended Memorial University of Newfoundland earning both her B.A. and her M.A. She earned her PhD at Cambridge University, England. In 1981 she joined the faculty of Memorial University. She held the Canada Research Chair of North Atlantic Archeology. In 1992 she earned the President’s Award for Outstanding Research. She was a member of the 1st Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of civilization and a member of the Board of Directors for Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. She was also on the governing body of Social Sciences and Humanities Research council of Canada. She was co-founder of an international research group called LINK, whose goal is to answer questions relating to past societies and how they coped with climate changes. She would also author several books in her field. In 1999 she married Roger Pickavance. Source: “Obituaries: Priscilla Renouf…a humanistic approach to archeology.” By Joan Sullivan, the Globe and Mail, April 16, 2014.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.
Alma V. Ricard

Philanthropist

née Vézina  Born 1906, Montreal, Quebec. Died June 2, 2003, Sudbury, Ontario. Alma moved to Sudbury in 1931. In 1940 she married Baxter Ricard. Baxter was a successful pioneer in communications with radio and television. Upon his death in 1993 Alma began investigating investing how best to help French Canadians living where their language made them a minority group. In 1998 she established the Baxter and Alma Ricard Foundation to help students living in linguistic minorities. She also made major financial contributions to various hospitals and educational institutions. She received honourary doctorates from Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario and the University of Ottawa. In 2000 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. She was also the recipient of the Ordre de la Pléiade. Source: Les Elles du nord Online (Accessed June 2015)
 
Kathleen "Kate" Rice

Prospector
Born December 20, 1883, St. Mary’s Ontario. Died 1963 Minnedosa, Manitoba. Kate came from a well to do family and was well educated having earned a degree in mathematics at the University of Toronto in 1906. For a while she taught in St. Catharines, Ontario  and at Albert College, Bellville, Ontario before heading to the Canadian west and teaching in 1908 in Tees, Alberta. By 1912 she had landed in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She spent 2 years in The Pas where she spent her summers as a prospector. She enjoyed prospecting and taught to earn enough money to earn provisions for mining. In 1911 she set out for Flin Flon. By 1914 she decided to take on a business partner, Dick Woosey. She latterly split her cabin in half with a rope with each to their own side, it was a business partnership! Kate wrote scientific papers on the northern lights and dabbled in journalism writing for the Toronto Star. She even designed a hydro electric project with which she hoped to power one of her own mines. She knew well the Aboriginal population in the areas of northern Manitoba, learning how to trap and live off the land as well as learning to speak their language. They simply called her Mooniasquao, meaning white woman.  She is considered the first woman prospector and is responsible for the beginning of the gold mining community in Manitoba. After Dick’s death in 1940 she remained in the backwoods for 2 more decades. She eventually returned to settled areas only to find herself in a mental institution. She was eventually ejected for not being mentally ill but being just a tough old miner. She died in an nursing home in Minnedosa. Although she is buried in an unmarked grave, the owner of the Snow Lake Manitoba newspaper erected tombstones for both miners. Kate’s tombstone reads “Extraordinary woman of the wilds”. In 2014 Kate was inducted into the Canadian Miners Hall of Fame. Sources: “Not Crazy, just a female prospector: Kate Rice honoured for mining first” by Chris Purdy, Canadian Press, January 15, 2014 Online (Accessed February 2014) ; Canadians All: Six portraits of our People by Terry Angus et all. (Methuen, 1986)
 
Laura Rose

 

Agricultural lecturer

Born Ontario. Born and raised in Ontario she was a school teacher who had experienced pioneer farm life while keeping house on her brother's farm in North Dakota. She was an honours graduate and then lecturer at the Farm Dairy School of the Ontario Agricultural School in Guelph. She conducted a traveling dairy in Nova Scotia and participated as judge of butter, bread, jam, fruit and fancy work at many rural fairs. She wrote and edited articles for farm publications. Her 300 page book Farm Dairying was used as a text in agricultural colleges. Shortly after the formation of the first Women's Institute, the Ontario Department of Agriculture engaged her as a lecturer and organizer of Women's Institutes. It was under her guidance that the British Columbia Women's Institute began with the formation of the first fifteen institutes from Gordon Head on Vancouver Island to Cranbrook in the Kootenays in 1909. Her report to the B.C. Farmers' Institutes in 1910 indicates that her duties for the department had been to tour the province explaining to the women the aims and benefits of Institute association and then to help them with initial organization and election of officers. She returned to Ontario Department of Agriculture and by 1913 had married F. W. Stephen.
 
Elizabet 'Lizzie' von Rummel Born February 19, 1897, Munich, Germany. Died 1980 Canmore, Alberta. She was educated at home and learned to speak 4 languages. The family often vacationed in Canada and with the outbreak of World War l the family moved to a ranch in Alberta. In 1919 Lizzie returned to Germany for a year when her grandmother was ill but she preferred her Canadian life. The family wealth was lost during the war and the family ranch became a working ranch with Lizzie and her sisters learning to cook and clean without servants. The family raised Clydesdale horses and the girls even learned to be farriers. When tractors took the place of work horses the family ranch raised milk cows. As a young woman she had a dream of operating a guest lodge in the Rocky Mountains. In 1938 she began working as a chambermaid and soon became a guide and hostess at Mount Assiniboine. By 1943 she became involved with the Alpine club of Canada and began operating Skoki Lodge near Lake Louise. By 1947 she was operating Temple Lodge and the Lake Louise Ski Lodge. She became an ambassador for her beloved Rockies for the many world visitors. From 1951 through 1970 she operated Sunburst Lodge in the Mount Assiniboine area.  April 16, 1980 received the Order of Canada. She also holds the Canada Medal. The Elizabeth Rummel School in Canmore, Alberta is named in her honour as are Rummel Lake, Rummel Pass and Rummel Creek in Kananaskis Country.  Her biography was written by Ruth Oltmann: Lizzie Rummel – baroness of the Canadian Rockies.
 
Mary Townsend Schaffer
 
SEE MARY TOWNSEND SCHAFFER WARREN
Clara 'Dolly' Scott
Side show persona
Born 1919, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Died April 28, 1991, Gibsonton, Florida, U.S.A. Clara was only 3 feet all when she was fully grown. She was afflicted by alkalosis of her joints and only her right hand was functional. In 1941 at 23 years of age she began a sideshow career as the ‘half-baby – half woman’ or the Ossified girl ‘Jolly Dolly’ with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. She was married three times. In 1972 until her death she was a member of the Ward Hall’s Freak Show. Source: Sideshow World. The Ossified Lady. Online (Accessed July 2012.)
 
Elizabeth Catherine Shalla

Diarist
née Etmanski. Born November 19, 1890, Sherwood Township, Renfrew County, Ontario. Died May 29, 1978. Born close to Canada’s first polish settlement, Wilno, Ontario, her parents were from Poland and she grew up speaking polish. Her father fired Canadian men to work in his lumber business. The young workers were boarded in the family home and the whole family leaned to speak English. Elizabeth would keep a journal all her life in which she described life in her community leaving a record of a way of life that has vanished. By June 1906 she had graduated high school and began attending classes at the Convent of Mary Immaculate in Pembroke, Ontario. Excelling in French she completed the 3 year program in just two years winning the Gold Medal for her efforts. She then went on to study to become a teacher and taught first at the Killaloe separate school in Renfrew County where she also taught Catechism to the children on Sundays. Her next school was in Wilno. In 1915 she married Alex Shalla and their 1st child arrived in May 1916 followed by seven more children. Her husband died in 1937 leaving her to raise their 8 children. After World War ll she was asked to teach Polish to the children of the area. She continued these language lessons even after 1955 when she became a regular staff member at the school. She retired in 1967. While as a teacher she no doubt touched the lives of the Polish descendants of Barry’s Bay she also left a legacy through her journals which detailed earl settlers lives in Canada’s 1st Polish settlement. Source: Brenda Lee-Whiting, ‘Along the Opopogo Trail: Memories of Canada’s First Polish Settlement’ in The Beaver, February/March. 1992.
 
Norma Shepard
Physiotherapist & historian
Her profession is that of a psychotherapist but her avocation is that of hats. She is cofounder of North Shore Wordsmith’s writers group. In 1985 she earned the Canadian Achiever’s Award for entrepreneurship. In 1999 she set up a mobile hat museum. She has also written several books on fashion accessories through the decades. She is recognized as an authority on vintage clothing and women’s hats
 
Katherine 'Katerina' Sherbrooke

Political Wife

 

née Pyndar. Born November 22, 1782, Barrow Hill Staffordshire, England. On August 24, 1811 Katherine married Sir John Coape Sherbrooke (1764-1830). In October 1811 she and her sister accompanied Sir John to Halifax, Nova Scotia where Sir John took up the position of Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.  Katherine, as first lady of the territory, took on the duty of entertaining and hosting visitors on a daily basis. Some of her gatherings hosted some 200 guests at a time. Sir John served well during the War of 1812 and in June of 1816 the couple relocated to Quebec where Sir John took up his new position as Governor-in-chief or Governor General of British North America. Here once again Katherine became the hostess to events in the capital region. Sir John resigned his position in 1818 due to ill health and he retired to Nottinghamshire in England. Various settlements in Nova Scotia and Quebec are named for this Governor General and perhaps Katherine Street in Quebec City can trace its origin to the name of the wife of a Governor General. Source: Women of Valour , in Canadian History August-September 2013;
 
Jeanne St Laurant
Wife of a prime Minister.
née Renault. Borne October 22, 1886, Beauceville, Quebec. Died November 14, 1966, Quebec City, Quebec. She was the daughter of a prosperous merchant. She would meet a young law clerk at a party in 1906. On May 19, 1908 she married Louis Stephen St Laurent (1882-1973) who would serve as 12th Prime Minister of Canada 1948-1957. The couple had 5 children. In 1913 their family home was built in Quebec City. The 15 room house on Grand Allée has been declared a heritage building.
Hilda Mary Slayter




Titanic survivor
Born April 5, 1882 , Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died April2, 1965, Norris Castle, England. She left home in 1902 to pursue training in voice in Italy and England. However a performing career was not to be her calling. She  changed her life direction when she met Harry Reginald Dunbar Lacon of British Columbia, and  the couple decided to marry. In order to return to Canada with her wedding gown and trousseau (valued at some $7000.00 at the time), Hilda booked passage on the Titanic in April 1912 as a second class passenger. Originally when the Titanic struck an iceberg, she was told to go back to bed as there was no danger. A half hour later the order to don lifejackets was raised.  She was pushed down the corridor to the ship side where she was placed in lifeboat number 13. One of the last life boats to be lowered. She later provided touching eyewitness accounts as husbands and wives were separated and of children being handed over to the life boats by parents who stayed on board the sinking ship. In lifeboat 13 there were 8 women, a husband and wife and 10 month old baby and more than 40 men stokers, men who had manned the furnaces in the bowels of the ship. In total 63 people huddled in the  life boat on the becalmed sea watching the mighty ship sink. The life boat was eventually saved by the ship, Carpathia, and Titanic survivors were taken to New York. Hilda continued her trip to British Columbia where she was married in June 1912. The couple had one son who served with distinction in the Royal Canadian Navy. Hilda is buried in her family plot in Nova Scotia. Rosalee Peppard, a maritime Canadian musical Oral Historian is commemorating the 100th anniversary with a new show – Living Titanic – the musical memoir of Nova Scotia Survivor Hilda Mary Slayter Sources: Brave musicians of ship meet fate trying to drown cries…Worcester Evening Gazette, April 20, 1912. Online (Accessed March 2012) : Titanic Remembered: The unsinkable ship and Halifax by Alan Ruffman. Titanic, the Canadian Story. By Alan Hustak, Vehicule Press, 1999. ; Rosalee.ca/titanic (Accessed March 2012)
 
Wendy Sloboda

Paleontologist

Born 1968. Wendy was always fascinated by dinosaurs but unlike other young children she did not grow out of this interest. She worked at summer jobs looking for dinosaur bones. She actually found dinosaur egg shell chips in a place where they had never been found before. She worked with a museum crew finding shells with tiny unborn duckbilled dinosaurs. She became a paleontology star! Wendy attended the University of Lethbridge, Alberta to earn her BA in 2001. She had continued with searching for elusive dinosaur findings and even has a dinosaur named after her, the Wendyicertiops. It is a 6 meter long, two-ton beast with a prominent upright horn atop its nose. It lived 79 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Source: Canadian girls who rocked the world by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, Walrus Books, 2001 
 
Sandy Smith Sandy earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Guelph in 1978 and went on  to study for her Master’s at Guelph in 1981. She obtained he PhD from The University of Toronto in forestry and entomology. After graduating from 1985-1987 she worked for Forestry Canada in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She also worked at European Laboratories in France and Switzerland. In 1988 she became an assistant professor of the University of Toronto, the beginning of a full career at the university. In 2010 – 2-12 she became the 1st woman appointed as Dean to the Faculty of Forestry. She has written numerous scholarly papers and published with a variety of professional journals. In 2012 she became a Minjiang Scholar at the Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University in China. The Sandy Smith Research Laboratories at the University of Toronto accommodates graduate students and post doctorate Fellows. She has served as President of both the Entomological Societies of Ontario and Canada. She has also served as Examiner for the Ontario Professional Foresters Association. Sandy married Graham Rempe and the couple has three sons.
Madeline Spence Madeline survived being forced to attend the Indian Residential School system. She also overcame having had tuberculosis (TB). She has served as an elder on numerous councils, including the Wuskwatim-NCN dam project. Madeleine and her life partner Wellington raised a large family and adopted many children from their community. For some 30 years, these respected elders presented culture workshops in western Canada and United States and were esteemed members of the Elders Council of University College of the North.  In 2010 she was honoured at the Keeping the Fires Burning Aboriginal Awards celebrating female leaders for preserving First Nations culture and serving as role models for younger generations. Source; Matt Preprost, “Gala recognizes accomplishments”.  Winnipeg Free Press June 18, 2010 Page A13.
 
Dorothy Summerset


Theater Director

Born June 9, 1900, Perth, Australia. Died August 11, 1991, Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied at Radcliffe College and earned her BA. She  moved to Vancouver in 1921. She has been and actor and director Vancouver Little Theatre as well as direction with the  University Players' Club  in 1934-38. In 1937, she joined the University of British Columbia's extension department and the following year founded its Summer School of Theatre.  In 1946 she taught UBC's first theatre credit courses. In 1952 she received Canadian Drama Award. In 1958 she helped found UBC's drama department. The Dorothy Somerset Scholarship Fund was set up in 1965.  In June 1991, she won a Jessie Award for "humanity, integrity and encouragement of young talent in the theatre." Source: The Vancouver Hall of Fame online. Accessed November 2012)

Felicitas Svejda Born November 8, 1920, Austria. Died January 19, 2016 Ottawa, Ontario. Felicitas earned her PhD in engineering and agricultural sciences from Hochschule fur Boden Kultur, Vienna and worked at the school from 1947-1951. Relocating to Sweden she worked at the Swedish Seed Association and in 1953 she immigrated to Canada. She worked at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Ontario for 33 years where she created roses named after well-known explorers of North America that are grown around the world today. The 25 explorer roses with names like John Cabot, Martin Frobisher, Jens Monc and Champlain are considered Canada’s greatest contribution to the world of roses. Felicitas began working with roses in 1961 to develop plants that would survive in the harsh Canadian climate. In 1968 she launched a 20 year program and 1st ever national trial of ornament shrubs in Canada. The Henry Hudson rose is so hardy it can survive in Zone 2 which includes northern locations as Kapuskasing, Ontario and Fort McMurry, Alberta. She also developed the ornamental plants named after dances such as the Minuet and Tango as well as Northern Gold Forsythia. She authored numerous papers for various professional journals. Her hardy plants are grown in Finland, Russia as well and her native Austria. In 1985 she received a Certificate of Merit from the Royal National Rose Society in Britain for the rose, John Cabot. Source: Dean Peters, Obituaries, Globe and Mail November 19, 2016.
Anna Haining Swan.



Tallest Woman

Born August 7, 1846, Mill Brook, Nova Scotia. Died August 5, 1888, Seville, Ohio, U.S.A. Anna was 1 of 13 children who were born all normal sized babies. However by the time she was 5 years old she was already 4’8” tall! As an adult she stood 7’6” tall (advertised as 8’) and weighed 350 pounds. At 16 the famous circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum brought Anna and her mother to New York City where she earned $1,000.00 a month at the American Museum on Broadway. She was partnered with Commodore George Washington Morrison who was 29” tall and weighed 24 pounds! She was almost killed in a fire at the museum on July 13, 1865 when unable to escape down the burning stairs she was too large to escape through a window. It took and block and tackle with 18 men to help her escape! While travelling to Europe she met Martin Van Bruen Bates who stood 7’ 22” (that is the description!) and weighed 470 pounds. The two were married June 17, 1871 in London, England. After a tour of Europe billed as the World’s largest married couple, they settled in Ohio where they built a house with 14’ ceilings and furniture to suit their size. Anne would have two children who where born very large babies and unfortunately did not live past a few days. Some of her clothes and other personal articles are displayed at a museum in Tatamgouche, Nova Scotia, near the town where she was born. Source: Phyllis R. Blakeley, “SWAN, ANNA HAINING,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 11, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, Online (Accessed August 2014) ;
 

Anne A. Taylor Born August 4, 1946, Sherbrooke, Quebec. Died June 28, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario. She graduated Bishops University in 1967 and then spent a year studying at the University of Sussex in England. She married Mark Stiles and the couple had two children. After university she taught 1st in Montreal and then at the Dene First Nations at Haybay, Alberta. In 1975 she accepted a position with the National Film Board in Ottawa where she was the founder and co director of the Media Awareness Network now known as MediaSmarts. She retired in 2005. She enjoyed combining two of her passions, music and children by working with Ottawa’s Leading Note Foundation and Orkidstra music program. She was presented the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for her outstanding contribution to healthy development of children and youth. Source: Obituaries, Ottawa Citizen, July 2, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Annie Emma Affleck Thompson

Wife of a Prime Minister

 

née Affleck. Born June 26, 1845 Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died April 10, 1913 Toronto, Ontario. Annie was raised a Catholic so when she married John Sparrow David Thompson (1845 -1894) a Protestant at the Bishop’s Palace in Portland, Main on July 5, 1870 it was with special permission. The couple would have 8 children, 5 of whom lived past infancy. Sir John Thompson was lawyer, judge, politician, and university professor, who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Canada December 5, 1892. In 1888 the family moved to Ottawa for John to take a government office. She became Lady Thompson when her husband was knighted by Queen Victoria. Annie was a strong personality who was a major supporter of her rather shy, timid husband. She was a sincere and busy host to Ottawa members of parliament. When the family could no longer afford a staff cook prior to him becoming Prime Minister, Annie prepared meals for dinner parties hosting some 250 people in 1892. On December 12, 1994 Sir John died of a heart attack while in England. Lady Thompson moved to Toronto were her small income was bolstered by a small supplement from the Canadian Parliament. Both Sir John and Lady Thompson were lifelong voracious letter writers. When the family moved to Toronto their baggage included some 30 trunks of saved correspondence now preserved in the Library and Archives Canada. Annie worked with Lady Aberdeen on the newly formed National Council of Women of Canada. Sources: “Obituary”, The Toronto Evening Telegram, April 11, 1913. ; “Annie Emma Affleck”, Dictionary of Canadian Biography 1911-1920, vol. XIV Online Accessed April 2013. 
 

Tookoolito

Inuit guide and translator

Born 1838, Cumberland Sound Baffin Island.  Died December 31, 1876. She was recorded in history with several names: Hannah, Taqulittuq, Tackritow. She made contact with some arctic explorers/adventurers and became a teacher and interpreter both of Inuit languages and of a way of life and survival. She became fluent in the English language and could also read and write in English. She embraced Christianity adding it to the guidance of her Inuit beliefs and teachings. She and her husband Ipirvik, also known as Joe, would sail to England on a whaler and there, be presented to Queen Victoria. They would live for several months on a couple of occasions in the U S A where they would help raise funds with the explorer/adventurer, Charles Hall to continue his explorations in search of the lost Franklin expedition and the North Pole. In October 15, 1872 she, her husband, adopted daughter Punny and sixteen others fro the Polaris Expedition became separated from their ship. They would spend 6 1/2 months on a large ice floe surviving a 1,500 mile journey in Arctic waters until rescued on April 30, 1873 near the coast of Labrador. In 1981, Canada's Historic Sites and Monuments Board, designated Tookoolito and Ipirvik, National Historic Persons.
 
Margaret Joan Trudeau

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Sinclair. Born September 10,1948 Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied English literature at Simon Fraser University. At 18, while vacationing in Tahiti she met the then Justice Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau (    -2000). She barley took notice of the encounter but Pierre had noticed. Much to the surprise of the entire nation the couple were married in a private ceremony on March 4, 1971. He was serving at this time as the 15th Prime Minister of Canada (1968-1979 & 1980-1984).  Margaret declared “I want to be more than a rose in my husband’s lapel” The couple would live in a tightly scrutinized bubble. They had three children together but there were problems on the home front. In 1977 the couple separated and Margaret with her jet setting ways became an embarrassment and a liability. She gave many "tell-all" interviews to Canadian and American magazines and appeared in two motion pictures. She was reported to have had affairs with celebrities and danced in a New York City club the night her husband lost an election. In 1984 the couple divorced with Pierre retaining custody of their three sons. Shortly after the divorce Margaret married Fried Kempler in 1984 and the couple had two children. While she lived a quiet life she did become Honorary president of WaterCan, an Ottawa-based organization dedicated to helping the poorest communities in developing countries build sustainable water supply and sanitation services. In November 1998 Michael Trudeau, the youngest of the Trudeau boys died in an avalanche near Kokanee Lake, British Columbia.  The following year her second marriage had failed and she became divorced. In 2000 she was at Pierre’s side when he died. Even though they were divorced the love had remained. The shock of these last events close to one another caused a breakdown for Margaret. In 2006, she announced that she had been suffering from bipolar disorder. Since then, she has advocated for reduced stigma of mental illness — bipolar disorder in particular — with speaking engagements across North America. She wrote Changing My Mind, a book about her personal experience having bipolar disorder, published by HarperCollins Canada in 2010.
 
Frances Amelia Tupper

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Morse. Born March 14, 1826, Amherst, Nova Scotia. Died May 10, 1912, Nova Scotia.On October 8 1846 she married Charles Tupper 1821-1915) a young Nova Scotia physician and a future Prime Minister of Canada, 1896. When Sir Charles was knighted by Queen Victoria for his contributions to his country and the Empire, his wife became Lady Frances Tupper. Sir Charles was only to serve in the tip office as Prime Minister for a period of ten weeks, the shortest term of any prime minister to 2013. Frances may not have had time to leave he imprint as 1st lady but she was hostess for all of her husband’s various political offices in Ottawa. The couple were married for 66 years. The couple had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls, two of whom died in infancy.  Two of their sons followed their father into political careers.
 
Eugenie Lee 'Frankie' Turner

RCAF Women's Division WW ll
née Francoeur. Born November 30, 1922 Lachine, Quebec. Her friends and her brother all signed up to serve in World War ll. She could not enlist until the Canadian government allowed women to join the forces in 1942 and she enlisted on October 12, 1942 in the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division. Her mother objected going right to the recruiting office but finally her family let her go. She took basic training at Rockcliffe base in Ottawa and took courses in teletype. Most English speaking Canadians in her group could not pronounce her French Canadian name correctly so she became ‘Frankie’. Her 1st posting was to Gander , Newfoundland and in 1943 back to Montreal. When she turned 21 she qualified to serve overseas and was posted to no. 6 Group, Bomber Command in Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England where she worked as a teletype operator. It was here she met Hall Turner, another Canadian in the service who hailed from Winnipeg. The married on March 25, 1945 in York , England where she was working. On May 8, 1945 they sailed by to Canada. The couple raised 5 children 1st in Winnipeg, then Montreal before relocating to California. Two of their sons volunteered to fight in Vietnam. Eugenie retuned to Canada to live in Kelowna, British Columbia after the death of her husband in 1983. Source: Elinor Florence, RCAF Airwoman ‘wouldn’t have missed it for the world’. Elinor Florence’s Blog Online (Accessed July 2015)
 
Geills MacCrae Turner

Wife of a Prime Minister
née Kilgour. Born December 23,1937 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She attended Harvard Business School in the U.S.A. and was employed at IBM. She was a campaign worked for the 1962 federal election and brought computers into John Turner’s campaign offices.  In 1963 married John Napier Turner (1929-   ) who would become the 17th Prime Minister of Canada June through September 1984. The couple have 4 children. She did not care for the members of the Canadian press and the way she was portrayed. Basically she tried to stay out of the way of the press. Source: Ottawa Women; milestones and mentors  Online accessed July 2013. (her name is pronounced Jill)
 
Katherine Wall

Volunteer

née Bryanton. Born Spring Valley, Prince Edward Island November 23, 1944. After high School she married Edwin Wall and the couple settled to raise a family of 5 children who would grow up in the P.E.I. countryside. As if raising five children were not time consuming enough, Katherine became totally involved with the volunteer life of her community. From 1963- 2003 she was a member and served several terms as branch president of the Women’s Institute of P.E.I. From 1966 – 2000 she volunteered for the Red Cross in the Water Safety Programme. 1975-  2000 she was a community School Volunteer. In 1977 she was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal. In 1997 she was the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for Kensington and Area Recreation Association. In 1999 she received a Certificate of Celebration for her 30 years of 4-H Club leadership which included Atlantic and National levels for several years. In 2001 she was inducted into the Order of Prince Edward Island. Source: Canadian Who’s Who 2005. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005).
 

Evelyn "Lynn" Beatrice Tyrrell

Fashion designer

née Marvin. Born March 2, 1920, London England. Died May 25, 2013, Toronto, Ontario. She did not like her stepfather and left home taking schooling at a private Pitman’s school. She worked for the British Armed forces as a stenographer during World War ll. She earned extra money working evenings as a cocktail waitress and ended up married to bartender Ronald Emil Tyrell about 1944. She opened a consignment shop to sell clothes of wealthy clients and found success. With her money she bought a house in London for her family which had now expanded to include 2 children. In 1947 the family sailed for Jamaica purchasing the White River Hotel and Club. Their clients included notables such as the playwright Noel Coward. By 1950 her restless husband had the family immigrate to Toronto where their 4th child was born. Ron became Mr. Mom, well before it was fashionable, and Lynn apprenticed with dressmaker Rudy Lishka. Shortly after she opened her own fashion ship call The Baroness. She fashioned gowns for the Miss Canada Pageant participants and promotional outfits for Rothman’s cigarettes as well as hostess uniforms for Trans Canada Airlines. She only closed her shop in the 1980’s when the work was too much for her. She mentored students at Seneca College and remained involved with Fashion Group International until the last years of her life. Source: “Obituaries. Designer Brought Chic to Dreary Toronto ‘50’s.” by Susan Ferrier MacKay. The Globe and Mail, June 18, 2013. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Polly Verner

Citizen of Toronto

née Fleming. Born 1837, Dromore County Tyrone, Ireland. Died 1918, Toronto, Ontario. At 9 she sailed from Ireland with her family. Her little brother and sister and a 9 month old baby died on the voyage across the sea. Her 11 year old sister died at the quarantine station at Grosse Isle, Quebec shortly after they landed. The family spent 3 years in Montreal and in 1850 settled in Toronto. In 1854 at 17 she married John Verner. The couple ran a grocery store that supported their community especially when times were tough. While they had no children of their own there house was often crowded with tots in need of love and care who had lost parents. At times they became the surrogate parents for families stricken by the death of either one or both parents. This couple were always there for their community. Source: Cabbagetown People: the Social History of a Canadian Inner City Neighbourhood. Online (Accessed March 2014) 
 

Larissa Vingilis-Jarenko Born 1982. Larissa had parents who could answer her science oriented questions. 1922 when she was just 9 she heard colleagues saying that science was just for boys. She created the Canadian Association for Girls in Science – CAGIS that encourages girls to follow their interests in Science by promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics – STEM. CAGIS has now provincial chapters. In 2004, for her work with CAGIS she received the National Science and Engineering Council’s Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion. In 2006 she was named one of Canada’s most powerful women by the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper. That same year she received the TD scholarship for outstanding community leadership and the Toronto YWCA awarded her the Young Woman of Distinction Award. Larissa holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto and a PhD from McMaster University. In 2017 she held a post-doctoral position at York University , Toronto, Ontario. Larissa is also the author of several books targeted to girls in which the young heroes solve mysteries using their science backgrounds.  Source: Tanya Lloyd Kyi, Canadian Girls Who Rocked The World. Walrus Books, 2001.
 
Mary Townsend Schaffer Warren née Sharples (sometime recorded as Sharpless). Born October 4, 1861, West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Died January 23, 1939 Banff, Alberta. Mary 1st came to the Canadian Rockies in 1888/1889 with a group, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. She fell in love with the land and returned each year. In 1989 she returned with her new husband Dr. Charles Schaffer who was also an amateur botanist. After Charles death in 1903 Mary published a book of his botanical work.  Since few guides would take women she explored with another woman, Mary Vaux (1860-1940) a fellow American Quaker. Eventually a William Warren agreed to guide these lady explorers and they explored the Yoyo Valley and Moraine Lake area. Mary is considered Jasper National Park’s 1st tourist as she was the 1st white woman to travel through the area. She was also an accomplished artist, photographer and writer. In 1903 she traveled as far north as the Columbia ice fields. In 1911 she published the book, Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies. That same year at the request of the Canadian Parks Department she returned to the area to provide more detailed information. By 1912 she had decided to relocate permanently and purchased a home in Banff, Alberta. In 1915 she married her former Guide William Warren. Mount Schaffer, located between Lake O’Hara and Lake McArthur in Yo Yo National Park was named in her honour in 1909. Some of her personal papers are preserved in the Alberta Provincial Archives. Sources: Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation, 1999); Mary Schaffer Warren, Find a Grave, online (Accessed September 2015). Books: Cindi Smith, Off the Beaten Track (Lake Louise; Coyote Books, 1989); Janice Sanford, No Ordinary Woman (Rocky Mountain Books, 2001).
 
Agnes Watts

Philanthropist

Born 1899, Bunzlau, Germany. Died  October 30, 1989, Vancouver, British Columbia. At 19, came to Victoria, British Columbia to work as a nanny. She married a logger, and moved to Powell River.  Later she became divorced and  moved to Vancouver where she met and  married Isaac Watts in 1944.  She was the 1st female employee of Scott Paper's New Westminster mill, "rolling toilet paper" for 22 years. She was known to be very  frugal  and she became a millionaire from stocks and real estate investments. She became a patron of the Variety Club of B.C., donating over $500,000 to children's projects. She received the Variety Club Humanitarian Award from Prince Philip in London, England, in 1987. Source: The Vancouver Hall of Fame Online (Accessed December 2012)
 
Ann Marie Weems

Escaped Slave

Born 1841 Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S.A. A slave of the Prince family Ann Marie watched as her mother and siblings were sold off to other slave owners. At 15 she managed to escape captivity and began to travel the famous Underground railroad to freedom. With the help of a white doctor, and she cut her hair and disguised herself as a valet. The dangerous journey got her to Philadelphia. She continued her journey to Buffalo, still dressed as a boy. In Buffalo a Rev. William kink helped her to cross the boarder to the settlement of Buxton in Canada. Adopted by a kindly family she would eventually marry and have children. Her story is told in a book for young readers. Steeling Freedom by Elisa Carbone (1998) . Her name is spelled various ways in sources: Anne Marie; Annemarie ; Anna Maria  etc.
 

Daria Werbowy

International Model

Born Krakow, Poland. November 19, 1983. In 1986 she and her family emigrated from their home in the Ukraine. She reached 5’ 11” as a teen and was encouraged to enter modeling by a friend’s mother. She entered the Susan J. Model and Talent Management in Toronto. At 14 she won a national modeling contest and soon switched to Elite Models. At first she was actually uncomfortable as a model and looked at the profession as a way of financing studies in art. Within a  short time she had gained a foothold on the international runways. She became the world’s model and holds the record for opening and closing the most shows in a single season. She has worked for the world’s top firms such as Lancôme, Prada, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino and many others. In 2008 she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.
 
Yvonne Valleau Wildman née Valleau. Born August 1, 1923, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Her family lived in Portland 7 years before returning home to Kindersley, Saskatchewan when Yvonne was 4 years old. Seeking to provide for his family of 8 children her father searched for work in British Columbia and in September 1937 his wife and family joined him on the west coast. Yvonne helped out working on a chicken farm. She also cleaned house for a piano teacher in exchange for lessons for herself. At 19 she and her girlfriend headed for Victoria to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. Basic training took place in Ottawa, Ontario. She was assigned to photography and had her 1st trip in an aeroplane during aerial photography part of her course. After training she was posted to Service Flight Training Schools Number 19, Vulcan, Alberta where she was nicknamed ‘Val’. Of this time in her life she remembers the close commraderie best but there was also hard work developing training pictures. She returned to Duncan, British Columbia after the war.  On July 17, 1946 she married Clarence Wildman and the couple raised 7 children in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Source: Elinor Florence, RCAF photographer Yvonne Valleau. Blog: Wartime Wednesdays. Online. Accessed September 2015.
 
Lorraine Mary Williams Born December 8, 1932, Died July 4, 2014, Markham, Ontario. In 1957 she married John Reesor Williams and the couple raised five children. She earned her BA and went on to study for her Masters degree in social work.  She worked as a senior social worker in the correctional, forensic psychiatry fields. She also founded a private psychotherapy and marriage counseling practice in Toronto. She was an active volunteer including being a member on the Visiting Homemakers Association, Chair of the Social Action Committee of the YWCA of Metro Toronto, executive secretary of the Indian-Eskimo Association of Canada, Board member of the Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Center, founding Board Member of the Human Life Research Institute, Chair of the North York Public Library Board, Member of the Metro Toronto Reference Library Board of Trustees, President of the Ontario and later the Canadian Library Trustee Associations, member of the founding committee for St. Timothy’s Willowdale Parish and Parish Council, President of St. Timothy’s Catholic League, and an active leader in Discovery Theatre, a forum for adult inquiry. She was also an active journalist writer and author.  She was a contributing editor to The Catholic Register and editor of the pro-life magazine, The Uncertified Human.  She published 2 books about the relationship between Library Trustees and Library CEO’s as well as publication of the Ontario Library Trustees Handbook. Her last completed book was Memories of the Beach: Reflections on a Toronto Childhood, Dundurn Press.   Source: Williams Lorraine Mary, Obituaries. Globe and Mail. July 7 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Jane B. Wisdom

 

Social Worker

Born 1884. Died 1975. She apprenticed in social work in New York State, U.S.A.  in the early 1910’s and is considered one of Canada’s 1st professional social workers. She returned from New York in 1916 when she was asked to become head of the Halifax Bureau of Social Service and also work with the Halifax Relief Commission which was set up after the Great Halifax explosion in December 1917. In 1921 she helped write a report out of Nova Scotia recommending the creation of a provincial mother’s allowance scheme. This reform would not be implemented by 1930. By the early 1920’s she had relocated to Montreal to complete her studies and lecture in social work. In the shadow of the 1920’s and 1930’s Montreal she worked with young single mothers and headed Montreal’s Women’s Directory. By 1939 she had once again settled in Nova Scotia. In 1941 Jane became the 1st welfare officer in Glace Bay making her the 1st municipal welfare officer in Nova Scotia. She retired from this position in 1952. Her biography has been written by Suzanne Morton, Wisdom Justice and Charity:  A Canadian Social Welfare through the life of Jane B. Wisdom, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2014.
 
Katherine MacLean Wood.
Air Traffic Controller
Born Dumbarton, Scotland 1911. Died December 27, 2004. She emigrated to Canada with her family in 1930. She would become Canada's 1st female Air Traffic Controller. 
   
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