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A specialist in Renaissance and seventeenth century English
literature she has published a work on the diary of Lady Anne Clifford, a
seventeenth century noblewoman. At Stanford University she studied the
evolution of the concept of authorial intention in seventeenth-century
English dramas, emphasizing its relation to discourses of gender, sexuality
and the body. She is a winner of the Alice Wilson Award presented by the
Royal Society of Canada.
Born July 8, 1905. Died 1993. Elizabeth
graduated from university with a degree in physics. She would go on to
become the 1st woman to be appointed to the Physics
Department at the University of Toronto. She was also a founding member of the Canadian
Association of Professional Physicists. A loyal University of Toronto
employee, she wrote the history of the university Physics Department. You
can read about her place and struggle for recognition of her ability to
work in a dominant male occupation in the book Great Dames.
the 1st woman to have
received a Ph.D. from a Canadian university (1903)
Born 1961. Francoise earned a Certificate of Bilingualism form Laurentian
University, Sudbury, Ontario in 1981. She followed with studies in political
science for a BA from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec in 1984. She then
earned an MA and PhD in 1989 from the University of Western Ontario (Western
University). She became an Associate Professor at Dalhousie University,
Halifax, Nova Scotia and in 2004 was Professor and Canada Research Chair in
Bioethics and Philosophy. In 2007 she was elected Fellow of the Royal
Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She also
served as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of
Tennessee, Knoxville, U.S.A. and was a lecturer with the Departments of
Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Rehabilitation Medicine with the
University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario (Western
University). In 2011 she received a special Black History Month tribute. On
June 30, 2016 she was appointed to the Order of Canada for “her
contributions’ as a champion of health care ethics in Canada and creating
forums for discussing current Medical-ethics issued. Also in 2016 she was
inducted into the order of Nova Scotia, was presented with the McNeil Medal
from the Royal Society of Canada and the Distinguished Academic Award by the
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
Canadian Who’s Who 2004- ; Who’s Who in Black Canada 2001 -.
Born May 27, 1922 London, England. Margaret would grow up in Pretoria, South
Africa where she earned degrees in 1944 from the University of Witwatersrand
and did postgraduate studies at the British Postgraduate Medical School. In
1950 she became a junior Lecturer in Medicine at the University of
Witwatersrand. In 1967 she immigrated to Montreal, Quebec where she worked
in the Department of Medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the
Department of Epidemiology and Health at McGill University where she became
an Emeritus Professor. In 2007 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of
Canada for her “outstanding contributions to fighting lung disease through
research and education for more than 60 years.” In 2011 she became a Grand
Officer in the National Order of Quebec.
Born 1897. Died November 10, 1988. In 1921 she began her teaching career in Leamington, Ontario. for a total of 39 years she taught and served as
principal. She returned experience to her profession when she became
president of the Federation of Women Teachers Association of Ontario. In
1953 she was awarded the Queen's Coronation Medal in 1953 and in 1967 she was once again
honoured, this time with the Canada Centennial Medal.
Source: Canadian Obituary Record 1988 by Robert M. Stamp. (Toronto Dundurn
Press, 1989) p 21-21.
Mary Louise Bollert
Guelph, Ontario 1884. Died Vancouver, British Columbia , August 1, 1945.
Mary Louise attended the University of Toronto and graduated in 1906. Her
Masters degree was earned a Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. in 1908.
She worked as Director of women’s education and social welfare programs in
Toronto and then moved on to be Dean of Women at Regina College in 1914 to
1921. In 1921 she was appointed the 1st Dean of Women at the University of
British Columbia, a position she retained for 20 years. She was a founder of
the British Columbia Teachers Federation and a delegate to several
international women’s conferences. She was President of the Confederation of
University women in 1929-30. Suggested reading: Lee Stewart. It’s Up to
You: Women at UBC in the early Years.
http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/whoswho (accessed June 2009 )
Goldie "Red" Burns
Born April 9,
1925, Ottawa, Ontario. Died August 23, 2013, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
She sported beautiful red hair and the nickname 'Red' became common use.
Graduating from high school at 16 she was too young to attend college. She
worked at the National Film Board of Canada and fell in love with the
cinema. She married Alex Myers, a film board editor but by 1953 she was a
widow. She worked in television distribution and married a second time to
Lloyd Burns. The couple settled in New York, U.S.A. and had three children.
She was a leader in the movement for public access to cable TV. She
approached New York University about teaching a class using the “portapak”
camera and the Interactive Telecommunication Program was established. She
also started the York University, Toronto, Interactive telecommunication
Program encouraging young students to follow their imagination.
Source: “Godmother to Internet Wizards” by Douglas Martin, Globe and Mail,
August 30, 2013.
Nora A. Cebotarev
Born July 18, 1928. Died August 12, 2007. She did her early University
studies at West Virginia University and Pennsylvania State University,
earning her PhD in 1972. In 1970 she began her long association with the
University of Guelph as an associate professor in 1970 and was appointed
Professor Emerita in the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology. A
polyglot, she spoke 8 languages with knowledge and grace. She was known as
an inspiring, receptive and compassionate teacher who during her career
would assist some 300 plus students with graduate studies. . In 1970 she
taught her first Women’s Studies course and was among the team to convince
the University of Guelph Senate to accept Women’s Studies as a major and minor topic in
1978. She authored three books an Latin American rural studies, an active
subject of interest and innumerable articles for North American and
international journals. Source:
(accessed May 2008)
Born1934 Shanghai, China. Died October 26, 2001. During World War ll she
fled China and completed high school in Hong Kong. She studied at at the
College of New
and then served as an
nun for two decades, completing a master's degree at the
of America in
She obtained a doctorate in
She taught at
University, New York and
University in the U.S.A. before joining the
University of Toronto
faculty in 1978. Ching rose to prominence as a world expert on the
and religion of the
dynasties of 10th- through 17th-century
wrote or edited 15 books including her definitive studies of the leading
and the leading
Zhu Xi. In
2000, she was named a member of the
Order of Canada.
Her achievements garnered her election to the Royal Society of Canada and
being named to the Scholars’ Council of the U.S. Library of Congress. In
1994 she was named University Professor, the highest honour the University
of Toronto accords its faculty. Along with her colleague and husband,
of religion and South Asian studies, Ching was co-president and chief
organizer of an international congress in Asian studies that brought over
1,000 scholars to U of T in 1990. Her autobiography is called The
Butterfly Healing; A Life Between East and West. She participated in
movements for world responsibility such as the Inter-Action Council, Science
for Peace and the Canadian Pugwash.
September 7, 1905, Stayner, Ontario. Died September 23,1991, Toronto,
Ontario. In 1928 she earned a B.A. and in 1930 an M.A. from Victoria
College, University of Toronto. She went on to study in England at St.
Hugh's College, Oxford, England, where she obtained her B. Litt. in 1932.
Returning to Toronto she accepted an instructors position in the English
Department of Victoria College. She served as Assistant to the Dean of Women
(1932-1935). She was appointed Professor of English at Victoria College in
1953 and Professor Emeritus in 1971. In 1949 Coburn edited The
Philosophical Lectures of S.T. Coleridge and also published the
Grandmothers. The Letters of Sara Hutchison followed in 1954.
She was the general editor of The Collected Works of S.T. Coleridge
(1968-). She was the recipient of several academic awards, including the
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to study the unpublished writings of
Coleridge in 1953 and 1957/58, the Leverhulme Award in 1948, the Order of
Canada in 1974, the Chauveau Medal in 1979, and the Rosemary Crawshay Prize
Kathleen Coburn Collection. E.J. Pratt Library, University of Victoria
Campus, University of Toronto. Online. Accessed July 2013.
Suggestion submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.
Marjorie Griffin Cohen
17, 1944, Franklin,
New Jersey, U.S.A. Marjorie studied for her BA at Iowa Wesleyan College and
took her MA at New York University before moving to York University in
Toronto to earn her PhD in 1985. She was a professor for the Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education form 1986-1991 and during this time she
was the producer and host of the TV Ontario program COUNTERPOINTS.
She served as an economist and professor in the Department of Political
Science and Chair of the Women's Studies Department at Simon Fraser
University. She writes on various issues dealing with the Canadian economy,
public policy, women, labour, international trade agreements and
deregulation of the electricity sector. She is also President of Citizens
for Public Power and a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for
Sister Bernice Cullen
Born Adelaide Bernice Cullen. Sherwood, February 21, 1914, Prince Edward Island. Died February 13, 2007. As did her sister, she attended Prince of
Wales College. By 1935 she had had a calling to do the work of God and
became a member of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Martha and became
known as Sister Mary Peter. Later the Order would allow members to use their
given names. She and Sister Mary Ida Cady became the
1st female students
at St. Dustan’s University of PEI. Sister Bernice became the 1st woman to
graduate from the University in 1941.
She was a teacher for the next
fourteen years and then returned to St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana,
U.S.A. to earn a PhD in Sacred Doctrine in 1958. Teaching once again in her
beloved PEI she joined the faculty at St. Dustan's’ and in 1966 she was the
1st female head of Religious Studies.
After 1979, in retirement, she found
time to continue her passion of writing. She worked writing book reviews for
several publications. She also remained in touch with the university as
President of St. Dunstan’s University Board.
Source: Outstanding women of Prince Edward Island Compiled by the Zonta Club
of Charlottetown, 1981.
Thérése Gouin Decarie.
Born September 30, 1923. Dr. Decarie is a Professor at the Départment de Psychologie
at the Université de Montréal. This mother of four children has
maintained a full career in child psychology that includes being the author of
several renown texts in her field of research. Her writings have been published
in French, English and Italian and have been awarded recognition such as the Médaille
Inis-Gérin de la Societé Royale du Canada. She was appointed to
the Order of Canada in 1977.
Carrie Matilda Derick
Born Clarenceville, Quebec January 14,1862. Died
November 10, 1941. She studied for her B.A. at McGill in 1890, took her M.A.
in 1896 and would go on to study at the Academy of Science, London England,
Harvard University, USA, and Bonn University, Germany.
Carrie became the
1st woman professor at an university in Canada. She was also and activist
in women's rights.
Lillian Eva Dyck
(née Quon) Born August 24, 1944. In 1968 she earned her B.A. from the
University of Saskatchewan. She followed her formal education with an
Masters in Science in 1970 and in 1981 a PhD. She has worked as a
Neuroscientist at the University of Saskatchewan becoming a full professor
and associate Dean of the University. Her research has contributed to
developing and patenting new drugs to treat Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia and
Alzheimer’s diseases. In 1997 she received a House of Commons citation as a
role model for girls in science. On March 12, 1999 she received a lifetime
achievement award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. On
March 24, 2005 Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed her the Senate of
Canada. That same year she received the Saskatchewan Centennial
Commemorative Medal. She is one of the 1st Aboriginal women to pursue an
academic career in the sciences. She fought off stubborn attitudes,
resentment and threats during her career. Even so, she encourages youth to
follow their dreams of a scientific career.
Who’s Who 2006. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005
(née Ritchie.) Born January 16, 1868, Montreal, Quebec.Died February 1, 1948. She would be the
1st woman to be
valedictorian at McGill University
even though she was originally
refused entry because she was a woman. She was the
1st woman to graduate
from a medical school in Quebec.
Born June 29, 1914. She has been
Professor Emeritus for the Department of Biological Science at Simon Fraser
University since 1979. The Thelma Finlayson Society at the University is
named for her. She received an honourary L.L.D. from her university as well.
She has written approximately 40 research papers, and several books in
entomology.. She has severed as director of the International Organization
of Biologists. She helped
establish SFU’s 1st academic advising centre and continued counseling
students on campus twice weekly until she was 95 years old. An
entomologist who helped found SFU’s pest management program, Finlayson is an
SFU honorary degree recipient and a member of the Order of Canada. The
Thelma Finlayson Centre for Student Engagement was named in her honour. In
June 2014 SFU helped her celebrate her 100th birthday. Source: Simon
Ursula Martius Franklin.
September 16, 1921, Munich, Germany . She is a specialist and pioneer in the
structure of metals and alloys. In 1984 she became the
1st woman to be
named a University Professor at the University of Toronto.
advocate for Science for Peace she was made a Companion of the Order of
Canada in 1992.
Madeline Alberta Fritz.
Born Born November 3, 1896 St John, New Brunswick.
Died August 20, 1990. Madeleine graduated with her Bachelor of Arts
degree from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. A summer job
inspired her to return to university to earn a geology degree from
the University of Toronto in 1923 earning both a Masters degree and
then a PhD in 1926. . She is the 1st woman
in Canada to receive that level of studies in geology. She
pursued a career as a paleontologist, she would rise to associate
director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology.
For many years she was a geology professor at the University
of Toronto. She was only the 2nd woman in Canada to be elected
to the Royal Society of Canada. She has written numerous substantial
articles for scholarly journals. In 1967 she received the Canadian
Centennial Medal. Her scientific studies of the Toronto
Area stand as definite works.
MacPherson. Born 1943 Sydney, Nova Scotia.
a child of 7 she contracted tuberculosis meningitis and as a result of
medical treatment she became deaf. She left her family at age 10 to attend
the Halifax, Nova Scotia School for The Deaf living there as a residential
student. . Having already learned speech and having been able to hear, gave
her an advantage. An eager student, she quickly completed her regime of 3
years of studies and returned to her Cape Breton home. Here, complete her
schooling at MacCormack School, East Bay. She went on to graduate Holy
Angels High School in Sydney, NS, and went on to St Francis Xavier
University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she had special arrangements to
have note-takers. She also worked hard to lip-read her professors’ classes.
In 1965, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics,
majoring in Food and Nutrition. The Dean of Science wanted to announce her
accomplishment on graduation day but was reluctant to call attention to her
without advising her in advance so the opportunity to recognize her amazing
accomplishment as the 1st deaf student to Graduate in Canada. It
was not until 50 years later in 2015 her accomplishment was recognized. She
subsequently obtained certification as a dietician in Toronto, Ontario and
then obtained her Masters in Library Science from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill . U.S.A. Her working career has been spent as a
librarian, research editor and Copy Editor.
Submitted by Pamela Jane Barry, Nova Scotia.
February 15, 1927 Liberec, Czech Republic. She emigrated from her
home in 1948. She attended high school and university
in Toronto and then at Columbia University in New York City. She would
edit, write, and teach her love of Germanic studies. Among her many
awards is a Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Teaching 1972 and the Hlavake Medal of the Czech Academy of Science 1992.
She is professor emerita at the University of British Columbia. (2017)
April 20, 1934
Howe, England . Naomi began her post secondary studies at
London University and received her BA in 1956. Her Masters studies were done
at the University of New Brunswick in Canada and her PhD was earned in 1969
at London University back in England. She was drawn back to the University
of New Brunswick and began a life long interest in the history of the area
of Acadia and it’s peoples. She was a lecturer at Carleton University,
Ottawa, in 1961 starting another life long relationship. In 1979 through
1981 she was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Carleton University, one of
the first women in Canada to be appointed as a Dean. In 1998 she was
appointed Professor Emeritus at Carleton University. She reached beyond the
students in her classroom with her numerous writings on Acadian history and
her work on the history of the Centennial History of National Council of
Women of Canada 9Ottawa: Carleton University , 1993) In 199 she was
appointed an officer in the Order of Canada. Her research on the history of
Acadian continued and she entered the new millennium by publishing an
additional work in 2007, From Migrant to Acadian: A North American
Boarder people 1604-1755. Source: Canadian Who’s Who
(Toronto; University of Toronto)
Francess Georgina Halpenny
Born May 27,
Ontario. Died December 25, 2017. In 1941 she earned her Master's degree in English language from the
University of Toronto. With the war storming over Europe she decided not to
continue her education as she would have liked and signed up with the
Royal Canadian Air Force. After the War she became known for her energetic and courageous editor
working as head of the editorial department at the University of Toronto
Press from 1957-1969. She was general editor to the mammoth project of
of Canadian Biography and at the same time Dean of the Faculty of
Library Science, University of Toronto from 1972-1978. She was awarded the Molson Prize in 1983 and
inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979 and promoted to a companion of
the Order of Canada in 1983 while she was serving as President of the Royal
Society of Canada. .
She received the University of Toronto Faculty Award in 1985 and the
University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography in 1986. She was
presented with the Governor General's Commemorative Medal for the 125th
anniversary of Confederation in 1992. She has also received 11 honorary
degrees from various Canadian universities including the University of
Guelph in 1969 when this librarian and web page writer remembers her
speaking at her graduation ceremony. In 2013 she decided to enter the
Sunnybrook Veterans Wing for long term care in Toronto.
Mary G. Hamilton
In 1910 Mary became head of the physical education at the Margaret Eaton
School of Literature and Expression, a private Girls school in Toronto,
Ontario. She promoted physical education and developed it to a level of
professional acceptance as an educational medium. She offered Monday evening
dance classes which were one of the early forms of organized recreation for
women in Toronto. In 1912 she developed an evening course in physical
training. During World War l she arranged Patriotic Fetes in Toronto
allowing students to raise funds for Canadian prisoners of war. She would
work from the school until 1934. Upon her retirement her replacement at the
school Florence Summers encouraged merger with the University of Toronto and
the establishment of the 1st bachelor’s program in physical
education. During her tenure at MES Mary was directing physical education at
the YWCA served as principal at MES and opened a summer camp, Camp
Tanamakoon, located in Algonquin Park, for girls offering the 1st
comprehensive camp leadership training courses for women in Canada. She also
hosted the founding meeting of the Canadian Physical Education Association
Source: John Byl, Mary G. Hamilton: Committed, Dedicated Pioneer Made a
Difference. CAAWS/ACAFS. Online accessed April 1999.
17, 1928, Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar). Died October 7, 2009. Jennie
graduated with a B.A. Honours in English Literature from the University of
Rangoon in 1951. She went on to obtain a Diploma in Education from the
University of Hong Kong in 1953. By 1961 she received a Ph.D. from the
University of London. 1962 to 1969 she taught English language and
literature at United College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as
visiting universities in Britain and the United States, including a period
as Visiting Scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University.
Jennie emigrated to Canada in 1969, and went on to teach English and
Canadian literature at Trent University and the University of Toronto. In
1981 she earned a Master of Library Science, University of Toronto, and from
1982 until her retirement in 1993 she held the position of Librarian of the Ontario
Sources: Jennie Huie Collection. E.J. Pratt Library, University of
Victoria Campus, University of Toronto. Online. Accessed July 2013.
Suggestion submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.
December 11, 1922,St
Catherines, Ontario . Died July 5, 1992. She would use her
own educational background from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario,
Radcliff University in the USA, Harvard University in the USA, Oxford
University in England and London [England] School of Economics as a
background for being a politician, educator and professor of political
science. She was an elected member of parliament in the 1960's and again in
the 1980's. She was appointed President of Simon Fraser University in 1974,
the 1st woman to be head of a major co-educational university in Canada.
She was appointed Chancellor of Carleton University in Ottawa in 1990, a
position she held until her death. In 1992 Carleton University renamed its
women's studies program to become the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's
Studies. She was also an Officer in the Order of Canada.
Born 1975. Poland. At 17 she immigrated to Canada. She participated an the
Canadian Physics Olympiad and won a position representing Canada in the
international level in Beijing, Republic of China shere she earned a bronze
medal. She attended Queens University, Kingston, Ontario for her
undergraduate program. In 2002 she earned her PhD at Princeton, University
and went on to study at Harvard and Rutgers universities in the U.S.A. She
works as a professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Source: Canadian girls who rocked the world by Tanya Lloyd Kyi,
Walrus Books 2001.
Born 1929, Prague, Czechoslovakia Eva lived in France, 1939–1945, then
returned briefly to Czechoslovakia after World War II, before coming to
Canada. In 1949 she married Don Kushner, who would become a distinguished
Professor of Microbiology at the University of Toronto. The couple had three
sons. She received her university education at McGill University: B.A. in
Philosophy and Psychology,1948, her M.A. in Philosophy, 1950, and her Ph.D.
in French Literature, 1956. She began teaching in 1952; and in the 1950's
she was a Lecturer at various institutions, including McGill, and University
College London. In 1961 she moved to teach at Carleton University, becoming
a Full Professor of French and Comparative Literature in 1969. She joined
McGill in 1976 as Director of the Department of French Language and
Literature. Professor Kushner was named President of Victoria University in
1987 through 1994. She continuing to teach, as well as acting as the
Director of the Northrop Frye Centre, 1988–1994 when she became a Professor
Emeritus. She contributed to the academic world in many capacities,
including serving as Chair of the Royal Society of Canada Committee on
Freedom of Scholarship and Science, 1993–1998, as a member of the Canada
Council Advisory Academic Panel and Executive Committee, 1975–198, and the
Modern Language Association of America Executive Council, 1983–1988. She is
the author of numerous scholarly publications and articles. Professor
Kushner was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1997.
Sources: Eva Kushner Collection. E.J. Pratt Library, University of Victoria
Campus, University of Toronto. Online. Accessed July 2013.
Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.
Grace Annie Lockhart.
Born February 22, 1855 Saint John, New Brunswick. Died May 18, 1916.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. She graduated with her Bachelor
of Science and English Literature from Mount Allison College, Sackville,
New Brunswick on May 25, 1875 becoming the first woman in the British
Empire to receive a bachelor’s degree.
She later married a
Methodist minister J. L. Dawson and settled into life as a minister's
Born February 28, 1946. Meg earned her Master's
Degree and her PhD ins Social Anthropology from the University of Toronto. She is a professor
in women's studies who co-founded the excellent Women's Studies Program
at the University of Toronto. She is a Professor in the School of
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies , York University, Toronto, Ontario.
She served as Director of the Graduate Programme in Gender, Feminist and
Woman's Studies and of the Centre for Feminist Research. She has served on various committees
including the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Her
writings on the history of women include: More than a Labour
of Love: Three Generations of Women's Work in the Home. In 2015
she was a visiting professor .
Jeanne Fisher Manery.
July 6, 1908, Chelsey, Ontario . Died September 6, 1986. She became
the 1st woman
appointed professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of
Toronto in 1964. She was president of the Royal Canadian
Institute in 1980. She has received honours for her scientific achievements
and has promoted the role of women within her field.
Born 1937. Jane was educated at the universities of Leeds and Kent at
Canterbury, England. She taught at Victoria College in the English
Department at the University of Toronto from 1964–1997 and from 1982–87 she
was Vice-Dean of Arts and Science. She is the author of several volumes
including Scott’s Last Edition: A Study in Publishing History (1987)
, was awarded the British Academy’s Crawshay Prize in 1988. Professor
Millgate was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1986 and a
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1994. She has served on numerous
editorial boards, including Dalhousie Review, Victorian Review,
the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, English Studies in
Canada, and the Collected Works of Northrop Frye. A professor
Emeritus at the University of Toronto, she is also a member of the advisory
board for the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels and one of the
founders of the Toronto Centre for the Book. Her
Union Catalogue of the Correspondence of Sir Walter Scott,
comprises over 14000 records for letters from and to Scott, is published by
the National Library of Scotland.
Library, University of Victoria Campus, University of Toronto. Online.
Accessed July 2013.
Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.
Marial M. Mosher
29, 1917, Halifax Nova Scotia. Died October 4, 2008. As a youth she excelled
at dance. At 18 she joined the Albertine Rasch Girls, a 50 member acrobatic
dance troop performing at Radio City Music Hall, New York City, U.S.A. She
was visiting home in Halifax when World War ll broke out and she volunteered
for the Women’s Army Corps. Her unit was disbanded in June 1946. A
scholarship from the Department of Veterans Affairs allowed her to enter
Acadia University to complete a BA which she followed with a masters degree
in sociology. In the militia in 1951 she was back in uniform as advisor to
the Eastern Command running summer training camps. Heading back to the
classroom she earned a second masters at the University of Toronto and a Ph.D
at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. In 1974 she founded the
Canadian Studies program at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax and rose
to the rank of Major in the militia. In 1984 she created the Marial Mosher
Scholarship for students excelling in Canadian Studies and
sociology/anthropology. In 2004 she received the Order of Nova Scotia. In
2008 she published her book One Woman’s World War ll Story (Halifax,
Glen Haven Press, 2008) telling of her service in Great Britain and Canada.
Source: Order of Nova Scotia Online (Accessed July 2008) Google obituaries
“Marial Mosher; Dancer, soldier turned anthropologist was ahead of her times
on Native issues”. (Accessed July 2008)
Hilda Marion Neatby.
Born February 19, 1904 Sutton, England. Died May 14, 1975.
Hilda earned her BA and MA from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD
from the University of Minnesota, U.S.A. From 1949 to 1951 she was the only
woman serving on the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts,
Letters and Science which established the Canada Council. From 1958 through
1969 she taught history at the University of Saskatchewan and served as head
of the History Department. In 1966 she published, in both French and English
par the the Canadian Centenary Series.
In 1967 she became a Companion of the Order of Canada.
She was a professor of History at Queen's University where she
wrote the history of Queen's in 1978. In 1986 the Canadian Historical
Association has awarded the Hilda Neatby Prize for writings in French and
English of an article published in Canada that makes an original and
scholarly contribution in the field of women's history. In 2000 Canada Post
issued a millennium stamp to honour her.
Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby.
Born June 7, 1909, Quesnel,
British Columbia . Margaret did her university studies in both Canada
and the United States. She returned to teach history at the University of
British Columbia where she was appointed head of the history department from
1965 to 1974. She produced several works which enlighten readers on the
history of British Columbia. She was a major contributor to the Dictionary
of Canadian Biography. She would also serve as President of the Canadian
Historical Association. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, a
member of the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.
February 29, 1948. She studied art all the way through university and worked
her way through the profession as an art history researcher, archivist,
curator, and teacher, to become Curator and Head of the Multimedia
Programming, at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montreal. She has
contributed various writings and won the Award of Excellence 1988.
Laure Eva Rièse
1910, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Died Toronto, Ontario,1996. After Secondary
School in Switzerland she studied arts and literature at the Sorbonne in
Paris, France, before moving to Toronto in 1928 . She took a teaching position
at Victoria College’s French House while studying at the University of
Toronto. She earned a B.A. in 1933, an M.A. in 1935 and a Ph.D. in 1946. She
was the 1st woman faculty member to gain a PhD.
As a Professor of French
at Victoria University, she conducted courses in the study of
French-Canadian authors, and Quebec’s place in la francophonie. At the same
time she supported the teaching of theatre. She was a member of numerous
organizations including Chairman of the Canadian Swiss Cultural Association,
Honourary President of the Alliance Française, and founder and President of
the French Salon in Toronto. She was recipient of numerous awards,
including the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in France 1971, the Officier
d’Académie, the Officier d’Instruction Publique, Officer of the Order of
Canada, and Dame of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. She has wrote
many articles and reviews for French Canadian and French American journals,
and journals in France.
Laure Eva Rièce Collection. E.J. Pratt Library, University of Victoria
Campus, University of Toronto. Online. Accessed July 2013.
Submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.
Agnes McCausland Richardson
Born August 19, 1920, Chaffey’s Locks, Ontario, Died Ottawa, Ontario March
23, 2007. She moved with her family to Winnipeg and spent her youth there.
She was active in the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Red Cross during World
War ll. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens University in
Kingston, Ontario in 1941. She married
Benidickson in 1947. They had three children. She served as
president of the National Association of Canadian Clubs, and president of
the Canadian Council on Social Development. She was elected to Queens
University’s board of trustees in 1969, and from 1980 to 1996 she served as
the 1st female Chancellor of Queens University.
Winnipeg Free Press,
26 March 2007 : Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Angela Graham
(Accessed December 2011)
Constance "Connie" Rooke
Born New York City, U.S.A. November 14, 1942 Died Toronto October
4, 2008. In 1964 she graduated from Smith College and went on to earn her
Master’s degree from Tulane University, New Orleans, and her PhD from the
University of North Carolina in 1973. During her student years she married
short story writer Leon Rooke. The couple had one son. The young academic
settled at the University of Victoria in British Columbia where she edited
the Malaha Review becoming a lifelong champion of Canadian literature. In
1979 she initiated the Women’s Studies Program at University of Victoria and
later chaired the Women’s Studies Department and served as Academic
Vice-President. In 1988 the family moved to Guelph, Ontario where Connie
worked as Chair of the English Department and became Associate
Vice-President (Academic). In 1989 the couple founded the Eden Mills
Writer’s Festival which continues to showcase the best writers in Canada. In
1999 the couple were in Winnipeg where Connie was Vice-Chancellor at the
University of Winnipeg. Moving again in 2002 the couple settled in Toronto.
Connie served as president of PEN Canada from 2005-2007 where she edited
three anthologies of Canadian literature as fundraisers for the writers’
organization dedicated to freedom of expression.
Source: Constance Rooke by Sandra Martin. Globe and Mail
October 5, 2008 online accessed August 2011.
Indira V. Damarasekera
Fulbright-Hays Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California,
U.S.A. in 1976. In 1980, she earned a PhD in metallurgical engineering from
the University of British Columbia. She was Vice-President Research and held
the Dofasco Chair in Advanced Steel Processing at the University of British
Columbia prior to becoming President of the University of Alberta. She sits
on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, is Chair of the
World-wide Universities Network, is a member of Canada’s Science,
Technology, Innovation Council. She has served on the Public Policy Forum of
Canada, Minister’s advisory committee on Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy,
the Conference Board of Canada, and the Prime-Minister’s Committee for the
Renewal of the Public Service. Dr. Samarasekera received the E.W. R. Steacie
Memorial fellowship in 1991, awarded by Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada to the top 4 researchers under 40. She was
awarded the Order of Canada in 2002 for outstanding contributions to steel
process engineering. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a
Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Canadian
Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIMM), an Honorary Member of
the American Institute of Mining, Materials and Petroleum Engineering, its
highest honour and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of
Engineering. Dr. Samarasekera received a Canadian Learning Partnership Award
in 2008 and a Leadership Award, by the CASE District VII, USA in 2012 and
the Peter Lougheed Leadership Award from the Public Policy Forum in Canada
University of Alberta Online (Accessed April 2014)
Minnie Bell Sharp
12, 1865, Woodstock, New Brunswick. Died April 11, 1937, Woodstock, New
Brunswick. She trained in music in New York City, U.S.A. in the early
1880’s. She taught for a while in New York and later in Fredericton and
Woodstock, New Brunswick. In 1893 she purchased the Victoria Conservatory of
Music in Victoria, British Columbia serving as principal until 1900.
September 12 1899 she married Klondike ethnographer, Edwin Tappan Adney and
the couple had one son. Returning to the Maritimes she opened the Woodstock
School of Music which she ran for 2 decades. She also followed in her
father’s footsteps as a horticulturalist in the family orchards and
nurseries. Unfortunately she did not have a strong sense of finances and
became quite impoverished. She was the 1st New Brunswick woman to file
nomination papers to run in a federal election, entering the 1919 race for
the Victoria-Carleton riding. However, her name did not appear on the
ballot. She suspected that her nomination papers were lost on purpose. She
ran again for that federal seat in 1925, but was not elected having received
only 84 votes.
New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Celebrating
Achievers; Behind Every Successful Woman Are All the Women Who Came Before
Her., September 2002. Online
(accessed January 2016)
Born May 18, 1930. A professor at the department of biology at Concordia
University and Continuing Senior Fellow, Massey College, this scholar has
had scholarships, fellowships, and been visiting lecturer to numerous
international institutions. She chaired many groups including Women in
Scholarship Committee (1989-1994). She was on the National Advisory Board
for the Canadian Encyclopedia and was winner of the Woman of Distinction
Award in 1988.
16, 1914 Kladno, Czechoslovakia. Died August 29, 2014, London, Ontario.
Hanna earned her PhD in Languages at the University of Prague and became a
teacher. Her family escaped the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler by claiming to
be gentiles in order to immigrate to Canada where there were restrictive
immigration policies against Jews. Settling in Eastern Ontario Hanna began a
teaching career at a Private School in Ottawa where she met and married
Elvins Spencer (d 2010). While her two children were at home she became
President of the National Women’s Council. With her children back at school
Hanna resumed her teaching career as a professor of German languages at the
University of Western Ontario. In the late 1960’s she published the book
Hanna’s Diary 1938-1941, which was based on the diary she kept prior to
immigrating to Canada.
Spencer, Lives Lived: Hanna Spencer, Globe and Mail, February 20,
2015; Jennifer Brown, Hanna Spencer, who would have turned 101 in December…
London Free Press, September 2, 2014.
submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Mabel Frances Timlin.
Forest Junction, Wisconsin U.S.A. December 6, 1891. Died 1976. "Timmie"
moved to Saskatchewan from the United States in 1917. She worked as a
secretary while studying at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1940 she
earned a PhD at the University of Washington and returned to the University
of Saskatchewan to teach economics. She would go on to write some of the
basic Canadian economic works of the 1950's and 1960's. She would become the
first woman to be elected to the executive committee of the American
Economics Association from 1957-1960. Among her many awards were the Canada
Centennial Medal 1976 and the Order of Canada.
Carolyn Hughes Tuohy
29, 1945, Toronto, Ontario. She earned her BA in 1966 from the University of
Toronto and her MA at Yale University in Hartford Connecticut, U.S.A. in
1968 and he PhD in 1974. She married Walter Tuohy and the couple had 2
children. She taught as an assistant Professor at the University of Toronto
from 1970-76 and became a full professor in 1988. She served as Vice Provost
from 1992-1994 and Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Occupational Health
and Occupational Safety for the Government of Ontario from 1982-1991. She
was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Political Science
Association and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. She has authored numerous
articles on health care and the need for change as well as books including
Policy and Politics in Canada: Institutionalized Ambivalence in 1992 and
Accidental Logic: the Dynamics of Change in Health Care Arena in the
United States, Britain and Canada (Oxford University Press, 1999).
Ontario. Died September 24, 2005, Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. In 1953 she
graduated with her BA from the University of Toronto. She earned her
teaching certificate and taught at various locations in Ontario and Quebec.
In 1962 she earned her master’s Degree and in 1965 she earned her PhD from
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. She arrived at Nova Scotia’s Acadia
University in 1968 and by 1973 she had helped develop and taught their 1st
Women’s Studies classes. In 1974 Lois taught the 1st Women’s
History class and was part of the group that founded the journal Atlantis.
In 1982 she was appointed Dean of Arts at Acadia. She chaired the
Wolfeville’s Heritage Advisory Committee helping to preserve the oldest
academic building in Canada: The Ladies Seminary, which received national
heritage designation. Lois married fellow educator Dr. Gabriel Fischer
(1922-2008) and the couple had 4 children. The Lois Vallely Fischer Award
for Democratic Student Citizenship is presented annually to a student in
their final year of undergraduate study by the Acadia University Faculty
Herstory; The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2010.
Kainaissksahkoyi, Alberta. Flora survived having been forced to attend
residential school for Aboriginal students. During school holidays and
summer vacation their parents taught Flora and her siblings traditional
culture as well as the family tradition of telling stories. Flora went
furthered her education with Bachelor of Education at the University of
Alberta and a master of Education at the University of Manitoba. She also
holds a Standard Teaching Certificate from the University of Alberta. A
teacher who has taught in dozens of schools in both Manitoba and Alberta
Flora has co-ordinated school programs for Fist Nations Schools in both
Manitoba and Alberta. She co-ordinated the project that published 4 volumes
of Stories from the Elders of Kainaa Nation (Blood Reserve), Alberta. She
has lectured at the University of Manitoba, Brandon University, University
of Lethbridge, Alberta and the University of British Columbia. .
She is a founder and active member of the Keteyatsak Elders and Seniors
Inc., is active with the Maternal Child Health Advisory, has served as Deer
Lodge Hospital Eucharistic Minister, worked with the Winnipeg Regional
Health Authority Elders Advisory Committee and served on the Aboriginal
Health and Wellness Board. She has been awarded Special Recognition as
Aboriginal Educator by the Aboriginal Circle of Elders, received the
Manitoba Council on Aging Recognition award and has been inducted into the
Native Hall of Fame in the Education category. Flora has also been inducted
into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt from the Manitoba Provincial Government.
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. Flora married
Stanley Zaharia and the couple had two children.
Preprost, “Gala recognizes accomplishments”. Winnipeg Free Press
June 18, 2010 Page A13; Flora Zaharia, Directory of Members,
Storeytellers of Canada. Online (accessed October 2015).
Anthropologists TOP OF PAGE
Cathie Ann Oberholtzer
Born March 12, 1940. Died
August 18, 2012. By the time she was 29 she had married Ron Oberholtzer and
was mother to four children. She earned her BA and MA from Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario and went on to receive her
PhD in anthropology from
McMasters University, Hamilton, Ontario. She specialized in Algonquin Art as
expressed in their decorative clothing. She was the only scholar in the
world to do this type of studies. She wrote a book: Dream Catchers: Legends,
lore and artifacts, published posthumously, September 2012.
The Globe and Mail, August 22, 2012.
Suggestion submitted by
June Coxon, Ottawa.
Gloria Cranmer Webster
Born July 4,
1931 Alert Bay, British Columbia. On September 10
1949 Gloria Cranmer, future film maker and linguist. became 1st
native Indian woman to attend the University of British Columbia. She
graduated with a degree in anthropology. Her first job was as a counselor
for first time offenders in prison. She married John Webster, executive
director of the Saskatchewan John Howard Society. Eventually the couple
settled with their three children on the west coast. Gloria worked with the
Vancouver YWCA and later became program director for the Vancouver Indian
Center. In 1971 she became assistant curator for the ne British Columbia
Museum of Anthropology. From 1960 through 1991 she served as curator of the
U’mist Cultural Centre in Alert Bay. She has authored several books and
co-piloted a project to create to transcribe the sounds of the Kwak’wala
language. She worked with the Museum of Civilization on the creation of the
Great Hall and served as a member of the Board of the Museum of
Civilization. Her contributions to British Columbia native life are
remarkable. She was awarded the Heritage Society of British Columbia’s
Heritage Award in 1996.
Source: Gloria Cranmer Webster, ABC Book World abcbookworld.com
(Accessed November 2012)
TOP OF PAGE
Mary Electa Adams.
November 10, 1823, Westbury, Lower Canada. Died
December 5, 1898. She
was an educator, administrator and a poet. She occupied several positions
in various schools. As preceptress at Wesleyan Academy in Mount Allison,
Sackville, New Brunswick she held the highest office in a school open
to a woman. She would also serve as Ladies Principal of the Ontario
Ladies College in Whitby Ontario.
She was an effective and determined advocate of academic education
for women .In 2004 she was declared a national historic person by
the Canadian Government.
Suggested sources : Dictionary of Canadian
Biography - online (accessed February 4, 2004)
Marie Jeanne Antoinette Anctil
27, 1875, Saint-Anne-de-la Pocatière, Quebec. Died December 4, 1926. In
November 1904 the School Household Science in Montreal is established to
professionalize domestic work and Promote public Health. The School send
Jeanne to Europe along with Marie De Beaujeu to study and broaden knowledge
in training for domestic sciences. Jeanne was one of the 1st
French Canadians to complete European education in Domestic Science and
Domestic Economics. The newly chartered Ecole Ménages Provincials accepted
students in December 1906 with Jeanne as co-principal with Antoinette
Gerin-Lajoie who had also studied in France. By March 1907 a three month
teacher training course was added to the curriculum. In May 1907 at the 1st
congress of the Federation Nationale Saint-Jean Baptiste, a women’s group
were very supportive of domestic training as they saw it as essential for
wives and mothers. Jeanne fought to have various levels of government accept
the discipline for recognition and financial help.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Toronto; University of Toronto/Laval
Université, 2005 vol. 15 1921-1930 p. 21-24.
Born Queens, New York , U.S.A. Although raised in the
United states she has spent most of her adult life in rural Nova Scotia. She
is married and has 3 children. Her avocation is her profession which is
teaching. She taught school and was even a principal before becoming a
teacher at the Faculty of Education at Mount St. Vincent University in
Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her work goes beyond the class room as she writes
articles and books to help teachers in their ongoing careers. She has even
ventured into video aids. For teachers. She had bee bestowed with a
Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of
America for her series of articles in Teaching k-8 magazine. Her real
enjoyment however comes from sharing her love of the abundant nature she
enjoys around her rural home and her love of reading. She has written a
book of Children’s poetry and several children’s picture book sharing her
love of nature. The Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union has honoured her as a 6 time
recipient of the Educational Quality Award.
sources: Writers Federation of Nova Scotia Web site: Writers.ns.ca (accessed
May 2008) as well as her own web site. Some of the above information was
provided through personal correspondence.
Purvathi "Pari" Basrur
September 15, 1921, Kerala, India. Died November 10, 2012, Guelph Ontario.
After earning her masters degree in sciences she immigrated to Canada to
study for her Doctorate at the University of Toronto in 1955. She began work
at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph as the first woman
on the faculty. She married Dr. Vasanth Basrur and the couple had one
daughter. She would author over 200 scientific articles for journals and
books but is perhaps best known for her dedication to her students, many of
whom endearing called her “Mamma Basrur” She received many honours during
her life time: YMCA/YWCA Woman of Distinction; the Norden Award for
distinguished teaching; the Order of Canada and in 2012 the Queen’s Jubilee
Obituary, Globe and Mail , November 17, 2012 ; Guelph loses leading
veterinary scientist ‘Mama’ Basrur. The Guelph Mercury November 13,
Brisebois. Born 1863 St Andre-Avellin. Died 1942. In 1886 she and her
husband Joseph Belanger, a Canadian Pacific Railroad worker, moved to
Rayside, Ontario just outside of Sudbury. The couple would have t3 children.
Azilda was one of the 1st white women in the area. Joseph would
become Mayor from 1890 to 1900. A relative of the family, Sir Wilfrid
Laurier enjoyed Azilda’s hospitality when he visited the area in 1911.
Azilda was a teacher not only educating her own children but also local
Aboriginal children. She was also held in high regard for her knowledge of
local herbs and medicinal plants. She often provided local health car and
even helped prepare the bodies of the dearly departed for funerals. The area
where the family lived is known as Azilda and is part of Greater Sudbury. In
1991 a historical plaque was erected at the family homestead.
Sources: Les femmes de la route ll. Les elles du nord. Accessed June 2015.
Wanda Thomas Elaine Bernard
Born August 1, 1953. She is the 1st Black Canadian to have an
academic tenure position and become a full professor at Dalhousie
University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She would serve as director of the
Dalhousie School of Social Work for ten years. She was one of the founding
members of the Association of Black Social Workers. In 2004 she received the
Order of Canada in appreciation of her work addressing racism and diversity
in the field of social work. In 2014 she was inducted into the Order of Nova
Scotia. She has served as Chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the
Status of Women. She has served as a member of the National Coalition of
Advisory Councils on the Status of Women. On October 27, 2016 she was named
to the Senate of Canada, sitting as an independent.
In 2016 She became the 1st Black Nova
Scotia woman to serve in the Canadian Senate.
Emerson, Manitoba, 1891. Died August 7, 1992, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She
graduated from Winnipeg
then taught in rural, town, and city schools. She married A.M. (Monty) Blue
and the couple had two sons. Settling in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she played
an important role in the establishment of the provincial
Home and School
movement that sought to enhance co-operative teacher-parent relationships.
In 1926 she founded the
Home and School
movement and served as 1st president of the Buena Vista Home and School
Association. She helped organize the 1st citywide council in Saskatoon, and
also participated in the organization and leadership of the Association
provincially and nationally. Blue was the 1st woman elected to the High
School Collegiate Board in Saskatoon. She also served on the 1st
advisory committees for the
and the School for the Deaf, was president for the Women’s Canadian Club,
and became a life member of the Saskatoon
Council of Women.
World War II
she did extensive voluntary work to support the war effort, and served in
leadership positions with wartime women’s committees in Saskatoon. She
received the Canadian Red Cross Society Badge of Service and a Centennial
Source: Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan Online Accessed February 2014)
Born 1921 Pilkington Township, Wellington County, Ontario. In 1939 she
graduated high school having earned the best overall student award. In 1941
she graduated from Hamilton (Ontario) Normal School (teacher’s college)
Later in life in 1974 she earned her BA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Her
main career was that of a lifelong teacher. She is also an avid gardener, in
fact a master gardener who encouraged planting butterfly gardens and
encouraged children with disabilities to garden. She served as the 1st
woman President of the Elmira Fair Board and President of the North District
Women’s Institute from 1996-98. In 1984 she was presented with a
Bicentennial Certificate of Merit from the Province of Ontario. In 1997 she
was Oktoberfest Senior Citizen of the year and that same year she was
presented with an award by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario.
Waterloo Region Hall of Fame. Online (Accessed July 2014. )
Died February 10, 1997. In 1920, she took up her first teaching position,
at Ethelbert, Manitoba, and later taught at Elm Creek. During the 1930s, she
became one of the first female school principals in Manitoba, in charge of
the Roland High School. From there, she went to the
Central Normal School
in Winnipeg, where she instructed during the 1940s. She also did
educational radio addresses, In 1941, she was elected President of the
In 1950, she received a doctoral degree from the
Manitoba based on research about the historical use of readers in
Canadian schools. From 1948-1956 she was one of the first female School
Inspectors in Manitoba. She joined the Faculty of Education at the
University of Manitoba in 1956 and remained there until 1967. She was
Superintendent of Ramah Hebrew School until 1971. She wrote several
textbooks for use in schools. In 1966, she was given the Benemerenti Medal
by Pope John II In 1977, she received the
Queen Elizabeth II
Silver Jubilee Medal and was inducted into the
Order of Canada
in recognition of more than half a century devoted to education.
Sources: Order of Canada.
Online (Accessed January 2012.) ; Obituary,
Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1997, page 36. ; Memorable
Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. (Accessed December 2011)
Beatrice Maude Bradshaw
Born July 31, 1885, Guelph, Ontario. Died March 25, 1972, Winnipeg,
Manitoba. n 1891 she moved with her family and settled near Morden,
Manitoba She began her teaching career at Morden, and Deloraine and Lauder
before she joined the staff of the
Winnipeg School District
in 1908. After two years at
she became Principal of
Cecil Rhodes School.
She left the employ of the Board in 1913, only to return to teaching
from 1914 to 1922, when she became Principal of the newly-opened
David Livingstone School.
In 1929, she became Primary Supervisor for the District, with special
emphasis on the education of handicapped children. She retired in June 1946
and lived alternately in the warmer climates of Florida, and Jamaica.
Winnipeg Free Press, 27 March 1972, page 16. ;
Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online. (Accessed
Ann Elizabeth Connor Brimer
July 22, 1988. She was educated at
University, Montreal, the University of London and the Atlantic Institute of
Education. Later in life she would return to graduate studies at Dalhousie
University. She began her career as a teacher in her home province of Nova
Scotia. She earned a position as executive Director of the Canadian
Learning Materials Centre and was program co-ordinator of Continuing
would found the first children’s bookstore in the city of Halifax and became
the Atlantic Representative for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She was
also a founding member of the Nova Scotia Coalition on Arts and Culture. In
1990 the Nova Scotia Library Association established the Ann Connor Brimer
Award to be given to a resident of Atlantic Canada for a book published in
Canada that has made an outstanding contribution to Children’s literature.
Annie Glenn Broder
She married Richard Broder in Regina Saskatchewan and became step mother to
2 sons. In 1903 the family relocated to Calgary Alberta. A lover of music
she composed a march The Ride of the NWMP in 1906. In Calgary Annie founded
choral and orchestral groups. Between 1914 and 1928 when the Calgary
symphony was disbanded Annie arranged events where young musicians could
perform and learn. In 1934 she represented Canada at the Anglo-American
musical conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation,
Mary Margaret "Margery" Brooker
Born 1901 Dumfries, Scotland. Died 1955, Winnipeg, Manitoba. , she received
a Master of Arts from Glasgow University, and studied languages at Rouen,
the Sorbonne in France as well as the University of Hamburg, Germany. She
immigrated to Canada in 1929, and worked as a teacher at
Cecil Rhodes School,
Winnipeg. She was the supervisor of French Instruction for the Manitoba
Department of Education until 1938, at the same time she taught at
Winnipeg Normal School
(Teacher’s College). In 1941 she was appointed School Inspector for the Virden
District, the first woman in Canada to be appointed in such a position. She
worked fourteen years inspecting rural schools. In 1946 she accepted two
fellowships to travel abroad and study languages; the Humbolt Siftung
Resident Fellowship from the Berlin Research Institute, and the Carnegie
fellowship from the Institute of Education at the University of London. Upon
her return to Canada in 1948 she was appointed school inspector in the
Winnipeg School District.
Source: Memorable Manitobans Profile by Gordon Goldsborough.
Online (Accessed December 2011)
Jessie Anne Buckingham
27, 1906 Culross, Manitoba. Died August 3, 2001 St. Boniface, Manitoba. She
received her education at the
School (Teachers College) and the
Manitoba. She began her career as a teacher in Wawanesa and
Souris school divisions before joining the Winnipeg School Division, 1930.
She also spent a year as an exchange teacher in New Zealand. A member of the
Winnipeg Business and Professional Women’s Club she attended Congresses of
the International Federation in London, England, Stockholm, Sweden,
Washington DC, U.S.A., Montreal, Quebec, Buenos Aires and Helsinki, Finland.
She was also a member of Olive Branch Historic Rebekah Lodge No.1, Exchange
Teachers Club and the Women’s Canadian Club.
Winnipeg Free Press,
Tuesday, 7 August 2001.; Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Kris Keen and
Gladys A. Bunn
Born March 16, 1892, White Pigeon, Michigan, U.S.A. Died May 31, 1987
Winnipeg, Manitoba. She moved with her parents to Quill Lake, Saskatchewan
in 1903 where her father built the first house in the town. She studied
piano in Chicago, Grinnell and Winnipeg, graduating with ALCM and ATCM.
Moving to Winnipeg in 1914 she settled in Charleswood and taught piano
lessons to local children for over 60 years, retiring at the age of 76. A
Gladys A. Bunn, Piano Teacher and
Artist was written and published by Anne E. Cott in 1981. Her
life is commemorated with a public park bearing her name in Winnipeg. Sources:
Winnipeg Free Press,
2 June 1987, page 43. Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon
Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2011).
Janet Wishart Carter
Born February 4, 1870, Galt, Ontario. Died February 21, 1953. Janet was the
1st woman to graduate the University of Toronto with a post
graduate Masters degree. In 1901 she was the 1st woman teacher at
Galt Collegiate Institute. She enjoyed establishing the girls Basketball tem
for extra curricular activities. She would spend her summer vacations
taking language courses in Europe to improve her teaching knowledge. In 1924
she was the 1st president of the Galt Collegiate Staff Players
Club and out of school she was active in the local Little Theater. Upon her
retirement in 1934 she was a recipient of the King George decoration for
outstanding contributions in education. In 1958-1949 she sat on the Galt
Public Library Board. She also worked in support of the Grenfell Mission in
Labrador for which the Mission founder Wilfrid Grenfell thanked her in
Source: Waterloo Region Hall of Fame. Online. (Accessed July 2014) ;
Janet Carter. Cambridge Archives and Record Center. Online (Accessed
Martha "Mattie" Julia Cartmell.
14, 1845 Thorold, Ontario. Died March 20, 1945 Hamilton, Ontario. Her mother
died when Mattie was only 4. Mattie and her sister went to live with an aunt
and were brought up by the Southerland family. At 11 her uncle was killed in
an accident and a year later her father died. She learned quickly to become
independent. She attended Normal School (teacher’s college) in Toronto and
from 1865 through 1882 she was a teacher and then principal of a public
school for girls in Hamilton, Ontario. She left Hamilton to become a
missionary in Methodist Church (now United Church of Canada) sponsored by
the newly organizes Women’s Missionary Society (WMS). She soon sailed for
Japan as the first Canadian woman missionary of the WMS. In 1884 she founded
a school Toyo Eiwa with the support of the finances of the WMS. The new
school building survived damages from a typhoon, a fire and two strong
earthquakes before opening officially on November 6, 1884, In 1887 Mattie
was forced by poor health to return to Canada where until 1892 she continued
with mission work . She returned to work again in Japan until her retirement
in 1896. Her personal Bible is a prized possession of Toyo Eiwa schools
today. Her grave in Hamilton Municipal Cemetery has a special marker
inscribed in both English and Japanese and laid in 2005 by her family, her
Hamilton church and her grateful Toyo Eiwa school.
Source: Canadian Women Missionaries at Toyo Eiwa in Japan 1882-2006
translated by Seiichi Ariga and Wayne Irwin. (Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin, 2012.)
1928. Died February 19, 2007.At 20, Thérése Champagne entered the
Congregation of the Missionary Oblate Sisters whose mandate it is to tend to
the needs of the poor and make bilingual and religious education a priority.
Sister Champagne taught for more than 34 years in public, private and
residential schools through the Prairie Provinces. Northern Manitoba needed
someone to serve as a pastoral minister to the Cree, Métis and white
population living in outlying communities of the Keewatin-Le Pas
Archdiocese. She traveled between the communities of Thompson, Thicket
Portage and Wabowden ministering to the needs of the community. She was
inducted into the Order of Manitoba.
Source: Memorable Manitobans
Online (Accessed November 2012
Ruth Lorraine Collins-Nakai
Born March 21, 1949, Pincher Creek, Alberta. After earning her medical degree at the University of Alberta she
specialized in pediatric medicine
(childhood medicine) She teaches at the
University of Alberta where she was named teacher of the Year in her own
department in 1988. She has participated in the betterment of her home
province by serving on the Premier's Council on Science and Technology, the
Subcommittee of Science and Technology in Alberta and the Premier's
Commission on Future Health Care in the Province of Alberta. A well
respected medical author she has written some 100 abstracts and papers in
her chosen field of medicine. She has also been an active member of various
boards of directors for national and international medical associations.
Combining a profession and a family she is the mother of three children.
née Muise. Born Saulnierville, Nova Scotia January 28, 1942. She studied at
Université Sainte-Anne and married John Robert Comeau. The couple had two
children. Interested in dance she took a diploma from the British
Association of Teachers in Dance and the Canadian Dance Teachers’
Association. In 1979 she founded and became the artistic director of a dance
group whose name celebrates Acadian heritage and culture, La Baie en
Joie. The group has performed for heads of state and audiences
throughout North America, and France . She has received numerous awards
recognizing the preservation of Acadian culture and promotion of the arts.
In 1991 she became the Outstanding Cultural Educator and in 1992 she
received L’Ordre de la Pleiade. In 2003 she earned was awarded the Acadian
community’s highest accolade: the distinguished Prix Hommage by the Academie
des arts et des letters de L’Atlantique, as well she received le Prix
Eloizes d’Excellence. 2004 found her at Universite Sainte Anne as Director
of Arts. During this time she was also recognized 5 times as Volunteer
supporter of the year. In 2004 she was invested with the Order of Nova
Women’s Achievements, Library and Archives Canada.
Http://www.Collectionscanada.gc.ca (accessed May 2011) ; Canadian Who’s
who 2006 Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007. ; University de
Moncton: Centre d’etudes acadiennes “Anne-Marie Comeau”
2007 in French)
Ada May Courtice
Born 1860, Pickering, Canada West (Ontario). Died 1923. She married shortly after graduating from the Whitby Ladies
College. As a young widow requiring a way to earn a living, she opened a
private school in Toronto. She became active in the education scene in
Toronto and became a member of the Toronto Board of Education. In 1914 she
founded the Home and School Movement in Toronto. The Movement gained
popularity and spread across the entire country.
Sarah "Sally" Crooks
née Anderson. Born May 7, 1927 Kilmarnock, Scotland. Died Regina,
Saskatchewan September 2011. Her mother left her alcoholic husband to raise
to raise her four children on her own. Somehow enough money was scraped
together for lessons in dance, drama, voice, and piano for the talented
young Salty. After high school she took a position with the British civil
Service in London, England. . She continued to pay for voice lessons and
worked to build a roster of contacts and performance credits. She also
studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and began to tour with
ice shows. She married Jim Crooks, from her home town in 1954. The couple
had two children. Jim was a physiotherapist who sought opportunity in
Regina, Canada, taking his family to Canada in 1965. Once settled Sally
enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan with a major in Music but soon
switched to English. After graduation in 1971 she taught public school for
several years and then at a local high school teaching until she retired in
1988. She directed plays and musicals and was active in the Regina arts
scene singing in choirs, acting and directing with the Summer Stage, Little
Theatre and Lyric Light Opera Society. She also enjoyed writing poetry which
was published in 2006 (That Saturday Night) In 2007 she won the John
V. Hicks long manuscript award for nonfiction from the Saskatchewan Writer’s
Guild for her memoir. In 2003 she found small TV roles in Corner Gas
and Just Friends and Tideland and Little Mosque on the
Prairie. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Decease in 2011.
Source: Saskatchewan Teacher started out poor… by Chris Ewing-Weisz
The Globe and Mail October 5, 2011 page R 5 (Photograph included in
Josephine A. Daphinee
November 15, 1875,
Liverpool, Nova Scotia . Died December 6, 1977. A
trained nurse and teacher she arrived in New Westminster, British Columbia
to work for her uncle. She took additional training in Seattle, Oregon,
U.S.A. and returned to B.C. to teach High School becoming supervisor of
special classes for mentally challenged children. She travelled across the
U.S.A. observing special teaching methods to apply in BC. She was a founding
member of the Vancouver Business and Professional Women’s club in 1922 and
president from 1928-1929. She helped establish the National Canadian
Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs in 1930 and was
president from 1932 to 1935. She retired from her teaching duties in 1941.
Source: The History of
http://www.vancouverhistory.ca (accessed June 19, 2009)
Angela Elizabeth Davis
née Pizzy. Born September 22, 1926. Died October 16, 1994, Winnipeg,
Manitoba. Hansworth, Middlesex, England. Angela studied at King’s College
Hospital graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1948. She worked at King’s
College Hospital as Staff Nurse. April 27, 1950 she married Dr. Royden A.
Davies and the couple emigrated to Canada in 1951. Settling on the West
coast the couple raised 5 children. Relocating to Regina in the 1960’s where
she was a founding member of one of the first cooperative childcare centres.
Once her children were grown she returned to school earning a BA in History,
University of Winnipeg, followed by an MA in 1979. By 1987 she had completed
her PhD from the University of Manitoba. From 1975 through 1994 she taught
at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. She also was a
consultant, conference organizer and committee member for several
associations including the Canadian Committee on Women’s History, the
Canadian Historical Association, Canadian Womens’ Studies Association,
Victorian Studies Association and the Manitoba Historical Society. In 1976
She was co-founder of the Osborne Gallery in Winnipeg and served as an Art
Consultant for the Gallery from 1977 through 1986. She wrote frequently for
Manitoba History and served in various positions as a member of the
Manitoba Historical Society
Source: Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed February 2014)
Red River Settlement [Manitoba] . Died 1873. Matilda was
the daughter of an Officer of the Hudson Bay Company. As was the standard of
the day she was shipped to England to receive a proper educations. As the
Red River Settlement grew so did the demand for education in the community.
In the 1850’s the HBC offered to pay $132.00 per year for room board and
teaching for young female students. Matilda became school mistress for a day
and boarding school in St. Andrew’s Parish, just north of modern day
Winnipeg. Some 40 students resided in a fine stone structure this is still
standing today. Assisted by an English governess the young ladies were
provided a solid education including the learning of French, dancing,
drawing, and needlework, all the kinds of training required for future wives
of Red River society.
Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. X P 215. ( Toronto:
University of Toronto Press)
Sara Louise Diamond
Born March 9, 1954, New York, New York U.S.A. She did her post secondary school studies at Simon Fraser University
in British Columbia. An artist and teacher she pioneered the development of
a feminist theory curriculum at Emily Carr College of Art and Design and was
Director, Women's Labour History Project 1979-1992 when she moved to Banff,
Alberta and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her video work has won the Bell
Canada Award for Excellence in Video in 1995. She has also written articles
for several publications. She enjoys surfing the web, Nordic skiing, cooking
for friends and loves to read and watch films.
Donalda James Dickie
5, 1883. Died 1972, Haney British Columbia. She attended Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario, Oxford University, England, and Columbia University, New
York City, New York, U.S.A. She taught at normal school (teacher’s college)
in Alberta and was an advocate of the ‘Enterprise’ a progressive educational
approach to teaching of elementary school. She authored The Enterprise in
Theory and Practice in 1940. She retired in 1947. She was also an author
of numerous text books for schools and children’s stories. In 1950 she
published the Great Adventure: an Illustrated History of Canada for Young
Canadians (Dent Publishing) which became a stable in schools. In 1950
she received the Governor General’s award for juvenile literature.
Guide to Literary Heritage of Waterloo and Wellington Counties.
(Waterloo, On, 1985)
Born England. She emigrated to Prince Edward Island during world War ll. She
became an active member in her community becoming involved with Scouts
Canada and in the 1960’s she was a member of the Eastern Nova Scotia Ladies
Softball League. Her main avocation however was education. She is known as
the “heart” of the X-Project, a student-based society at St. Francis Xavier
University. Since 1965 she has been instrumental in bringing together
over3500 university students with over 1000 community people to provide
small-group educational assistance, mentoring, workshop and recreation
programs. She has received the Silver Acorn Award from Scouts Canada for
over 35 years of dedication to the movement. She has been inducted into the
African Canadian Heritage and Friendship Centre in Guysborough, Nova Scotia,
has received in 2006 an honorary doctorate of Laws from St. Francis Xavier
university, received the Canada 125 medal and is honoured with the Order of
Source: Protocol Office. Order of Nova Scotia Recipients
http://www.gov.ns.ca (Accessed August 12, 2008)
Mary Walker Dobson
Born December 1871, Cheddleton, England. Died March 13, 1955, Winnipeg,
Manitoba. In 1882 with her family to Canada and settled in Winnipeg,
Manitoba. She joined the teaching staff various schools in the area She
retired from teaching in 1901. On October 21, 1903 she married William J.
Dobson. When she became a widow in 1915 Mary returned to teaching to
support herself and her daughter. She was appointed Principal of various
schools until her retirement in 1937. Her dedication to education in the
area was recognized with the King’s Coronation Medal for distinguished
service to education in Manitoba in 1937.
Manitobans Online (Accessed February 2014)
Aileen Motley Doerksin
Born November 6, 1899, Manitoba. Died January 11, 1971, Manitoba. Aileen
graduated public school having won the Governor General Medal. She attended
the University of Manitoba for her BA. She was an accomplished pianist
studying in Winnipeg, the Toronto Conservatory Montreal, and in Paris,
France. Returning home to Winnipeg she taught piano and served on the
executive of the Manitoba Music Teachers’ Association. In 1933, she enrolled
in the newly formed Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and
obtained a Bachelor of Education degree. She taught English, French and
German at various high schools. She was also active in her community,
serving 1949-1951 as president of the University Women’s Club,
Vice-President of the Women’s Canadian Club, Winnipeg President and National
Vice-President of the Council of Women. In 1944 she married fellow teacher
William B. Doerksen.(1900-1987) In 1962, with the newly formed United Church
of Canada she was elected as the 1st Provincial President of the United
Church Women Source: Memorable
Manitobans Online (Accessed February 2014)
Maureen "Mimi" Mitchell Donald
Born November 19, 1917, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Died Vancouver, British
Columbia September 24, 2012. She became deaf as a toddler and was educated
in schools for the deaf in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1945 she
became the 1st teacher of deaf children at the British Columbia
Provincial Jericho Hill School for the Deaf, Vancouver. She remained at the
school until her retirement in 1978. She was awarded an honorary doctor of
laws in 2000 from the University of British Columbia which considered her
the 20th centuries most outstanding teacher of the deaf in Canada. She was
the 1st woman president of the Vancouver Association of the Deaf
and was on the executive of the Western Canadian Association of the Deaf.
She was one of only a few Canadians named to the U.S. National Fraternal
Society of the Deaf Hall of Fame. She was involved with the production and
publication of the Canadian Dictionary of American Sign Language. She
refused to take it for granted that the deaf could not attend university and
she encouraged and paved the way for many deaf students.
Source: “Lives lived” by Stephen McClure. The Globe and Mail November
15, 2012 ; Obituary, The Vancouver Sun.
Born August 3, 1845, St. Jérôme ,Lower Canada (Quebec). Died December 10,
1932, Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Onésime was a devoted Roman Catholic Métis.
She had hoped to serve with the Sisters of Good Shepherd in New York, U.S.A.
but it was felt that her poor health would keep her from being devoted to
completing her duties and she did not take her final vows. She had earned
her teaching certificate at the Ecole Modèle at St. Jérôme and soon found
herself heading for the Canadian North West to apply her trade.
She is conceded the 1st certified teacher
in Saskatchewan. In 1877 she travelled to the Red River Settlement
at Fort Garry (now Winnipeg). She also taught at St Albert and St. Laurent
de Grandin in Saskatchewan, where she helped establish the Our Lady of
Lourdes grotto. From 1894-1914 she taught at Batoche No. 1 School District
where she also worked as a housekeeper for local clergy and provided board
for students were far from home. She went on to Aldina and back to St
Laurent de Grandin. She retired from teaching in 1921, living and serving
the Sisters of Presentation. It was here that she wrote her memoires. On
Jun7, 1954 the Canadian Historic Sites and Monuments Board had her declared
a Person of National Historic Significance. August 9, 1969 the Government of
Saskatchewan named four small Islands in the North Saskatchewan River, near
North Battleford, the Dorvals in her honor. In 1994 the Division scolaire
francophone established the Prix Onésime Dorval Award annually presented to
exemplary and dedicated teachers. October 2, 2002 a plaque showing her story
was unvalued in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan by the Government of Canada.
Source: Dorval, Onésime (1845-1932) Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.
Online (Accessed May 2014)
Violet Alice Dryvynsyde
November 4, 1988.
Port Fairy, Australia. Died October 29, 1969. She came
to Vancouver, British Columbia with her family in 1930. After her husband’s
death in 1940 she founded the Athlone School, a private school for boys. She
opened the school with six pupils. By 1969 it could boast of 230 students.
She added to the family income by writing. In 1952 her novel Provoke Silent
Dust won third prize in a literary competition, not in Canada but in
Source: The History of Metropolitan Vancouver – Hall of Fame.
http://www.ancouverhistory.ca (accessed June 19, 2009)
Mary Susanne Edgar
Born May 23, 1889, Sundridge, Ontario . Died
September 17, 1973. She studied at Havergal College in Toronto and at the
University of Chicago before graduating from the National Training School of
the Young Women's Christian Association, New York City in 1915. 1920 found
her in Japan as a volunteer for the Y.W.C.A. She returned to Canada and
purchased land near her home in Sunderland to established a youth camp which
opened in 1922. She was the director until her retirement in 1956. She
devoted her life to working with young girls and camping and worked not only
with the Y.W.C.A. but also with Girl Guides of Canada, Canadian Girls in
Training, and the Canadian Camping Association. She wrote several books
including Wood-fire and candlelight (Toronto,1945) ; Under open
skies (Toronto,1956); The Christmas wreath of verse
(Toronto,1967) and Once there was a camper (Toronto,1970) . She also
wrote a number of one act plays and hymns.
Renée Elaine Elio.
Born June 19, 1955. A graduate of Yale
University, she earned her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in 1981. She
is an Associate professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta.
She is the author and co-author of numerous articles in the fields of
cognitive psychology, cognitive science and artificial intelligence.
Elizabeth 'Betty' Hepworth Feniak
Born June 17, 1920, near Shoal Lake, Manitoba. Died April 7, 2013, Winnipeg,
Manitoba. Completing high school Betty attended the University of Manitoba,
winning an Isbister scholarship on graduating 1st in her Home Economics
class. She continued on to earn an MSc in Foods and Nutrition from the
University of Minnesota. In 1945, she married geologist Michael Feniak and
in 1947 the couple settled Yellowknife, North West Territories. The couple
had two children. After the drowning death of her husband in 1949 she
relocated her family Winnipeg. She began a teaching career in the Faculty of
Home Economics at the
Manitoba. She would earn her PhD and began serving as Department
Head, was Acting Dean, and Associate Dean prior to retirement in 1985. She
oversaw one of her graduate students, Charlotte Moore, who piloted the
“Meals on Wheels” program. Her community service earned her the
Queen Elizabeth II
Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. She was named a “Woman of
Distinction” by the YWCA in 1982. Betty also served as President of the
Provincial Council of Women, the Canadian Home Economics Association, and
Chair of the Canadian Home Economics Foundation. In 1988, she was inducted
Order of Canada.
1n 2002 she was awarded the Queen
Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee
Medal. She was also a life member of
the National Council of Women, Manitoba Council of Women, and Manitoba
Sources: Goldsborough, Gordon. Elizabeth Hepworth ‘Betty’ Feniak in
Memorable Manitobans. Online (Accessed September 2014 ; Obituary.
Winnipeg Free Press April 12, 2013,.
Beatrice Ford Watts
First Qualified Inuit Teacher in Labrador
Born1932, Nain, Labrador. Died 2004. As a child, her mother was
determined that she would get an education so at 6 she was sent of boarding
school. Later she would attend Memorial University, Newfoundland, in 1949
become the 1st Labrador Inuit to qualify as a teacher in 1957.
Returning to Labrador she taught, became a principal and later an
administrator with the Labrador East Integrated School Board. She developed
Inuit programs and Inuktitut immersion classers. As she travelled the area
she gathered stories, songs and games reworking them into various Inuit
dialects. She also authored a handbook for teachers of Inuktitut. She even
introduced the language and stories over the CBC radio. As a young mother of
5 children, she stayed at home running a daycare centre until her own
youngest was in school. She was president of the Labrador Native Women’s
Association and showed community involvement as the first woman mayor in
Labrador. Retiring from teaching she retained community commitment by
working on the Labrador Inuit Association Land Claims team.
Source: Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective. Herstory 2007: the Canadian
Women’s Calendar (Regina: Couteau Books, 2006) pg. 12.
A member of
Fisher Cree First Nation, Manitoba she decided to obtain her post high
school education at the University of Western Ontario. She earned her B.A.
in 1995 and a honours diploma in History in 1997. She had always had an
interest in sports. Ant twice earned All-Canadian status in cross-country
running. In 1995 and 2002 she competed in the North American Indigenous
Games for Team Ontario. At this time she also compiled a master’s degree in
Aboriginal Sport. Her PhD. research included contemporary Aboriginal sport
practices in Canada. In 2005 she began teaching at the University of
Manitoba. She has worked as a board member with the Canadian Association for
the Advancement of Women and sport and Physical Activity and she has
represented Canada’s Aboriginal sport and recreation. In 2010 she found
herself back at the University of Western Ontario as director of the
International Center for Olympic Studies.
Source: “Aboriginal Sport Expert guiding Olympic Centre” by Paul Mayne.
Alumni Gazette (University of Western Ontario) Spring 2010.
Marion Golda Fry
Born Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1932. She received her her
undergraduate university degree, along with a medal in classics at the
University of King's College. After earning her Masters in 1955 she headed
to Oxford University in England for additional studies. She taught at
Bishops University and was assistant Dean of Women. She would be the first
woman to be President of King's College at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
She moved to Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario where she earned the
Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1987. She is also a strong
supporter of her community. She has held board positions of Arbor Theatre,
the Peterborough United Way. She has been a member of the boards that serve
University Scholarships Canada and the National Library of Canada.
Born 1910, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1986. She studied piano and musical theory
at the Hamburg Conservatory of Music, Toronto. In 1929 she enrolled in the
Pass Course at Victoria College, Toronto. Upon graduating in 1933 she was
offered a position in the education department at the Art Gallery of Toronto
by Arthur Lismer, who was a personal friend of her father, a commercial
artist. She spent one year at the National Gallery in Ottawa and a year
studying at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England. Upon her
return to Toronto she continued to work at the Gallery, conducting study
groups, sending out loan exhibitions, and organizing lectures and concerts.
In 1937 she married Northrop Frye, who would become a key literary figure.
The young couple had met during their studies at the University of Toronto.
In the late Thirties she worked as a contributing editor and then as art
editor for Canadian Forum. From 1943 until 1946 the Toronto Star Weekly
employed her as a reprint editor. She devoted much of her spare time to
committee work at Victoria College and later, when Northrop Frye became
College Principal, took charge of various women’s organizations at the
Helen Kemp Frye Collection. E.J. Pratt Library, University of Victoria
Campus, University of Toronto. Online. Accessed July 2013.
submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.
Nottingham, England. Died November 16, 1934, Montreal, Quebec. She was
educated in classical studies at Lady Margaret Hall, the 1st
college for women at Oxford University. She did not receive and credentials
as women at this time were not allowed to receive degrees. She worked in the
beginning as a governess and then as a teacher but there were not many job
opportunities for women teachers in England at this time. In 1912-1913 she
immigrated to Montreal where she originally taught at Miss Camp’s School.
She found that she did not share the teaching philosophy of the school.
Despite the happening of World War l she opened her own school classes in
September 1915 with 6 students. By September 1916 she had 56 girls. On April
15, 1917 she rented a house on borrowed money to accommodate her growing
school and by 1918 there was a faculty of 10 women teachers working at what
was now called The Study. On December 29, 1922 the Study Corporation was
incorporated and a Board of governors was established. The prestigious
school is a proud 100 year old institution of Montreal.
29, 1950, Johannesburg, South Africa. Died August 1, 2013, Toronto, Ontario.
In 1972 she graduated in Occupational Therapy from the University of
Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. That same year she married Michael Anderson and
the couple immigrated to Canada in 1978 where they could raise their three
children. They settled 1st in Leamington, Ontario and then moved
to Toronto. In 1988 Anne returned to School and earned her Master’s in
Education and began to teach in adult education and community development
at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). By 1995 she had
earned her PhD from the University of Toronto. A year later her marriage
ended and she turned even more to her work. In 2003 she Married Michael
Wheeler. She became President and co-founder of Interchange: International
Institute for Community-based Peace Building Collaborating on Educational
and Research projects with likeminded activists around the world. Her work
took her to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Slovakia, Israel, Croatia and other
countries. She was also a teacher at the Centre of Peace Studies ad McMaster
University, Hamilton, Ontario. She also co-founded the Voice of Somali Women
for Peach, Reconciliation and Political Rights, helping Somali mothers in
Source: “Building and living in a culture of peace” by Noreen Shanahan.
The Globe and Mail, September 19, 2013.
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Marie Therese Goulet
Born May 27, 1912 St Boniface, Manitoba. Died 1971. At convent school as a
girl her gift for learning languages was noted. She continued her education
and earned her teaching degree from Manitoba Normal School. She taught
school until her marriage to Joseph H. Courchaine. The couple had five
children. During the Great Depression in the 1930’s Marie began teaching
again and she spent ten years at public schools and another 12 years at
Métis and Indian Schools run by the Oblate Fathers. She also worked for a
time at CFRC radio in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. She suffered from diabetes
losing one of her legs to the disease and it also affected her eyesight.
Undaunted she began writing for numerous French and English newspapers who
were pleased to publish her works. She even told in one of her articles
about how she could write being blind. She was well read in both official
languages of her country often under the pen name Marie-Tobie.
Source: Hall of
Fame, History of Metropolitan Vancouver web site Accessed April 2013.
Alice Maud Dunning Grant
née Fitch. Born 1865
New Minas, Nova Scotia. Died March 1946 Wolfville, Nova Scotia. On June 4,
1885 she became the second woman to graduate from Acadia University. The
following year she was the 1st woman to receive a Master’s Degree
from Acadia University. From 1989 to 1893 she taught at Acadia Ladies
Seminary. In 1893 she moved to Toronto serving as Principal of Moulton
College. On June 17, 1896 she married Rev. Donald Grant and the couple moved
to Quebec City where their two children were born. In 1904 there were in
Strafford, Ontario but soon moved to Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. for
Donald’s failing health. By 1906 Alice and her children were settled in
Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Alice taught Latin and History at Acadia Ladies
Seminary until she retired in 1925. After retirement she became librarian at
Morse Library at Acadia University. She would become the first woman to
serve on the Senate of Acadia University.
Biography, Esther Clark
Wright Archives, Acadia University online. Accessed April 2013.
Marion Elder Grant
Born March 18, 1900 Quebec City, Quebec. Died 1989
Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In 1906 the family moved to Wolfville, Nova Scotia
and Marion graduated from Acadia Ladies College in 1921. She taught for a
short period of time before returning to school earning her M.A. in
Psychology at the University of Toronto. By 1926 she was professor of
education at Baylor College for Women in Texas, U. S. A. It was during this
time that she worked towards her PhD which she received in 1931 from the
University of Toronto. The following year she studied at the University of
London, England. She returned to work at Acadia Ladies College in the
Education Department. By 1939 she was Dean of Women at Acadia and expanded
her duties in 1939 to teach in the Psychology Department and by 1960 she was
Head of the Department. She was a founder of the Fundy Medical Health
Clinic and practiced at the clinic until 1975. 1949-1953 she was national
President of the Canadian Federation of University Women. She later served
on the Senate and the Board of Governors for Acadia Ladies College. In 1985
Acadia University named her Woman of the Century to celebrate 100 years of
women graduates. The Federation of University Women offers the annual Marion
Elder Grant Fellowship
Sources: Herstory, the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006 Coteau Books,
2005 ; Biography, Esther Clark Wright Archives, Acadia University online.
Accessed April 2013.
Shelagh Dawn Grant.
Born June 28, 1938. She
completed her studies at the University of Western Ontario, and Trent
University. A mother of three children she is a professor of History and
Canadian Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She has
written numerous articles for various scholastic journals and reviews and a
couple of books on the modern history of government policy. She has been
editor of various reviews and co-editor for Federalism in Canada and
Australia published in 1989.
Born June 26, 1947, Windsor, Ontario . She
did all of her post secondary school studies at the University of Toronto,
obtaining a Masters in Education in 1977. She established a career as a
teacher, consultant, lecturer, co-ordinator and leader in education . During
her career she took time to have two children, and return effort to her
community with charity work such as United Way of Greater Toronto. She has
received several awards and honours including Woman of the Year for Women in
Leadership 1990, Distinguished Educator OISI, 1994, and the Helen Horn
Leadership Award 1995, As an author she has published several development
works for youth.
Meaford, Ontario. Died 1979, Hamilton, Ontario. Frances was a missionary for
the Anglican Church of Canada out of Hamilton, Ontario. In 1920 she went to
serve in Japan where she taught kindergarten in Toyohashi, Matsumoto and
Nagaya where she started a kindergarten train school In 1941 with the
gathering storm of war she was one of the last foreigner to leave Japan.
Returning to Canada she taught in British Columbia at Japanese internment
camps. In 1948 she was once again in Japan helping to rebuild kindergartens
and a kindergarten training school for teachers. This would become the Ryujo
Junior College where she served as the 1st principal. She retired
to Hamilton in 1961. Her students continued to write to her long after her
retirement a testament of the affection and esteem that she had earned
during her Career.
Source: It happened in Canada by Emily-Jane Hills Orford. Online
Accessed June 2014)
Born August 1911, Montreal, Quebec. Died June 2010, Ottawa, Ontario. As a
child she had a dream of being a teacher. She attended McGill University,
Montreal and 1933 she earned her teaching certificate. In 1938 she married
George Haythorn, a Canadian Government official and the couple had two
children. She was elected to the Home and School Association of Ottawa and
of Ontario as well as the Ottawa Board of Education. She helped establish
Algonquin College of the Applied Arts and Technology and served on its’
first board of governors as chair 1967- 69. Also during the 1960’s and 70’s
she accompanied her husband on his foreign service positions in Europe, Gabonne and Botswana. In Botswana she helped establish an education program
for children and adults.
Herstory: Canadian Women’s Calendar 2012 ,Coteau Books, 2011.
Helen Battles Hogg-Priestley.
Born Lowell, Massachusetts U.S.A. August 1, 1905. Died January 28, 1993. An astronomer who joined the teaching staff of the University
of Toronto in 1936, she was nominated professor emeritus in 1976.
A world expert who receive numerous honours including being a Companion
in the Order of Canada, she took her profession to radio and TV in a clear and
understandable manner for all listeners.
She wrote a book, “The Stars Belong
to Everyone” . For her efforts
to bring information to the public she was the 1st person to with the
Klumpke-Roberts Award and she is also the only Canadian woman to have a minor
planet (#2917) named after her!
Frances Esther (Hester) How
Born January 29, 1848, Ireland . Died
September 22, 1915. She emigrated from Ireland with her family in 1849. In
1866 she graduated from the Toronto Normal School and began teaching in
Toronto. In 1881 she was chosen to work at a school for delinquent boys. The
school and its students blossomed under her strict but kind leadership and
by 1892 classes for girls and 1/2 day classes for newsboys were opened. She
started a crèche for baby care, a free lunch Programme, summer camps and
arranged health and dental services. She became known as Aunt Hessie. She
worked with the Temperance League and anti-tobacco League. In 1912 a new
school was called the Hester How School. Upon her retirement she was
described as the Jane Addams of Toronto, referring to a famous Chicago
reformer in the United States.
Anna Gertrude Ingham
October 15, 1911, Seeleys Bay, Ontario. At 12 she and her family moved to
the Canadian west. In 1933-1934 she attended Normal School (Teachers’
College) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan . She married Austin Ingram and the
couple had two children. Her 1st job as teacher in 1934 was in a
one room rural Saskatchewan school with 40 students from grade 1 through
grade 10. The family moved several times throughout Saskatchewan and Anna
taught whenever she could. They finally settled in 1956 in Yorkton,
Saskatchewan. In order to help her students she created visual and verbal
jingles so that the children could leant tricky rules of English spelling.
In 1967 she published a book, The Blended Sound-Sight Method of learning.
Her work encouraged generations of students. She retired from teaching in
the classroom in 1972 but continued to spread the word about her teaching
methods. The Blend Sight-Sound method spread throughout Canada, the rest of
North America and even to Japan. In 1973 she was asked to teach her method
at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1993 she received the Canada 125
Commemorative medal and in 1994 she was inducted into the Order of Canada.
In 2007 she received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. She continued
presenting workshops well into her 90’s. She is the definition of true
dedication to the profession of teaching.
Sources; Herstory 2006. The Canadian Women’s Calendar (Coteau Books,
2005) ; Good spirit School Division, Yorkton Saskatchewan. Anna Gertrude
http://gssd.ca (Accessed November 2014.
Anna "Annie" Bruce Jamieson
Born. 1871, Leeds, Quebec. Died January 23, 1952, Vancouver, British
Columbia. In 1904 she earned her BA at the University of Manitoba. She
taught in Manitoba before moving to Vancouver's Dawson School in 1907. From
1908-27, taught at King Edward High School where she served as vice
principal for ten years. She was elected to the Vancouver School Board and
served from 1929 through 46. She also served as a member of the Senate of
the University of British Columbia and the Board of Governors from 1936 to
1942). She was a member of the British Columbia Library Board and was
awarded a life membership for her 30 years of service. Annie was a founding
member, University Women's Club. A Vancouver elementary school is named in
Source: The Vancouver
Hall of Fame online (Accessed November 2012)
June Caroline Kander
née Worsley. Born 1927? New
Zealand. Died December 26, 2004. An accomplished professional with thirty years
experience in the areas of linguistics, education and curriculum development
she made education her lifetime avocation. She earned several post graduate
degrees including PhD courses in 1994. Long after most professionals retired
to a more inactive lifestyle she continued to use and share her knowledge
and life energies with those in need. Her endeavors would take her to Laos,
Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt, and Hong Kong. As a volunteer for two years for the
World University Service of Canada (WUSC) she developed Literature Resource
materials and Writing Resources for the National University in Laos in
addition to the regular English Language teaching duties. She assisted in
the reestablishment of programs at Kuwait University after the Gulf War and
worked in her home Canada in the design and delivery of the Curriculum for
McGill University Intensive Language Program. She was also a counselor to
Canadian Immigrants for the Government of Quebec. Ms Kinder died in the
tsunami in Asia in 2004.
Verna Jane Kirkness
Born 1935 Fisher River Reserve, New Brunswick. Her Haida Name is
Ni-Jing-Jada which translates as Longhouse Lady. After High School she
attended summer school for her teacher’s permit. Her first teaching position
was with a Métis community in a one room school in Manitoba. After taking
additional courses she returned to the Fisher River Reserve where she became
principal . In 1959 through 1961 she taught at a residential school in
Western Manitoba but soon became a counselor for aboriginal students in
Winnipeg. She collaborated in the publication of an Aboriginal Based Social
Studies for primary grades. By 1970 she was with the Manitoba Department of
Education working to allow primary education in Aboriginal languages and
forced development of Cree and Ojibwa readers. The following year she was
educational director for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and contributed to
a national committee publishing a report aiding in launching education
reforms and closure of residential schools. In 1974 she was in Ottawa,
helping to implement the report. By 1975 she had earned her B.A. at the
University of Manitoba followed by her Bachelor of Education and Master’s of
Education. In 1984 she became Director of Native Education and by 1987 had
founded the First Nations House of Learning at the University of British
Columbia and in the following years a longhouse was built to house the First
Nations Centre dedicated May 25, 1993. The University of British Columbia
offers an award in Aboriginal Education in her honour. She was invested as a
member of the Order of Canada in 1999.
Sources: Honor Song: A Tribute by Barbara Hagar Vancouver: Raincoast
Books, 1996. : Order of Canada Online (Accessed November 2011)
Mary Ellen Knox
Born England October 4,1858. Died January
24,1924. A well established teacher in the United Kingdom she came to Canada
in 1894 to be the first principal of the newly established Havergal Ladies
College, a private school in Toronto. This administrator , who laid the
foundation for one of the most prestigious ladies colleges in Canada,
remained at her position until her death in 1924. She wrote test books and
educational works entitled Bible Lessons for Schools. (three
volumes) (London 1907-1908) and The Girl of the New Day (Toronto,
March 25, 1952. After university studies in Toronto and England she became a
curator of Fine Arts and worked at in Winnipeg before returning to the University of
Toronto to teach post 1945 art and be curator at the U of T Art College. She is
also and author and editor in her field. Her personal recreation is to
create soft sculpture caricatures.
Anna Harriette/Harriet Emma
née Edwards. Born November 6, 1831 Ahmadnagar, India. Died January
19, 1915 Montreal, Quebec. Anna seems to have attempted to alter the facts
of her early life. She claimed that she had been born in Caernarvon, Wales,
United Kingdom in 1834 the daughter of Captain Thomas Crawford. She also
claimed to have married Major Leonowens in 1851. It is believed that she
wished to hide her low birth and perhaps her mixed racial origin. She
actually married Thomas Leon Owens on Christmas Day 1849 and the couple had
four children. Widowed in 1859 and in order to support her family she opened
a school for children of British officers in Singapore but the school was
not successful. In 1862 she became governess to the 67 children of the King
of Siam (now Thailand). By 1868 she was in the United States where she
opened a school for kindergarten teachers in New York City. In 1870 she
produced a series of articles for the Atlantic Monthly magazine about her
life in Siam which soon was a book published under the title of the
English Governess at the Siamese Court.
In 1873 she published a second popular novel.
In 1878 she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia with her daughter Avis and her
son-in-law while still returning to the United Stages as a lecturer. In 1881
she went to Russia after the assassination of Emperor Alexander ll and was
proclaimed the 1st foreign woman to have travelled in that country un
escorted. She turned her attention to her grandchildren but still found time
to produce books in 1884 and 1889. She became involved with her home
community and raised funds for the Victoria Schools of Art and Design. The
modern schools of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design contains the Anna
Leonowens Gallery in her memory. She spent 5 years in Germany with daughter
Avis and the grandchildren returning to Halifax in 1893. She played an
prominent role in the Halifax Council of Women and participaed in the early
feminist movement of the city. She and her family relocated to Montreal in
1897 where after the death of her daughter she took care of the family. In
1944 author Margaret Dorothea Landon penned the book Anna and the King of
Siam which was picked up by Rogers and Hammerstein for the Broadway play The
King and I followed by the movie favourite by the same name.
Martha Hamm Lewis
Born October 4, 1831 Lewisville (Moncton), New Brunswick. Died November 20,
1892, Saint John, New Brunswick. Her father died when she was an infant and
she and her brothers and sisters were brought up by their loyalist
grandfather. At this time it was the custom that only men became teachers
and attended Normal School (Teachers college) in either Fredericton or Saint
John in New Brunswick. Martha’s 1st application to the Saint John
Training School (teachers College) was turned down but she countered with a
Walker Head who was the 1st civilian
lieutenant governor of the province of New Brunswick. Head ruled that Martha was eligible and an order-in-council was passed
directing that Miss Lewis be admitted to the school. She graduated in 1849.
She was however warned that the Executive Council would not be responsible
for any adverse effects of her decision. It was
felt that having a woman in the classroom would disrupt the students, Martha
was ordered to enter the call ten minutes before the male students and to
leave five minutes before the class ended. She was also told to sit at the
back of the classroom and wear a veil and not to speak to any of the young
male student teachers! She completed her Normal School in 1850 and became
licensed to teach outside of the city of Saint John. It took three years for
her to be licensed to teach in the city itself. Martha
married a grocery retailer, Alexander Nevers Peters on May 15, 1856 thus
retiring from teaching.
there were almost twice as many female students as male students at the
The couple would have 4 daughters. In 1852 49 of the 92 students at the
Normal School in Saint John were women.
Elizabeth W. McGahan, “LEWIS, MARTHA HAMM,” in Dictionary of Canadian
Biography, vol. 12, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–,
accessed December 21, 2015,
http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/lewis_martha_hamm_12E.html. ; New Brunswick
Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Celebrating Achievers; Behind
Every Successful Woman Are All the Women Who Came Before Her., September
2002. Online (accessed January 2016)
Nellie Margaret Lewis
Born Orangeville, Ontario 1892. Died May
18, 1956. She was on the staff of the Ontario Council of Christian Education
for 40 years. She became an expert in recreation and wrote several books on
games and playing including Games and Parties the Year Round (Toronto, 1938)
and Boys and Girls at Play (Toronto, 1946).
Born Poland 1949. Died March 2005. After
her father had fallen out of favor with Moscow communists the family moved
to Israel and in 1960 settled in Canada. It is said that she took coursed in
accounting because it meant less time in school than to study law. Yet after
later in life she would go on to take her Masters in Business
Administration. After working as a chartered accountant she discovered that
she enjoyed teaching and she settled and spent 25 years at Scarborough
campus of the University of Toronto. Most often students found her very
strict and demanding. However, the stronger students could see beyond the
intimidation to become aware of a professor who cared enough to provide
students with a strong foundation required by their chosen profession. Her
students, like her family, were always her main concerns. Before her death
she created the Terry Litovitz Merit Award in management for students.
February 28, 1946. She is a professor in women's studies who co-founded the
excellent Women's Studies Program at the University of Toronto. She has
served on various committees including the National Action Committee on the
Status of Women. Her writings on the history of women include: More
than a Labour of Love : Three Generations of Women's Work in the Home .
Check out her books at your local library.
née Brillon. Born May 11, 1931, Faust, Alberta. Died June 8, 1985, Vancouver,
British Columbia. A busy housewife and mother of two in 1961 she took on
the job of opening a modeling agency and self-improvement school which she
later expanded to include fashion, esthetics and make-up artistry training.
As CEO of the Native Communications Society of B.C. she launched a
journalism program for Native students which produced it’s own newspaper for
the aboriginal community. She was a founding member, Vancouver's First
Woman's Network and a board member of the Better Business Bureau, the
Modeling Association of America, the Professional Native Woman's Association
and the Vancouver Indian Centre. In 1985 she received the YWCA Woman of
Distinction Award for Business and the Professions. After her death the new
owner of the school operates it under the name of The Blanche Macdonald
Center, a private college with tow campus’ in Vancouver.
Source: the Vancouver Hall of Fame Online ; The Blanche Macdonald Centre.
(accessed November 2012.)
Isabel Frances Leith Macdonald
17, 1917, Tamsui, Taiwan. Died January 16, 2013. Her medical father took the
family with him on his international work trips. Her first language was
actually Chinese learned from her Chinese nanny. She took an interest in
acting while studying at the University of Toronto. Shortly after she
married Ross Macdonald. In 1938 she spent three seasons with the Mohawk
Drama Festival, Schenectady, New York, U.S.A.. From 1940 thought 1950 she
acted, directed with the Ottawa (Ontario) Drama League. She then began a
long 24 year career sharing her love of drama with students at East York
Collegiate , Toronto, where she became Department Head. She also worked with
the College Drama Festival sponsored by Simpson’s department stores. Plays
were presented at Hart House on the University of Toronto Campus. She
established the 1st Grade 13 Theatre Art Program in Ontario as
well as the 1st television and film courses in the borough of
East York (Now Greater Toronto) She produced a documentary on the 1930’s
Korea. Her television, theatre and film work has been preserved by the
Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation.
Source: Lives Lived by Stephanie Macdonald, The Globe and Mail June
Aletta Elise Marty
Born Mitchell, Ontario 1865. Died May 10, 1929. She earned
her B.A. at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario and her M.A in 1895 with
an L.L.D in 1921. She was a school teacher who was interested in the
administration of her profession in became the first woman appointed
inspector of Public Schools in Toronto. She wrote for her profession The
Principles and Practice of Oral Reading (Toronto, 1904) and An Education
Creed (Toronto, 1921.
Sister Dorothy Moore
Born Sydney, Nova Scotia October 13, 1933. She earned her BA at St. Francis
Xavier University and then on to her Bachelor in Education and a M Ed in
1984 at Mount St Vincent University. She has earned a position of an
respected Elder of the Mi’kmaw (Mi’Kmaq) devoting a life time of service in
education, preservation and restoration of the Mi’kmaw language and culture.
She taught in public and reserve schools for many years before joining
University College of Cape Breton as native education coordinator and native
studies consultant. The school grew from 9 to 200 native students in just 10
years. She has served on numerous committees and boards including the Nova
Scotia Human Rights Commission. She enjoys theatre as both an actor, costume
director and Mi’kmaw singer. In 1989 she received the Stephen Hamilton Award
for outstanding achievement in education. In 1990 she was the Atlantic
Educator of Innovation of the year. She is proud to have the Eagle Feather
Award as well as honorary degrees from Mount St. Vincent and University
College of Cape Breton. In 2003 she received the Order of Nova Scotia.
Sources: The order of Nova Scotia
http://www.gov.ns.ca/prot.2006recipients.htm (accessed August 12, 2008;
Canadian Who’s Who 2005 ; University of Toronto Press, 2006.
Mary Hrnchuk Pankiw
Brooklands, Manitoba. In 1942, after high school she earned a First Class
Teaching Certificate beginning a 40 year love affaire with teaching. In 1950
she married another teacher, Alexander Pankiw. The couple had 5 children.
While she was raising her family she earned her Bachelor of Arts from the
University of Manitoba in 1965. In 1967 she received the Canada Centennial
Medal. Although widowed in 1968 she earned her Bachelor of Education
followed by a Master’s Degree in Education. Next she earned a PhD from the
Ukraine Free University. She also taught music and found time to be
president of the Winnipeg Council of Women and volunteer with the Ukrainian
Canadian Women’s Council. She would also serve on the Senate of the
University of Manitoba from 1982-1988. In 1998 she won the Woman of
Distinction Award from the Winnipeg YWCA and was listed in Chatelaine’s
Who’s Who of Canadian Women. In 2006 she travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine to
the International Conference of women. In her spare time she wrote a
successful children’s book. In 2011 she received the Eira “Babs” Friesen
Award for lifetime achievement from the YWCA in Winnipeg.
Source: Herstory 2008: The Canadian Women’s Calendar (Coteau Books,
2007) : Winnipeg YWCA Online (Accessed January 2013)
née Parr. Born New York, N.Y. U.S.A. 1939. “Liz” earned her B.A. at
Wellesley College and went on to earn her M.A. in Economics at Yale
University in 1962.She moved to Canada and taught at the University of
Western Ontario, the University of British Columbia and Carleton University.
In 1971 she went to the U.S.A. briefly to teach at Wesleyan University.
Returning to Canada she worked at several positions in the Federal Civil
Service. In 1974 she received her PhD in Economics from Yale University. She
served in senior administrative posts at Inco and Shell Canada. In 1982 she
married Archibald F. Johnston (died January 23, 2010). The couple had a
total of six children from previous marriages. In 1991 through 1996 she
served as the 8th President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint
Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1996 through 2002 she was the
first woman and 16th President of the University of New
Brunswick, Fredericton. In 2005 she was appointed to a senior position by
the Minister of Finance for Canada. February 22, 2008 she was installed as a
member of the Order of Canada for her important contributions to educational
and volunteer sectors , creating increased opportunities for women .
Canadian Who’s Who (University of Toronto, 2006) : Council of
Canadian Academies online. Web site of Order of Canada. (Accessed October
Nellie Lyle Pattinson
24, 1878, Bowmanville, Ontario. Died 1953. In 1907 she attended courses at
the University of Toronto in Household Sciences. She was a physiological
chemistry instructor until 1915 when she began to teach at Central Technical
School in Domestic Sciences, Toronto, Ontario. In 1917 she wrote a book of
recipes developed at the Central Technical School. By 1920 she was the
Director of Domestic Sciences at the school. The book royalties she received
were a welcome boost to her rather low teaching salary. For a short time she
worked endorsing Quaker Oats Cake Flower. An annual award, in her name, was
presented to students intending to teach home economics. Since she was
established in her field it is easy to see why in 1923 she was chosen to
edit the Canadian Cook Book published by Ryerson Press. It would see 20
printings from 1923 through 1951. It was Canada’s 1s mass-produced cookbook.
It emphasized good nutrition and informed readers of the development of
household science and economic courses. Chicken was an expensive purchase
during this era so there were very few chicken recipes. It is interesting to
note that the word “Cookie” was American and recipes for these were listed
under “Small Cakes”. Helen included lots of colourful pickling and chili
sauce recipes to brighten up the winter table. Nellie’s work was updated
1953 but she felt that she was too old to face the rather large task. She
was replaced as Editor by two women, Helen Wattie and Elinor Donaldson. Some
of the later printings used the title Nellie Lyle Pattinson’s Canadian
“Cooking with Nellie” by Susan Goldenberg, The Beaver,
Mabel Phoebe Peters
Born Saint John, New Brunswick June 12, 1861. Died August 30,
1914. In 1847 she and her sister became the proprietors of the family hotel.
By 1900 she was a known lecturer and gave a paper at the 1901 National
Council of Women on vacation schools and playgrounds and the benefits of
these on the lives of young students. From 1902 to 1914 she was the convener
of the Committee to Promote Playgrounds and Vacation Schools. She was also
and active member of the Playground Association of America. She was also
known for her strong suffragist attitude.
Martha C. Piper
Born Lorain, Ohio, U.S.A. She studied for the B.Sc at the
University of Michigan in 1967. Moving to the University of Connecticut she
earned her MA and in 1979 she received her PhD at McGill University,
Montreal, Quebec. Her distinguished career would lead her to western Canada
to work at the University of Alberta and then as President and Vice
Chancellor at the University of British Columbia in 1997. She also has
served on numerous boards and committees including the Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Foundation. She became an Officer in the Order of Canada in 2003. In 2004
she was awarded the Educator of the Year and recognized as one of Canada’s
most powerful Top 100 women. In 2005 she received the Order of British
Resources: Canadian Who’s Who 2006 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press)
Born ca 1790.
Died April 9, 1839, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. Little is known of Nancy’s
early life. She married James Purvis and the couple had three daughters.
Nancy became a widow with the death of her husband on April 15, 1830. Left
with no option but to work to support her daughters Nancy 1st
attempted a millenary business but it was short lived. Soon after she
advertised the opening of a school where she and her daughters would teach
young ladies. She would open later the Purvis School, again with the help of
her daughters as teachers. It was noted at the time that it was a model of
its time. The 4 women provided opportunity for girls to be educated at a
time when education opportunities were lacking in Nova Scotia. Nancy’s
history shows the efforts that widows were forced to make in order to make a
life for themselves.
L. Thorpe and Julie Morris, “PURVIS, NANCY,” in Dictionary of Canadian
Biography, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–,
accessed January 30, 2015,
Born Epping Forrest, Essex , England March 31, 1859. Died May
27, 1954. Before emigrating to Canada she had built up a sold reputation as
a lecturer and author on public health. She was co-author of Household
Administration ( New York, 19110. She arrived in Canada in 1911 on the west
coast as a welfare worker with aboriginals. She became extremely interested
in the lives of the people she worked with, their spirits, their crafts and
their very way of life. She would produce several books on west coast Indian
lore including Native Tribes of Pacific Canada (Victoria, 1938) and A corner
Stone of Canadian Culture: an Outline of the Arts and Crafts of the Indian
Tribes of British Columbia (Victoria, 1953. She would receive an honorary
degree from the University of British Columbia in 1948 as recognition of her
efforts on behalf of the native peoples.
Halifax, Nova Scotia May 20, 1856. Died September 5, 1935. An educator,
feminist and author in 1889 Eliza received her Ph.D. from Cornell University
in the United States. She is probably the first Canadian woman to have
received a doctor of letters. Her appointment to the Dalhousie University
board of governors in 1919 is also a first for Canadian women.
Anne Douglas Savage.
Born Montreal, Quebec July
27, 1896. Died March 25, 1971. She was a pioneer in teaching children’s art.
Her own works matured showing a lyrical quality and late in life she was
attracted to the abstract form of painting. She was a teacher to several
rising young Canadian artists.
(née Boswell) Born October 29, 1931. This
mother of three children has been a leader and music specialist for over 30 years.
A conductor, adjudicator and lecturer she has represented Canada numerous times
at the International Society of Music Education. She has been awarded the André
Thadée Bourque and Louise Manny Award for Excellence in Music, the Centennial
Award, the Leslie Bell Choral Award, the Paul Harris Fellow Award and recognized
by the New Brunswick Teachers Association for outstanding contribution to education
in the province. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992.
Hide H. Shimizu
the first Japanese Canadian to teach in a public School. World War ll was a
dark period of Canadian history when Canadians of Japanese descent were
placed in detention camps. Hide was one of the detainees. Living in the
camps, Hide organized classes for the children of the camps to ensure they
received an education. Later as a supervisor of trencher training she
assisted in assuring proper social adjustment of Japanese evacuees in the
Toronto area. On June 21, 1982, Hide was awarded the Order of Canada for her
dedication to teaching and helping others.
Source: Japanese Canadian Timeline online. (Accessed June 2012)
Janice Gross Stein
Born 1943. Janice earned her B.A. at McGill University, Montreal,
Quebec then attended Yale University in the U.S.A. for her masters degrees
before returning to Montreal and McGill for her PhD. In 1982 she joined the
faculty at the University of Toronto. She is Director of the Munk School of
Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She is also Belzberg Professor
of Conflict Management, Department of Political Science, University of
Toronto. She has received the Monson prize from the Canada Council for
outstanding contributions by a social scientist in public debate. In 2003
she was awarded the Trudeau Fellow Mershon Prize. She as authored over 80
books, book chapters, and articles on intelligence, international security,
negotiation, peace-making and public policy. She is regularly consulted by
CBC news broadcasting. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada she has
served on many international boards and advisory groups including
memberships in the working group on Middle East Negotiations and the U.S.
Institute of Peace. She is n honourary foreign member of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the Order of Canada (2006)
and in 2007 received the Order of Ontario.
Sources: Order of Canada : Order of Ontario: University of Toronto.
Emoke Jolan Ezsebet Szathmary
Born Ungvar, Hungary January 25, 1944. She emigrated to Canada and
studied for her BA at the University of Toronto. By 1974 she had received
her PhD. That same year she married George Alexander. The couple have two
children. Her academic career began at Trent University, Peterborough,
Ontario and then to McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario. By 1989 she was
Dean of Faculty, School of Social Sciences at the University of Western
Ontario , London, Ontario where she went on to hold positions of Provost and
Vice President (Academic). The family settled in Manitoba in 1996 where
Emoke is President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. While
working full time as a mother and academic administrator she was editor for
the Journal of Physical Anthropology (1995-2001) and President of the
Canadian Association of Physical Anthology as well as writing numerous
published articles and papers. In 2003 she became a member of the Order of
Canada. The next year she was named one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful
women by the Women’s Executive Network and the Richard Ivy School of
Business. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2005.
Suggested sources : Canadian Who’s Who 2006 (Toronto: University of
Elizabeth Hillman Waterston
Born Montreal, Quebec April 18, 1922. She received both her
BA and her PhD at the University of Toronto. She has been a teacher at Sir
George Williams University, Montreal, The University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario, and the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario where she
held most recently the status of Professor Emeritus. She was a founding
member of the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English and of
the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures. In the late 1970's she
was the president of the Humanities Association of Canada and is the
founding editor of Canadian Children's Literature. She is also well known
for her editorial expertise from working on the Selected Journals of L. M.
Montgomery (1985, 1987 and 1992) as well as co-author of Writing a life:
L. M. Montgomery (1994). She also shred authoring of Silenced sextet:
six 19th Century women novelists (1993)
Helen Pauline Wattie
September 1, 1911, Bracebridge, Ontario. Died October 22, 2009. After
earning her B.A. and her Master’s in Education, Helen taught food, nutrition
and home management (Home Economics) at various schools throughout Ontario
including Weston, and St. Catharines. At Kirkland Lake, Ontario she was
Vice-principal at the local high school. She also participated in a teaching
exchange which took her to Edmonton, Alberta. Helen also taught at Ryerson
Community College, (Now Ryerson University). In 1953 she and Eleanor
Donaldson revised the Canadian Cookbook, taking over from Nellie Lyle
Pattinson (1878-1953). This new edition was reprinted well into the 1970’s.
When she retired from teaching in Ontario she signed up with the Canadian
University Students Overseas (CUSO) and taught in Ghana, West Africa.
Source: Obituary, The Globe and Mail October, 2009.
Lorna B. Williams
September 27, 1947, Mount Currie, British Columbia. Born prematurely she was
a sickly child but grew up in a happy large often extended family filled
with sounds of instruction and laughter. She registered in nursing school
but soon found western methods rather cold and clinical and knew it was not
for her. Instead of nursing she worked as a home school co-ordinatior
between school districts and the community. She learned that there was
little to no understanding of different cultures. She worked at the
University of British Columbia finding homes for Aboriginal Students. She
then worked with Canada World Youth which helped young people to learn
employable skills. This job took her for a time to Malaysia. Once more at
home, she decided to live off the land and come to the conclusion that she
needed to help Aboriginal youth. She created a program to help teachers
relate to Aboriginal students and encouraged teaching of native culture. She
found success with her program by working with Simon Fraser University,
British Columbia. She earned a position as assistant professor and director
of Aboriginal Teacher Education at the University of Victoria, British
Columbia. She also holds a Canada Research Chair in indigenous knowledge and
learning. She has written a social studies book, Exploring Mount Currie
for primary grades. She has co-directed an educational video First Nations:
the Circle Unbroken. She earned the Outstanding teacher Award, the Dedicated
to Kids Award and has been inducted into the Order of British Columbia.
Source: Great Women from our First Nations by Kelly Fournel (Second
Story Press, 2003)
Alice Evelyn Wilson.
August 26, 1881, Coberg, Ontario. Died April 15, 1964. A
paleontologist who worked at the Geological Survey of Canada, where she described
fossils in papers and books. She
lectured and traveled to bring geology to the public, especially children. In
1937 she was the 1st woman to be elected a fellow of the Royal Society
Mary Matilda Winslow
Fredericton, New Brunswick. In 1901 Tillie /Tilly became the 1st Black woman
to attend a university in New Brunswick, graduating from the University of
New Brunswick in 1905. She earned a Bachelor of Arts, and the Montgomery
Campbell Prize for excellence in classics. Unable to get a teaching position
in New Brunswick she went on to teach in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a short
time before moving to the United States. She married Frances P. MacAlpine
and became a music teacher and Dean of the Normal Department at Central
College in Birmingham, Alabama in 1906. By 1916 she had settled in
Springfield, Massacheutts teaching at Springfield College. In 1950 she
relocated to Detroit Michigan, U.S.A.
New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Celebrating
Achievers; Behind Every Successful Woman Are All the Women Who Came Before
Her., September 2002. Online (accessed January 2016)
Historians and Archivists
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Kathleen Barrett Blanchard
Born 1872, England. Died 1954, Vancouver, British Columbia. she came to
Winnipeg with her husband around 1920. In 1940 she began writing for the
Free Press about the history
of church music; her column was called “Romance of Our Hymns.” She
ultimately published five books, including
Gossamer Thread (1937) and
of Popular Hymns (c1939).She moved to Vancouver in 1953.
Dictionary of Manitoba
J. M. Bumsted
University of Manitoba Press, 1999: Memorable Manitobans. Online
(accessed December 2011)
Mary Lile Benham
Born October 8, 1914, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died Winnipeg January 26, 1991.
She started writing for the
Winnipeg Free Press
during World War ll writing a column entitled “What Can I Do?”. After
retirement, she wrote a number of biographies of famous Canadians for
schoolchildren, as well as much local history, including
a history of St. George’s
Church in the Winnipeg neighborhood of Crescentwood. She won the 1984 YWCA
Woman of the Year award. Her papers are held in the
Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.
Winnipeg Free Press,
29 January 1991, page 32.
Manitoba Biography by
J. M. Bumsted
University of Manitoba Press, 1999
Lorna Lucille Bergey
Born May 29,1921, Wilmot, Township, Wellington County, Ontario. Died March
22, 2009, Cambridge, Ontario. Lorna was a Mennonite Historian who gathered
the local oral history and wrote about the stories she was told. Lorna
Married David D. Bergey. The couple had two sons. She was active not only in
local historical groups such as the Waterloo Historical Society and the Doon
Heritage Crossroads but also with the Historical Committee of the Mennonite
Church of North America and the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of
Ontario. In 1965 she was a founding Board Member of the Mennonite Historical
Society of Ontario where she served as secretary for 32 years. She assisted
in the production of several films and plays, and the production of the
Mennonites in Ontario booklets by J. Winfield Fretz and Marlene Epp.
Lorna developed and led many tours of
"Mennonite country" for individuals and bus groups, including the tours led
during the Mennonite Bicentennial in 1986. She also served as secretary of
the Mennonite Bicentennial Commission, and was
historian for the Mennonite Conference of
Ontario for many years. She took an active role in establishing and setting
up the Brubacher House Museum on the University of Waterloo Campus. She was
the 1st archivist of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario located at
Conrad Grebel College. She authored numerous article on Mennonite history
for the publications of the organizations to which she was active as well as
for the Mennonite Encyclopedia. In 1993 she was presented with the Joseph
Schneider Haus Volunteer Award. In 1999 she was the recipient of the
Kitchener Seniors Advisory Award of Distinction. In 2001 she earned the
Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation Award of Excellence followed in 2007
with the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada’s Award of Excellence.
Family and friends raised funds to have the Archives Office named in her
Waterloo Regional Hall of Fame. Online. (Accessed July 2014) ; Find a
grave. Online Accessed July 2014)
Phyllis Ruth Blakeley
Born August 2, 1922 Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died October 25, 1986. Phyllis
attended Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia where she earned her
Bachelor of Education, and her Master of Arts degrees. In 1945 she began
working as a research assistant at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. She
published Glimpses of Halifax: a Brief History in 1956. She also
contributed 31 historical biographies to the Dictionary of Canadian
Biography. In 1978 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada
and the following year she was made Rising through the ranks she became the
1st woman to be Provincial Archivist in 1982. She retired in
1985. In 1988 the DR. Phyllis R. Blakeley Award for Archival Excellence,
granted to member institutions and organizations in good standing with the
Council of Nova Scotia Archives was created.
Source: Obituary, Archivaria, Association of Canadian Archivists.
Evelyn Laura Brandon
Born May 11, 1911, Souris, Manitoba. Died December 18, 1998, Souris,
Manitoba. She was the daughter of a farmers John and Mildred Brandon. In
1967 she helped to set up the
Souris, and wrote six books on local history, including two about the Souris
area. She left the farm in 1980 and moved into a house in Souris where she
resided until 1997.
Brandon Sun, 7 January 1999, page 15.; Memorable
Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online. Accessed December
Ruth Matheson Buck
Matheson) Born November 24, 1905, St Barnabas Anglican Mission, Onion Lake
First Nations, Saskatchewan. Died July 6, 2009, Pilot Butte, Saskatchewan.
In 1928 she graduated from the University of Manitoba and earned her
teaching certificate. She taught in Manitoba and later in Saskatchewan. In
1933 she married Geoffrey J. Buck and the couple had one daughter. In 1946
the family settled in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1953 she was elected to the
Regina Collegeate Board and served as Chair when the board amalgamated in
1966 with the Public School Board. In 1967 she was elected to Regina’ 1st
Board of Education. After her retirement from teaching she turned her
energies toward writing. She wrote articles telling of the history of
Saskatchewan and the prairies. In 1973 she published the book, Voices of
the Plains Cree followed the next year by a biography of her mother,
The Doctor Rode Sidesaddle. In 1974 a Regina elementary school was named
in her honour.
Source: Ruth M. Buck Fonds. Saskatchewan Archival Information
Network. Online (Accessed April 2014)
Born Stamford, Ontario November 14, 1839.
Died March 31, 1926. A teacher and historian She worked tirelessly for the
Niagara Historical Society in Ontario. She would author several local church
histories in the 1890's before publishing the History of Niagara
attended Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia earning her B.A. in 1967.
She continued her studies at the University of Toronto where she earned her
M.A. She earned her PhD while working at Acadia University in 1971. She
continued teaching at Acadia until 2002. IN 1973 she co-founded the women’s
study program at Acadia. She helped found ATLANTIS which fought for use of
non-sexist language . She also served on the Historic Sites and Monuments
Board and sought to have women and visible minorities included as persons of
Historical Significance. She served as president of the Canadian History
Association and also on the Board of directors of Canada’s National History
Society. She authored a biography on Ellen Fairclough, the first woman
cabinet minister , and published diaries of rural Nova Scotia women. In 2002
she was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Studies at the
University of New Brunswick. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
and has received the Order of Canada.
Herstory: The Canadian Women's calendar. 2008 (Saskatoon Women's
Calendar Collective / Coteau Books, 2007)
Born November 8, 1957, Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica. She emigrated to Canada
in 1980 and settled in Toronto, Ontario. She earned her BA at the University
of Toronto, her MA at OISIE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and
returned to the University of Toronto for her PhD in Canadian History. She
specializes in history of slavery and abolition and is recognized as an
expert on Women’s history in New France. She was the winner of the Harry
Jerome Award for Professional Excellence and in 1994 she won the Joseph
Brant Award for History for her book. We’re Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull
U Up: Essays in African Canadian Women’s History. She also an accomplished
poet and has published four books of poetry before 2014. In 2009 she held
the Chair of the Wynn Woodward Endowed chair of the Department of Women’s
Studies, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. IN May 2009 she founded
the Black Canadian Studies Association and became the interim Chair. She is
the chair of the James Robinson Johnson Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie
University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Catherine Matilda Day
née Townsend. Born East Farnham, Lower
Canada (Quebec) January 1, 1815. Died August 24, 1899. A well known area
historian she would write the "Pioneers of the Eastern Townships (Montreal,
1863) and "History of the Eastern Townships (Montreal, 1869).
Cora Alida de Jong Greenaway
Born Medan, Indonesia July 4, 1921. Her senior schooling which was in Italy
and The Netherlands was interrupted in World War ll when Cora became an
active member o the Dutch resistance to the Germans , taking many dangerous
assignments. She and her husband Major William Greenaway settled in Nova
Scotia where the journalist/broadcaster took an active interest in
preserving the history of her adopted home province. She discovered the
Croscup Painted Parlour” the finest sample of decorative decor painting and
spent 20 years fighting for its preservation. It is now housed in the
National Gallery of Canada. It was one of many preservation projects that
she would touch. In 1959 she spearheaded the first Heritage Trust in Canada
and paved the path for the formation of Heritage Canada in 1973. She is a
welcome lecturer through the International Committee of sites and Monuments.
In 1995 she received the order of Canada which was followed by numerous
additional awards including the Cultural Life Award and the Order of Nova
Scotia. She has received honourary degrees from St. Mary’s University,
Halifax, Mount St. Vincent University and the Dartmouth Heritage Award. She
was honoured with the silver medal from the Royal Society of Arts of the
United Kingdom as well as the Canada 125 medal and the Queen’s Golden
Sources. Protocol Office –
Order of Nova Scotia
Http://www.gov.ns.ca/prot/2006recipients.html (Accessed August 12, 2008.
Canadian Who’s Who 2006
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.
Olive Patricia Dickason
Manitoba March 6, 1920. Died March 12, 2011. A child of an English father
and Métis mother, she was raised in the remote Northern Manitoba woods.
Completing her high school via correspondence, she continued and received
her B.A. at Notre Dame College, Wilcox, Saskatchewan. She became a
journalist and a reporter, working her way to women’s editor for the
Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Globe and Mail. At 50 years
of age, with her three daughters grown, she returned to academic studies
earning a M.A. and then in 1977 her PhD in history. She then became a
professor and scholar, and is considered one of Canada’s foremost historians
contributing greatly to understanding of Aboriginal and Métis peoples. The
prestigious work Canada’s First Nations: a history of founding peoples
was in its 4th edition in 2009. In 1996 she became a member of
the Order of Canada and in 1997 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award
from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation in 1977.
Source: Personal knowledge
also Obituary, The Ottawa Citizen March 2011.
née Ridout. Born Toronto, Ontario September
29, 1844. Died September 29, 1910. She became Lady Edgar upon her marriage
to Sir James David Edgar but she was on her own a well established historian
who would pen such works as Ten years of Upper Canada, in peace and war
(Toronto, 1904) and A colonial Governor in Maryland which was
published after her death.
Marie B. Elwood
at Victoria College and Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. As Chief
Curator of History 1973-1992 she added significant historic houses to the
Nova Scotia Museum. She also located and worked to repatriate important
artifacts, paintings and documents from England, Scotland and the United
States. She was an instructor at the Nova Scotia College of Art where she
willingly shared her knowledge of ceramics. She catalogued and published the
King’s College Weldon Collection, one of the oldest collections of ceramics
in Canada and a catalogue of the contents of Government House in Nova
Scotia. She served as President of the American Ceramic Circle of the
Metropolitan Museum, New York City, New York, U.S.A. She published The
Egyptian Album of John Elliot Wolford: Original Watercolours, (2009). This
collection resides at the National Gallery of Canada. She also served as a
Research Associate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Protocol Office – Order of Nova Scotia Past Recipients, 2012. Online
(Accessed March 2013)
Georgiana "Gina" Danielle Feldberg
April 30, 1956, Calcutta, India. Died Toronto, Ontario, July 10, 2010. Her
father’s job took the family to multiple homes. The moved to England, New
York, U.S.A., Brazil Switzerland and Belgium. For her university studies she
chose Harvard University and graduated in 1989 with a doctorate in the
history of Science. She married Robert Vipond, a political science professor
at the University of Toronto, and the couple had one daughter. Gina was
passionate about the social aspect of health and heath care. She felt
strongly that in order to move forward you had to first know the complete
history. The social effects on TB was one of her long term studies. She
taught at York University where she headed the Centre for Health Studies. In
1994 along with some colleagues she published Take Care: warning signals
for Canada’s health care system. The following year she published
Disease and Class.
Studied how Class Differences Influence health-care Policy” by Ron Csllag.
The Globe and Mail. July 23, 2010
Mary Frances Fraser
née McArthur. Born June 2, 1921 London, Ontario. Died December 23, 2011
Burlington, Ontario. She graduated from Havergal College and earned her
Master’s in Food Science at the University of Toronto. She had a passion for
history and he unflagging documenting of local history resulted in a
provincial award for outstanding achievement in volunteerism. She supported
the Burlington Historical Society and the Joseph Brant Museum. She was a
driving force leading to the purchase of the Historical Ireland House and
other historic buildings many of which currently bear historical plaques.
She received the Woman of the Year Award from the University Women’s Club
and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. She also received the Zonta ll founders
Award. . She was named Burlington’s Citizen of the Year in 1984 for her work
in documenting and preserving local history. She married Duncan Dewar Fraser
and the couple had four children.
Source: Obituary Globe and Mail December 26, 2011
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon,
Shelagh Dawn Grant
Born June 28, 1938 Montreal, Quebec. She studied nursing science at the
University of Western Ontario, London Ontario in 1960. After university she
married Jon K. Grant and stayed home to raise her three children. She
returned to Trent University to earn a Honours B.A. in history and Canadian
studies in 1981. She continued her education graduating with a Master’s
Degree in 1983. She did archival research in London, England, Washington
D.C. and to expand her thesis into her 1st book Sovereignty or
Security? Government Policy in the Canadian North 1939-1950 published by
the University of British Columbia Press in 1988. A part time professor of
history and Canadian studies at Trent University since 1989 until
retirement in 2006 allowed her to research in the far north. An
accomplished historian and celebrated author, she has conducted much of her
research in the North, from the Yukon and Baffin Island to Greenland and the
Svalbard Islands. She was the 1st historian and 1st woman to win
the Government of Canada’s Northern Science Award in 1996. She has actively
demonstrated a passion for Inuit culture and education.
2011, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and
in June 2012 awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Shelagh is a member
of the adjunct faculty in the Canadian Studies Department and a research
associate of the Frost Centre for Graduate Studies at Trent University,
Born Sheffield, United Kingdom 1948. She
studied at Oxford University in England and received her BA in 1969. She
followed this with a diploma of Social Administration from the London School
of Economics in 1970. In 1978 she was presented with the Pakenham Award for
the most promising young woman journalist. In 1979 she moved to Canada.
Before becoming a full time book author she wrote for several Canadian
Magazines including Saturday Night where she penned a monthly column on
the Canadian political scene. She has published several books including
biographies on some of Canada leading female figures in history, Catherine
Parr Trail, Susanna Moodie and Pauline Johnston. She is also well known
for her Canadian history works which have been presented in award winning
works in the 'popular' history writing style. She is an Adjunct Research
Professor at the Department of History at Carleton University, Ottawa,
Francess Georgina Halpenny
Born May 27, 1919 Ottawa, Ontario. Died December 25, 2017 Toronto, Ontario.
She graduated with an M.A. from the University of Toronto and joined the U
of T press as an editor in 1941. In 1942 she served with the Royal Canadian
Air Forces serving as a meteorological observer in the Canadian Maritimes.
She returned to work at the U of T Press after the war. In 1972 she was
appointed Dean of the Faculty of Library Science at the University of
Toronto. General editor of the Dictionary of National Biography (DCB/DBC)
from 1969 to 1988. She oversaw the completion of ten volumes of the DCB
covering more than 5,00 biographies. She authored numerous articles on
editing, publication and biography in various professional journals. She
received the Molson Prize in 1983 from the Canada Council for her
distinguished contribution to Canadian heritage. She was a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Canada, and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in
was an associate fellow of Massey College and a member of the Canadian
Historical Society, Canadian Library Association, Committee for the
Advancement of Women in Scholarship, the Heliconian Club, and the University
Alumnae Dramatic Club. She was a gifted actor and a playwrightA
few months before her death she penned her autobiography: A World of Words.
Mary Emma Quayle Innis
Born St Mary's, Ontario 1899. Died January
10, 1972. The wife of noted scholar H. A. Innis she sad a strong established
career of her own as an economic historian, writer of novels and short
stories and poet. She wrote a history of the YMCA, an economic history of
Canada, and edited Essays in Canadian economic history . She also presided
as Dean of Women at University College, part of the University of Toronto.
Louise Elizabeth Manny
1890, Gilead, Maine, U.S.A. Died August 17, 1970, Newcastle, New Brunswick.
At 3 she moved with her family to the Miramiche area of New Brunswick.
Always a smart person she was able to read by the time she was 4 years old.
She attended McGill University, Montreal, Quebec and earned her B.A. in
1913. Returning to the Maritimes she taught at her previous school, Halifax
Ladies College. When her father became ill she decided to return home to
the Miramiche and worked at her father’s business. She enjoyed history and
spent time not only enjoying badminton and tennis but also researching and
gathering local historical information and stories. In later years she would
publish several local history books from her work. Max Aiken, Lord
Beaverbrook asked her in 1947 to collect and record songs of the lumbermen
and fishermen of the Miramiche. With funds from Lord Beaverbrook she
established the Old Manse Library in Newcastle and continued her work. She
published the Songs of the Miramiche but continued to collect additional
folk songs. From 1947 through 1965 she shared her findings on CKMR Radio
with weekly broadcasts and also a weekly newspaper column “Scenes from Early
Days. In 1957 she founded the Miramiche Folksong Festival which she directed
until 1969. She worked closely with rebound folklorist Helen Creighton. In
1967 she was presented with the Woman of the Century from the National
Council of Jewish Women of Canada. In 1969 Mount Manny was named in her
honour in the New Brunswick Historian’s range. In 1974, for the 75
Anniversary celebration of the town of Newcastle a plaque was erected on the
Old manse Library in her honour.
The Canadian Encyclopedia Online accessed June 2013 ; Louise Manny
by Donna Herriman, Miramiche Literacy Writers, 1985, Online. Accessed
Jun 2013. Louise Manny, New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia Online
Accessed June 2013.
Born 1892. Died 1975. Katharine was a member of a wealthy well connected
family who vacationed on land called Petersfield near the 18th
century Cape Breton Fortress Louisbourg. She served as a nurse’s aid in
World War 1, first in France 1916-1918 and then in Germany in 1919. She
inherited her passion for the great Fortress of Louisbourg from her father.
She established a museum, personally collected artifacts relating to the
Fortress and constructed a scale model of the Fortress with its town site.
She lobbied for federal recognition for the ruins so that the Fortress could
take its rightful place in historical landmarks. She spent a great deal of
time piecing together pieces of chinaware found in the Louisbourg
archeological digs. In 1935 she was honoured with the King’s Silver Jubilee
Medal. In 1940 the Federal Government raised the status of the Fortress to
a National Historic Site/Park Katharine worked in support of the Red Cross
in WW ll establishing a blood donor clinic and making prisoner of war
parcels to the troops. In 1946 she was earned the Red Cross Award of Merit.
She continued to encourage recognition of local history and in 1958 the
Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire in Louisburg placed a
plaque to honour General Wolfe’s landing in Nova Scotia. She was also a
member of the Regional Cape Breton Library Board and when the Sydney Library
burned in 1959 she was a main force in collections development of the new
library and even donated land to build the new library. In the 1960’s the
government began restoration of the great fortress and Katherine was a
permanent knowledgeable volunteer. In 1971 she was granted an honourary
degree from St. Francis Xavier University and was called the First Lady of
Louisburg. In 1972 she was invested with the Order of Canada.
Sources: The McLennan’s Cape Breton Regional Library
www.cbrl.ca (accessed December 2011) : Heroes of Historical
Preservation, Canada’s History June/July
Edith Louise Marsh.
Died July 10, 1960. She enjoyed history
and through her published works she shared her love and knowledge of the
subject with the youth of Canada. She wrote: Where the buffalo
roamed; the story of the Canadian west (Toronto, 1908) ; Birds of
peasemarsh (Toronto, 1919); The Story of Canada (Toronto,1919rev.
1927)) ; The History of the County of Grey (Owen Sound,1931) and
With the Birds (Toronto,1935).
Elizabeth Ann Pacey
Born April 28, 1944 Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1965 Elizabeth obtained her
B.A. from Carleton University in Ottawa. Two years later she married Philip
Pacey. Interested in architectural history she became an active advocate
for the older buildings and historic sites. in her home province. She helped
preserve landmarks such as the Halifax Public Gardens and the Old Town
Clock. In 1988 she published Historic Halifax and her efforts
garnered her the Environment Canada’s Parks Heritage Award. In 1991 she
earned the Heritage Canada Medal for outstanding contributions to
conservation. That same year she took on the position of Research Director
for the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. In 1993 she was presented with the
Gabrielle Leger Medal from Heritage Canada. In 1994 her book : Landmarks;
Historic Buildings of Nova Scotia was winner of the Richardson Award
from the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. In 2000 her work Miracle on
Brunswick Street chronicled the stories of two local historic churches.
May 4, 2006 she was invested as a member of the Order of Canada.
Margaret Evelyn Prang
23, 1921, Stratford, Ontario. Died January 12, 2013, Vancouver, British
Columbia. She graduated first from the University of Manitoba where she 1st
became active in the Student Christian Movement. She earned her PhD in
History form the University of Toronto. From 1957 through 1986 she taught as
a professor of Canadian History at the University of British Columbia. She
would raise two daughters. In 1969 she became on of the 1st
single women in British Columbia to adopt a child and she became a pioneer
and innovator in developing a new concept of family which did not
necessarily include a husband. With Walter Young she founded the journal of
BC Studies and served as editor for some time. In 1975 she was awarded the
UBC Medal for popular biography for her work N.W. Rowell: Ontario
nationalist. In 1976/1977 she served as president of the Canadian Historical
Society. After her retirement she published A Heart at Leisure From Itself;
Caroline Macdonald of Japan. In 2012 she was the recipient of the Queen’s
M. Wilson, I want to be in that number; cool saints I have known.
(Self published, 2014) ; Obituary, Vancouver Sun January 18, 2013.
(née Murphy) Born Carleton, County, Ontario
1877. Died August 23, 1956. She obtained her Masters at Queen's University
in 1901. In 1904 she married professor O. D. Skelton, one of Canada's
foremost writers of history. She is largely overshadowed by the shadow of
the work of her husband. She was the first historian to treat women of
Canadian history as individuals in their own right instead of their being
part of a generalized coverage. Her works also promoted and portrayed Canada
a strong independent country separate from British colonialism. The works
and lives of these historians are covered in Marriage of minds: Isabel
and Oscar Skelton, reinventing Canada. by Terry Crowley (Toronto,
University of Toronto Press, 2003)
Evelyn Robson Strahlendorf
Born Hamilton, Ontario April 23, 1931. In 1951 Evelyn married
engineer Carl Peter Strahlendorf (1928)-2004) . The couple had a family of
four children. After living in Montreal the couple settled in Ottawa in
1971. Evelyn worked in the Cataloguing Department of the National Library of
Canada. Her passion was doll collecting and over the years she not only
gathered a large collection of Canadian dolls but she also amassed an
enormous amount of research on Canadian dolls. The couple traveled across
the country gathering information with Carl taking photographs of Canadian
dolls not in Evelyn’s own collection. In 1996 the University of Toronto
Press published Evelyn’s book Dolls of Canada: a Reference Guide. It
remains the best and most complete guide to Canadian dolls. In 1999 the
couple retired to Hamilton, Ontario. Evelyn was back in Ottawa the next year
to see the fruits of her labours in encouraging the Canadian Museum of
Civilization to create a display of Canadian Dolls. Collectors came from all
over to see the largest display of Canadian Dolls produced to date. Evelyn
still maintains a small portion of her collection in her home but many of
her dolls have been donated to the Bomanville Museum which maintains the
largest privately owned collection of Canadian dolls in the country. In the
1990’s Evelyn promoted the art of doll collecting through her own doll
production company, Distinctive Dolls of Canada, which produced short run
artistic dolls of such historical characters as Prime Minister Sir John A.
Macdonald and Olympic medal winner Elizabeth Manley. She was an executive
member of the Canadian Doll Guild and edited for a time: Doll Creators:
A Canadian Doll Guild Publication. She produced by herself the
Canadian Doll Journal (Ottawa, Booklore Publishing) from 1994-1998.
Source :Personal Interview with Evelyn Strahlendorf. (August 2012)
Barbara Mary Wilson
Born 1931, Ottawa, Ontario. Died March 21, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario.
In 1968 Barbara began her long career as an archivist with the
Public/National Archives of Canada (Now Library and Archives Canada0 She was
in fact a model archivist who had a true knowledge and was deeply committed
to the records for which she was responsible. She was always willing to
share her knowledge with researchers in her field of Canadian military
history. Well before the era of technology she researched and compiled the
Guide to Records Relating to the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. She
published the Military General Service 1783-1814 (Canadian Recipients)
(London, Spink, 1975) and followed it with Ontario and the First World War
(Toronto, Champlain Society/University of Toronto, 1977) In 1987 she
co-authored with Charles p. Stacey (1906-1989) The Half Million which
showed the impact of the Canadian troops on the lives of people in the
United Kingdom during World War ll. After her retirement from the National
Archives Barbara could be found volunteering at the Archives of the Canadian
War Museum. Source: Obituary Legacy
Obituaries Online (Accessed April 2014) ; Personal acquaintance knowledge.
Ester Isabelle Clark Wright
Fredericton, New Brunswick. Died June 17, 1990. She attended Acadia
University in Wolfville Nova Scotia where she enjoyed the atmosphere of the
small university and successfully participated in the active women’s sports
program. She graduated with her BA in 1916. In that same year she published
her first work Public Opinion which was followed in 1918 by The Challenge to
Canadian Womanhood. In 1919 she became the first woman in the province to
become a Pastor in the Baptist Church. She continued her studies at the
University of Toronto, Oxford University, England, Stratford University,
U.S.A. and at Radcliffe, Harvard University where she earned her PHD in
1931. While she enjoyed her studies she found all the Universities outside
of her home province were at that era very male oriented. On July 31, 1924
she married Conrad Payling Wright, a marriage that lasted 65 years. From
1943-1947 she lectured at Acadia University. She served as president of the
New Brunswick Association of Consumers and would also serve as vice
president of the National Council of Women and Vice President of the
Canadian Federation of University Women. She was inducted into the Order of
Canada in 1987. Acadia University has names their University Archives in her
Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006. Saskatoon, Coteau
Librarians TOP OF PAGE
May 3, 1946 Eriksdale, Manitoba. Karen studied for her B.A. at the University
of Manitoba and then followed her dream to the Library School at the
University of Western Ontario where she earned her Masters in Library
Science in 1975. Married with with two children, Karen worked at
several library positions including being a cataloguer, a public services
librarian, a library consultant and an instructor at Red River Community
College. In the late 1970's she moved from the position of acting director
of Public Library Services in Manitoba and by the mid 1980's was Provincial
Librarian for the province of Saskatchewan. In 1991 she was appointed as
Executive Director of the Canadian Library Association.
Effie Constance Astbury
Born December 9, 1916 Montreal, Quebec. Died May 22, 2008 Montreal , Quebec.In 1934 she graduated with 4 medals from Outremont’s
Academy. In 1938 she earned her B.A. in Classics from McGill University,
Montreal and her Bachelor of Library Science from McGill in 1939. In 1956
she returned to the University of Toronto for her Masters in Library
Science. She worked at the beginning of her career as a reference librarian
at the Medical Library at McGill university until 1949. She then moved to
teaching at McGill University Library School as a teaching assistant,
lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor and professor before
become Director, Graduate School of Library Science at McGill in 1972
through 1976. From 1982 to 2008 she held the title of professor emeriti. She
also served the academic community through the Senate at McGill and
membership in the Canadian Library Association and Quebec Library
Association. Her specialties were library science education, reference
service and bibliography. She had high standards and organized her courses
with contemporary materials making her a role model for generations to come.
Source: Effie Constance Astbury. Biography collection Ex Libris
Association online (Accessed November 2011)
Ethel Weiss Auster
Born 1942 Montreal Quebec. Died September 2005 Toronto, Ontario.
She earned her B.A. in Boston and went on to Simmons College to earn her
Masters in Library Science. She began her career as a high school librarian
before moving to the Toronto Board of Education and the Ontario Institute of
Education and then she was a professor with the Faculty of Information
Studies at the University of Toronto. She served as Chair of the Committee
on Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Information and was an elected member
of the University of Toronto Governing Council. She received the Miles
Blackwell Award for Outstanding Academic Librarian from the Canadian
Association of Colleges and University Libraries. Her research and
publications was in the area of Library and information education, online
searching and management of bibliographical retrieval services as well as
the administrative problems and academic libraries.
Ethel Weiss Auster Biography collection Ex Libris Association online
(Accessed November 2011)
Mary Noel Balke
née Schoales. Born December 25, 1918 Londonderry, Ireland. Died December 24,
2011 Denman Island. She graduated from Sheffield University in 1939 and went
on to Library School. During the War she worked as a librarian and
information officer at Signals Research and Development Establishment
Christchurch Hampshire. It was here she met and married Royal Canadian Corp
of Signals officer Nicholas Balke. In 1945 she came to Canada with her two
young children. She worked as a free lance writer and broadcaster for the
CBC and various newspapers. She earned the Memorial Award from the Canadian
Women’s Press Club in 1956. Later she worked as a reference librarian at
Ottawa Public Library before becoming Chief Librarian of the National
Gallery of Canada from 1964-1979. She was a founding member and chairman of
the Art Library Committee of the Canadian Library Association. She and her
husband retired to Nanoose, British Columbia where she was active with the
local peace group. She received the Commemorative medal for the 125th
Anniversary of Confederation.
Source: Obituary Ottawa Citizen January 21, 2012.
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Katherine Lucy Ball
Born 1904 Toronto, Ontario. Died April 1991, Toronto, Ontario. She
earned her B.A. in 1926 at the University of Toronto. From 1928 she worked
in the Circulation and Reference Department of the Library at the University
of Toronto. In 1942 to 1945 she served in the Women’s Division of the Royal
Canadian Air Force. By the end of the war she had achieved the rank of
Squadron Officer with the position of Staff officer in the RCAF Women’s
Division, with no. 6 Canadian Bomber Group. After the war she returned to
catalogue at the University of Toronto Library and obtained her Bachelor of
Library Science in 1947. Becoming in 1951 an Assistant Professor at the
Library School she worked her way to full professor from 1964-1970. She was
professor Emeritus 1970-1991. In the 1950’s and 1960’s she was a member of
the Advisory Board for Cataloguing Code Revision with the American Library
Association. In 1961 she was the Official Delegate from the Canadian Library
Association to the International Conference of Cataloguing Principles in
Paris, France. She also worked for additional committees concerning
cataloguing for the Canadian Library Association and the American Library
Association. In 1967 she received the Government of Canada Centennial Medal.
She was the first Canadian to be awarded the American Library Association
Margaret Mann Citation in Cataloguing and Classification for distinguished
service to librarianship. In 1968/9 she was President of the Canadian
Library Association and served as well as Chair, of the Cataloguing and
Classification Section of CLA.
Source: Katherine Lucy Ball
Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011)
October 9, 1913 Sault Ste. Marie de Beauce, Quebec. Died July 28, 2005.
Educated at the convent de la Congregation de Notre Dame she studied Spanish
and German at Laval University in the 1950’s and earned a Bachelor of
Library Science at Ottawa University. She married Robert Bastien in 1940 but
was soon separated and divorced and moving to Ottawa in 1944 to work at the
French Embassy where her knowledge of French and German languages was
helpful in the war effort. In January 1954 she worked at the Library of
Parliament and served as private secretary to Guy Sylvester the future
National Librarian. In 1977 she was presented with the Queen’s Jubilee
Source: Ottawa Citizen “Remembering” August 7, 2005.
Born 1896 Westhoughton, England Died January 1956 Rhyl, Wales,
United Kingdom. In 1917 she earned her B.A. in History at Manchester and in
1929 she received her Diploma in Librarianship from Pratt. She also earned
her Masters in History in 1933 from McGill University in Montreal. In 1920
she became a teacher in Compton, Quebec but soon moved on to become a
Library Clerk at the Library of the Ontario Legislature in Toronto. By 1929
she was a reference librarian at the University of British Columbia
returning to McGill University she became a Professor at the Library School
in 1932. From here she moved to Prince Edward Island as a Director. She
worked for a short time at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore returning
to the Canadian Maritimes as Director of Libraries in Nova Scotia from
1938-1945. Off to Detroit as Director of Home Reading Department she
travelled further in 1947 as a senior Lecturer at the New Zealand Library
School and from 1948-1953 she served as Acting Director and Director of the
New Zealand Library School. Her work in Prince Edward Island established
more than 20 public Libraries from 1933-1936. She had an enduring passion
for adult education which no doubt drew her to working in Library Schools
around the globe. During WW ll she was seconded to the Canadian Legion
Education Service to establish libraries for armed forces personnel in the
Atlantic command. She was an active member of the committee set up to
investigate the establishment of a national library association for Canada
which led to the Canadian Library Association being formed.
Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011)
Margaret Lilas Beckman
(née Armstrong) Born Hartford Connecticut, U.S.A. 1926. Died February
28, 2008. She studied at Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario and
on to graduate work in Library Science with a BLS from the University of
Toronto , 1946. She would return when the master’s program was introduced
and earn a MLS, 1969. She married Arthur Beckman in 1950 and raised 3
children. A staunch career woman, she hid during her first pregnancy so she
could continue working instead of being fired because of her “condition” as
was the norm for the era. Her career would take her to the University of
Guelph where she would become Head Librarian in 1971. She was the only woman
at this time in Ontario to hold such a position. She became internationally
respected for her world in library management, automation and building
design. She convinced committees and boards that librarians were a valuable
and knowledgeable resource when it came to input for building modern library
facilities. She saw automation as a valuable path for the future of
libraries and lead the way. She was the first Canadian and first woman to
receive an honourary professorship form the University of Essen Germany and
the first Canadian to receive the American Academic Librarian of the Year
Award. She served on a number of provincial, national and international
library bodies as member, advisor or on the executive. In 1975 she was
recognized as one of the top 25 outstanding women of Ontario. In 1911 the
University of Western Ontario endowed the Margaret Beckman Gold Medal in
Library and Information Science for the highest Academic standing.
Women’s Achievements – Margaret Beckman. Library and Archives Canada (Accessed May
2008) ; Special info & musings for Ottawa IM Professionals 2008-03-03
(accessed May 2008); Personal acquaintance of autho
Mary Evelyn "Molly" Cameron
22, 2012, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She earned her BA at the University of
Saskatchewan and her BLA at the University of Toronto. In 1935 she was
appointed Librarian at Regina College, cataloguing and setting up the
library when it was a junior college before it was taken over by the
University of Saskatchewan. In 1941 she was appointed first assistant
cataloguer at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A. By 1944 she
had returned to Canada as Chief Librarian at the Galt Public Library in
Ontario. In 1950 became the first Chief Librarian of Halifax Memorial
Library which became in 1954, the Halifax City Regional Library. After she
retired she served as a part-time consultant on Public Libraries for the
Nova Scotia Provincial Library. She retired in 1974 leaving the new North
Branch Library, tow bookmobiles and an extension of the main library
building in progress. In 1975, when she was past president, she received the
Merit Award of the Atlantic Provinces Library Association for outstanding
contribution to library service in the Atlantic Provinces. She joined the
Canadian Library Association as a founding member in 1946 and was elected
twice to serve on council.
Source: Alvin M. Schrader, PhD. Director of Research, University of Alberta
Margaret Ridley Charlton
Born December 10, 1858, Laprairie, Canada East. Died May 1, 1931, Montreal,
Quebec. Christened Margaret Anne Charlton she changed her middle name to
Ridley to honour a 1555 in martyred family ancestor. As a young woman she
and her friend Charlotte Fraser wrote children’s books including A wonder
web of stories, the 1st book of fairy tales to be published in
Canada. She later completed a summer course at Amherst College in
Massachusetts, U.S.A. in the new field of librarianship. She joined the
McGill Medical Library in Montreal in 1895 and a year later was appointed 1st
assistant Librarian, a position she retained until 1914. She is considered
probably the 1st person with formal library training at McGill
University. She relocated to Toronto and served as librarian of the Academy
of Medicine. By 1922 she was living back in Montreal with her sisters. May
2, 1898, along with help of Dr. William Osler, she helped for the
Association of Medical Librarians centered in Philadelphia, Penslyvania,
U.S.A. She served as Secretary to the group from inception until 1903 and
again from 1909 to 1911 when it was remained the Medical Library
Association. She wrote a series of articles exploring the medical history of
New France from 1608 to 1759. In 2003 as a result of a recommendation from
the Historic Sites and Monument Board of Canada she was named a “Person of
National Historic Significance. A Government of Canada plaque honoring her
accomplishments was erected outside of the McIntire Medical Sciences
Building, McGill University.
Source: Margaret Ridley Charlton (1858-1931) News Releases and
Backgrounders. Parks Canada. 2006 (Modified 2013) Online (Accessed May
Sherrill "Shay" Cheda
née Schneider. Born February 15, 1936 Osgood, Indiana, U.S.A. Died June 7,
2008. Valedictorian in high school she was the first family member to attend
university. In the 1950’s she was told not to become an academic only to
marry and have children. Marry she did, one Noel Parry, June 1958. While
she followed her husband around the country for jobs, they had two sons.
However the moving and good mothering did not stop the fire for more.
Library work was an acceptable job for young women. She earned a Maters
degree in Library Science. By the mid 1960’s she had followed her draft
dodging partner, Mike Cheda, to Canada. In Toronto, she settled to work at
Seneca College. She also wrote feminist articles in publications like
Chatelaine. In 1972, at the Canadian Library Association, she made a
presentation entitled That Little Mechanism, referring to the fact
that male librarians got most of the library management jobs. Along with
Phyllis Yaffe and Barbara Clubb she worked producing the Emergency
Librarian to continue the empowerment of women librarians. She worked
endlessly to form the Canadian Periodical Publishers Association. She was
also developed the Ontario Ministry of Culture’s publishing policy. She
continued writing.. The New Feminist movement of the 1970’s had been well
established and nourished by her efforts. She also found time to marry Karl
Jaffrary and enjoyed being a grandmother. After retirement she worked with
the administration of the Ex Libris Association for retired librarians.
Suggested sources Obituaries in both the online editions of the Globe and
Mail and the Toronto Star (accessed June 2008)
22, 1900, Montreal, Quebec. Died April 25, 1960, Winnipeg Manitoba. . She
studied for her B.A. at the University of Manitoba in 1923. She continued
her studies at the Library schools at Columbia University in New York and
the University of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. . In 1937 she became the Chief
Librarian at the University of Manitoba. She helped establish both the
Manitoba Library Association and the Canadian Library Association and served
as elected president in 1948. She also served as a member of the Canadian
National Library Committee in 1948. From 1949-1954 she served on the Council
of the American Library Association. In 1953 the University of Manitoba
named its new central library , the Elizabeth Dafoe Library in honour of her
many years of service.
Information from Elizabeth Dafoe Library staff.
Bertha Mabel Dunham
Born May 29,
1881, Harrison, Ontario. Died June 21, 1957, Kitchener, Ontario. Bertha
attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) and taught from 1898 to 1904
saving enough funds to allow her to earn a B.A. at the University of
Toronto. She then earned a post graduate degree in Library Science at McGill
University, Montreal, Quebec. In 1908 she was appointed to the position of
Chief Librarian at the Kitchener Public Library, a position she retained
until her retirement in 1944. She may have bee the 1st female
trained Librarian in Canada. She established the children’s section at the
KPL and founded the Waterloo County Co-operative Library Association. She
also established a picture collection at KPL, the 1st of its kind
in Ontario. In 1920-21 she served as President of the Ontario Library
Association. In 1922 she helped found the University Women’s Club and served
at president. She also was President of the Canadian Club. She was appointed
the 1st instructor-in-charge of the Ontario Provincial Library
Summer courses which helped small town library workers earn certificates of
learning. She also had an avid interest in history and served as president
of the Waterloo Historical Society. In 1926 she published a well respected
history: Trail of the Conestoga. It was the 1st of her
five books. In 1931 she became the 1st lecturer in Library
Science at Waterloo College (Now Wilfrid Laurier University). She lectured
in this position for 13 years.
Guide to Literary Heritage of Waterloo and Wellington Ontario Counties.
1985. : Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Online (Accessed July 2014)
Cynthia Jean Durance
Born October 3,1940 Sarnia, Ontario Died September 7, 2005 Ottawa,
Ontario. Attending both the University of Victoria and the University of
Toronto she earned her BA in 1962. In 1963 she worked at the Dalhousie
University Library and served as a Reference Librarian at Sir George
Williams University while she earned her Masters in Library Science at
McGill University in 1967. In 1969 she began her love of working with
serials by working as Head of the Serials Department first at Carleton
University, Ottawa and then at the Library at the University of Waterloo In
1974 she moved to the National Library of Canada as Director of the
Cataloguing Branch. She would hold various positions at the National Library
before moving as Assistant Director General, Government Records Branch, and
National Archives of Canada from 1988-2000. She was an active member in the
Canadian Library Association, the American Library Association, the American
Society for Information Science, the International Federation of Library
Associations (IFLA.) and International Serials Datasystems (ISDS) In
retirement she enjoyed membership in the Zonta Club of Ottawa and hosed
foreign students in her home introducing them to life in Canada.
Cynthia Jean Durance
Biography Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011)
: Personal Knowledge
Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1964 she earned her BA from the University of
Manitoba and follow it with a Bachelor of Library Science from the
University of British Columbia in 1966. She would pursue her avocation as an
academic librarian for the next 32 years. Even though she was an university
librarian she had an active interest in pre-college youth and developed
library orientation programs for high school students. She earned the
University of Manitoba’s President’s Award for University outreach and
became the school’s 1st Librarian Emeritus after she retired.
After retirement she became involved in research Ukrainian Canadian history.
Her research resulted in two books and 3 biographies.
Source: Herstory 2008: A Canadian Women’s Calendar. (Coteau Books,
Born June 4, 1916. Died October 15, 2004. In high school she had
already decided to be a librarian and even received an award for her high
school library work. She attended Acadia University for her undergraduate
studies and took her library post graduate studies at Simmons College,
Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A. She worked in libraries in the New England
area before returning to Nova Scotia to work in public libraries. In 1954
through 1982 she was appointed as the Provincial Legislative Librarian. She
provided the legislators with efficient research library services. She even
had the foresight to introduce modern devices such as the typewriter to the
Legislative library! With a keen interest in history she left a legacy of a
vast collection of historical documents for the province. When she retired
she turned her energies and skills to working with several historical
organizations and even powered the movement to turn Wolfeville’s defunct
railway station into a Pubic Library. She authored a half dozen books
including the Nova Scotia Book of Days. In 2003 she received the
Order of Nova Scotia.
Canadian Who’s Who (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000) pg. 396 and
personal acquaintance knowledge.
Adèle de Guerry Languedoc
Tadoussac, Quebec 1904. Died December 1993. She completed her university
studies at McGill and went on to earn Librarian's diploma in 1929. She
began her career as a cataloguer at McGill University Libraries and then
worked with the McLennan Traveling Libraries where from 1940-1945 she was
the program director. After World War ll she studied at Columbia University
in New York for her Bachelor's degree in Librarianship. She left New York
city to work in France where she helped rehabilitate war ravaged regional
libraries and she also established the first children's library outside of
Paris. She returned to Canada and worked in the early days of
establishment of the National Library of Canada where in 1964 she was
appointed Assistant National Librarian. After retirement from the National
Library she returned to her roots and worked part time cataloguing the
historical pamphlet collection of the National Archives of Canada. She
had a fantastic sense of humour that she could express in both official
languages and she brought a pride of professionalism and honesty of opinion
in all that she accomplished.
1918, Auburn, Maine, U.S.A. Died May 22, 2005. She loved to go to the public
library in Galt, Ontario as a child. She read everything she could. At 15
she had a part-time job at the the library. While taking night classed to
earn her university degree, she worked in the children's department at the
Toronto Public Library. She continued her education at University College in
London, England. When She returned to Toronto Public Libraries she came with
the famous Osborne Collection or rare children's books and became the first
curator of the collection. Her career would take her to work as a reference
librarian as to work with the Canadian Library Association and a founding
faculty member at the Library School at the University of British Columbia,
but her love of children's books remained with her. In 1964 she was
commissioned by the Children's Recreational Reading Council of Ontario to
write the firs comprehensive study of Canadian children's boos in time for
the Canada's Centennial: The Republic of Childhood (1967). In
1981 she published a children's book of her own, Thursday's Child. She has
been presented with numerous awards honouring her career and the British
Columbia Book Prize in Children's Literature is named in her honour. In 1994
she was awarded the Order of Canada. Her autobiography is entitled: My
Life with children's books (2005).
Edith Grace Firth
Lindsay, Ontario January 27, 1927. Died July 23, 2005. In the 1940's she
studied at the University of Toronto graduating with honours in modern
history and a degree in library sciences. Upon graduation she worked as a
reference librarian at the Toronto Public Library. In 1952 she was put in
charge of the Treasure Room with rare books and manuscripts. At Toronto Public Library for some
30 years she would build the collection of 'treasures' into a major resource
including books, manuscripts, broadsides/posters and other ephemera that is
considered a basic research area for all early Canadian historians and
writers. She would publish scholarly catalogues and listings of the
collections which are historical resources of their own. She also produced a
book : The Town of York 1793-1815 ( University of Toronto
Press/Champlain Society, 1962). She not only used materials at Toronto Public Library but she
also scoured institutions throughout North America searching for early
documentation on Toronto. In 1967 volume on further documents of early
Toronto was also published. She took early retirement at age 55 and used her
early retirement years to research and publish Toronto Art: 150 years
through artists eyes (1983) winning the City of Toronto Book Award.
Mary Tryhosa Kinley-Ingrham
In 1899 Mary attended Acadia Ladies Seminary. In 1906 she married John
Ingram. By 1909 she was a widow and taught for awhile in the U.S.A.
Returning to Canada she studied as a mature student as Acadia University
earning her BA in 1915 and her Master’s degree the following year. In 1917
she attended Simmons College School of Library Science in Boston,
Massachusetts, U.S.A. From 1917 through 1941 she was Chief Librarian at
Acadia University and from 1918 through 1944 she was an instructor of
Library Science at the university. In the early 1930’s she inaugurated
bookmobile services for rural areas in the Maritimes. She also published 2
volumes of verse and plays. That same periods she served as
secretary-treasurer of the Maritime Library Association.
Catherine Mallory Knowles
née Rous Born December 15, 1919, Toronto, Ontario. Died April 26, 2014,
Victoria, British Columbia. In 1940 she earned her BA from the University of
Toronto and went on to achieve a Post Graduate degree in Library Sciences .
During the second world war Catherine worked in Ottawa for the federal War
Time Information Bureau. In 1946-1947 she worked at Canada House in England.
In 1947 she married Robert J. Moyse. The couple had three children. In the
late 1950’s while in Calcutta, India she worked with Mother Theresa. 1964/5
she worked for UNICEF offices in Montreal. In the 1970’s she was working for
the Montreal Star newspaper prior to relocating to Halifax to work at the
Bedford Institute of Oceanography. In 1978 she married Douglas W. Knowles
becoming mother to three step children.
Source: Obituary. Globe & Mail May 3, 2014,
Suggestion from June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
Born British Columbia. Died November 1973, Nova Scotia. She earned
her B.A. At the University of Western Ontario, London and her Bachelor of
Library Science at the University of Toronto. She taught a “Librarians
course in 1949 at Kitchener Public Library. And would become a lecturer at
the School of Library Science in Toronto. She worked as Children’s
Librarian, London Public Library, and for a short period worked at Warder
Public Library in Springfield, Ohio, U.S.A. Moving to the Canadian Maritimes
she was Assistant Director for the Nova Scotia Provincial Library and from
1954-1973 she was the Director of the N S P L. She was an active member of
the Atlantic Provinces Library Association, serving as President 1967/8,
the Canadian Library Association, serving as president in 1958, the American
Library Association and the International Federation of Library
Associations. In the late 1950’s she was a consultant on libraries to the
Indian Government and served as a member of the delegation of Canadian
librarians visiting West Germany as guests of the German Government.
Dalhousie University, School of Librarianship ahs established the Alberta
Letts Memorial Lecture and the Dalhousie University , School of Information
Management has established the Alberta Letts Travel Award to ensure her
memory is honoured for future generations.
Biography Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011)
: Personal Knowledge
October 20, 1930 Brighton, England. Died February 13, 2012, Halifax, Nova
Scotia. As a child she survived bombings in Great Britain but mourned the
loss of her teddy bear. She worked as an au pair (Nanny) in Carcassonne,
France and soon found herself on her way to Canada. She put herself though
Sir George Williams University, Montreal and won the Governor General’s
medal in English. She followed with graduate studies in Library Science at
McGill University, Montreal. She married James Lotz in 1959. The couple had
two daughters. The family moved across the country and even lived in Italy,
Scotland before settling in Nova Scotia. In 1973 Pat was supervisor of
inquiry officers at Information Canada until it closed in 1976. She joined
Atlantic Insight as an editor. All the senior staff, Pat included, resigned
in 1984 concerned that the new owners were treating ads as editorial
material. Pat enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies program at the
Atlantic School of Theology graduating in 1995. When the family moved into
an old house known as Thordean, Pat researched the first owner James
Forman and polished a book on his life in 2002.
Source: Lives Lived by Jim Lotz The Globe and Mail May 17, 2012.
Suggestion from June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Alice Elizabeth Jean Lunn
Born June 10, 1910 , Montreal, Quebec. Died Ottawa, Ontario April
24, 1998. She earned her B.A. in history at McGill University, Montreal and
went on for her M.A. in 1934 followed by her BLS in 1940 and her PhD in
History in 1942 at McGill. She began her working career as a cataloguer at
McGill University Library from 1940-1946 after which she worked as Chief
Librarian at the Fraser Institute in Montreal. In 1950 she worked as
bibliographer and Editor of Canadiana at the Centre Bibliographic Centre in
Ottawa. With the establishment of the National Library of Canada in 1952 she
became Director of the Cataloguing Branch until 1973. For the last two years
prior to retirement she was Director of the Office of Library Standards at
the National Library. She was a prolific publisher in both Canadian history
and in Library Science Her creation of the national bibliography,
Canadiana is one of her most noteworthy achievements. She also
participated in the development of the first edition of the
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. Another project of which she was
extremely proud was the building of her own home. One of her retirement
gifts as a skill saw to allow her to work on her home.
Biography Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011)
; personal knowledge
Joanne Gard Marshall.
Born December 19, 1945. Joanne earned her B.A. at the University of
Calgary in Alberta and went on to earn a Master of Library Science (M.L.S.)
from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She worked as a Reference and
Orientation Librarian at the University of Calgary for a year in 1968 prior
to moving to work as a Librarian at the Health Sciences Library at McMaster
University. She earned a second Masters degree, this time in Health Sciences
from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario in 1978 prior to earning her
PhD. from the University of Toronto in Public Health Sciences in 1987. Dr. Marshall is a librarian and professor at the Faculty
of Information Studies at the University of Toronto. She also holds
cross appointments with the Department of Health Administration at
the Centre for Health Promotion and Institute for Human Development,
Life Course and Aging. While librarians are often seen as holding
a special contributive role in a community, Dr. Marshall has earned
special recognition within her profession. She is the recipient of
several awards including the Eliot Prize from the Medical Library
Association and the Award of Outstanding Achievement from the Canadian
Health Library Association.In 2001
she became a Fellow, Special Libraries Association and the following year a
Fellow of the Medical Library Association. Since July 1, 2004 she has
been an Alumni Distinguished Professor at the University of Toronto. She
served as President of the Medical Library Association 2004-2005. During her
career she has authored numerous in depth professional journal articles and
had published seven books in her field.
Saint John’s , Newfoundland. Died 1965, Saint John’s, Newfoundland. Marjorie
attended a summer library course at McGill University in 1935 and that same
year was hired as second assistant librarian working at the Gosling Memorial
Library which opened in 1936. In 1942 she was back studying for a Diploma of
Library Studies at the University of Toronto. Marjorie would take more
studies in 1951 at the University of British Columbia. She took the library
to the radio with bedtime stories and talks of all kinds. She would
eventually serve as Saint John’s Chief Librarian. She was vice president of
the Maritime Library Association in 1957/8 and the Atlantic Provinces
Library Association in 1964/5. She was also and active committee member with
the Canadian Library Association. As well as her love and support of
libraries she had an interest in collecting folksongs and traditional
costumes and she was a welcome resource the National Museum’s folksong
research program in Newfoundland. She was also active in her United Church
and enjoyed writing articles for various publications including the
Newfoundland Quarterly. In 1966 the City of Saint John’s named a library
branch , the Marjorie Mews Library in her honour.
Giles, Suzette ‘Libraries named after Librarians in ELAN: Ex Libris
Association Newsletter No. 56 Fall 2014.
Carole R. Moore
15, 1944 Berkley, California, U.S.A. She completed her under graduated her
under graduate studies at Stanford University, California, U.S.A. in 1966
and her Masters At Columbia University, New York City, New York, U.S.A. in
1967. She began her library career in the reference Department at Columbia
University and relocated to work at the University of Toronto in 1968. She
worked in the U of T Reference Department, the bibliography and Processing
Department before becoming Chief Librarian at U of T in 1986. In 1987 she
received the Centenary Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987. She is a member
of the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association and
the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. From 1991-4 she served on
the National Library of Canada Advisory Board.
Canadian Who’s Who, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997-2006)
née Harrington. Born September 28, 1918. Died August 14, 2011. She
obtained her degree in home economics at the University of Saskatchewan
before she married Rev. Harvey Morrison in 1939. Mr. Morrison died in 1943
leaving Frances a single mother with their son. She joined the staff of the
Saskatoon Public Library as an assistant. In 1946 she went to Toronto to
earn her Bachelor in Library Science. She returned to Saskatoon to serve as
Children’s Librarian then head of reference before becoming assistant Chief
Librarian. In 1961 she was named Chief Librarian a position she retained
until retirement in 1980. She treated staff as family and was noted for her
ability to delegate and draw the best from her staff. She created the
audiovisual and fine arts departments, a local history room and enhanced
programming. She was an active member in the Saskatchewan and Canadian
Library Association where she served as president. She also served the
public through the Saskatchewan Arts Baord as chair, the Saskatchewan
Business and Professional Women’s Club, the University Women’s Club, the
YWCA, and the Saskatchewan Heritage Society. The Main Library she had build
was named in her honour. In 1977 she received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and
in 1981 the Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award of the Canadian
Library Association. In 1982 the Saskatchewan Library Association
established an Award in her honour. Source: “She turned the Saskatoon
library into a regional force” by Chris Ewing-Weiss , The Globe and Mail
August 29, 2011. Suggested by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
September 1911 Carbonear, Newfoundland. Died January 25, 2012, Toronto,
Ontario. Her mother died giving Alice birth and the child was brought up by
her grandparents. At 18 it was recommended by her school principal that she
attend university so she attended the University of Toronto. She graduated
with a B.A. in 1933 and worked as a clerk fro a local hydro company in
Barrie, Ontario. Moving back to Toronto she took a job with the Library,
University of Toronto. After working at the library for 22 years , her
supervisor, felt that Alice could not be promoted any more without having
the proper educational credentials. Alice returned to the classroom and
obtained her degree in Library Science. In 1973 she was put in charge of
moving the one million volume collection to the new Robarts Library ! In
1977 she was awarded the University of Toronto’s 150th
anniversary sesquicentennial medal for her services to the institution. In
the Sigmund Samuel Library ( nor the Gerstein Science Information Center(
the Alice Moulton Reading Room is a reminder of her contribution to the
university and the students she served.
“Alice Moulton dies at 100” Gerstein Science Information Center. Online.
Accessed February 2012; “When lady librarians always wore skirts and you
didn’t make noise “ by Judy Stoffman. Globe and Mail. February 20,
2012. Online accessed February 2012.
Born June 20,
1921 Echo Bay, ON. Died May 15, 2010 Hamilton, On. After Graduating from
high school, she worked at the Public Library in Sault Ste Marie from
1941-1951 in the Children’s Department. She moved to London Ontario to be
Head of the Children’s Department at the Public Library until 1953. And then
on to the Children’s Department at Leaside Public Library (now part of
Toronto) In 1956 she was in Ottawa as Executive Assistant at the Canadian
Library Association before moving to the Ontario Library Association as
Supervisor of Extension Services and Education. It was during this time that
she earned a Bachelor of Journalism in 1961 at Carleton University, Ottawa
and her post graduate degree in Library Science at the University of Toronto
By 1970 she was at the Toronto College Bibliocentre. It was while working in
Toronto that her works was recognized when she was names Librarian of the
Year by the Ontario Library Trustees Association. For two years, 1972-73
she served as Public Relations Director at the National Library of Canada.
Leaving Ottawa she moved to St. Catharines where she served as Chief
Librarian of the Public Library where she presided over the building of a
new facility. She retired in 1983 but continued in the profession as a
sectional lecturer at the University of British Columbia in 1983. In 1986
St Catharines YWCA named the recipient of the Award for Women in Business an
Biographies, Ex-Libris Association Online Accessed May 2013.
Obituary, The Globe and Mail, May 18, 2010.
Agnes C. O'Dea
Born 1911 St John’s, Newfoundland. Died January 26, 1993 St John’s
Newfoundland. As a young woman it was acceptable that she could take a job
in a library so she headed off to Toronto and in 1932 she earned her Diploma
in Library Science. She returned to Newfoundland to work in St John’s to
organize the founding of the 1st public library in the city. She
was back to Toronto to earn her post graduate Bachelor in Library Science in
1940. She stayed to work at the Toronto Public Library and the Ontario
Research Foundation and then back to Newfoundland to work at Memorial
University in 1952. From 1964-1976 she was the founder and head of the
Centre of Newfoundland Studies at Memorial. In 1986 she and Anne Alexander
published the substantial work Bibliography of Newfoundland published by the
University of Toronto Press. Her career garnered her numerous awards,
including the Ontario Library Association Anniversary Prize in 1960, the
Heritage Award from the Newfoundland Historical Association in 1977, the
Atlantic Provinces Association Merit Award, and the Marie Tremaine Medal of
the Bibliographical Society of Canada.
Vera Alexandra Robinson
Born 1897? .
Died 1979. Vera studied law and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1920. She
originally went into partnership with a another woman lawyer, Helen Currie.
Later she became a law librarian with the Philips Stewart Library at Osgood
Hall Law school in 1927. In 1928 she served as the 7th president
of the Women’s Law Association. In 1930 she replaced law librarian Verona
Taylor at the York County Law Library. In 1935 she married Henry L.
Cartwright, a lawyer from Kingston, Ontario. She joined her husband as a
partner in his law firm.
Diversifying the bar: Lawyers Make history. Law Society of Upper Canada
St Albans, Vermont, U.S.A. February 23, 1868. Died May 27, 1943. She
originally studied journalism but then began work in a library and
apprenticed under such leaders in the field as Charles Cutter. She became
librarian of Westmont Public Library in 1901 and remained until her
retirement in 1931. When she began her position she had a staff of a part
time janitor. There was bell in a tall elm tree outside the library which
could be run to attract the attention of the local police in case of
trouble. She built the small library into an institution for a growing
community that included a well stocked reference room and a fully separate
children's room. She also enjoyed writing, often using the pen name Sollace.
She was the author of several one act plays that were produced locally as
well as articles, novels and a children's book entitled Our Little Quebec
Cousins (Boston, 1919) . She was a welcome lecturer at several Library
Schools in North America including Toronto, Montreal, Syracuse, New York and
St Louis, Missouri.
Born Toronto December 4 1928. She studied at McGill
University where she earned her Bachelor in Library Sciences. During her
career she would receive several LLD honours. She started her career as a
law librarian and was the cofounder of the Index to Canadian Legal
Periodical Literature which began in 1963. She was awarded the Queen's
Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. She was the first woman to be appointed as
National Librarian of Canada , a position she held from 1984-1999. In 1995
was received the Order of Canada. She was active on boards and executives of
various professional library associations at both the national and
Born December 12, 1911 Toronto, Ontario. Died August 1, 2009,
Victoria British Columbia. She
earned her B.A. in 1935 from Quinn’s University, Kingston, Ontario and went
on to the University of Toronto for her Masters in Library Science in 1936.
She began her professional career as a cataloguer at the Toronto Public
Library and then moved to Reference Services at Toronto Public. In 1950 she
became one of the first and Director of the Canadian Bibliographic Centre,
the predecessor to the National Library of Canada. She was responsible for
planning and organizing the Canadian Union Catalogue and visited libraries
across Canada microfilming catalogue cards using a 16 mm camera. This work
formed the nucleus of the current automated AMICUS database. From 1966-1968
she was president of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and from
1970-1971 she was president of the Canadian Library Association. Charming
and gracious she was one of Canada’s most distinguished librarians. She had
far – seeing leadership and a strong sense of professionalism that served as
a role model for the next generations.
Sources: Personal knowledge :
Biography Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011)
Lillian Helena Smith.
Born March 17, 1887
Died 1983. Graduating with her BA from the University of Toronto in 1910
Lillian trained as a children's librarian at he Carnegie Library in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. In 1911 she worked at the Children's
Department of the New York Public Library and within three weeks of being
hired she was in charge of the children's room at the Washington Heights
Branch Library in New York City, U.S.A. The following year in 1912 she was
hired to organize the children's department for the city of Toronto. She
would devote the next 40 years of her working life to the development of the
children's collection within the Toronto Public Library. Lillian was the 1st trained
children's librarian in Canada. Lillian also led the idea of the importance
of libraries in schools. In 1928, when the University of Toronto established
its post graduate Library School, Lillian was on staff to teach Children's
literature until she retired in 1952.In the early 30's she served on the
Executive Board of the American Library Association and chaired it's
Children's Services Division thorough the 1940's. In 1930 she
developed a special classification system fitted to children's books. This
system was in use for some 30 years before it was accepted that the Dewey
Classification would be used in the Toronto Board of Education. Up until
1999 some public libraries still used the Smith classification for picture
books. Retiring in 1952 her legacy was in print with her book The
Unreluctant Years. The book was also translated into Italian and Japanese.
In 1962 she was the 1st Canadian to earn the Clarence Day Award . It is in her honor
that the Toronto main children's library is named; The Lillian H. Smith
Library. It houses an electronic resource center, the Osborne Collection of
Early Children's books, the Lillian H. Smith Collection, the science fiction
fantasy and horror collection (known as the Merrit Collection), the Bagshaw
collection of puppetry and children's drama, videos, CD's and lots and lots
of children's books to be read and loved.
Judith St. John
The work of Judith St. John became the benchmark for cataloguing unique children’s collections
around the world. The work also led to teaching appointments for courses in
children’s literature at the University of Toronto and internationally in
Britain, Japan and the U.S.A. Her optimism, down to earth approach revealed
a totally dedicated librarian with a rich sense of humour who imparted
enthusiasm to all those who listened and learned. In 1965 she helped arrange
the International Colloquium of the Children’s Book Collections at the
Osborne Collection in Toronto. This inspired the founding of an Osborne
Friends group, the oldest Friends group in Canada. In 1966 following a trip
to Britain she heard of the foundation of a British Branch of Friends for
the Children’s collections. Judith held the Osborne and Lillian H. Smith
Children’s collections and indeed children’s literature close to her hears
until her death.
Source: Judith St. John by Leslie McGrath ELAN Number 43 Spring 2008.
Florence Daly Thompson.
|| (née Lucas) Born Hitchin, England
September 13, 1865.
Died August 4, 1915. Florence emigrated
from England with her family. She was the oldest of ten children. Well educated,
she was also an accomplished artist. She married William Henry in 1892 but continued
to work for pay outside the home. Before World War 1 it was quite unusual for women
to work for salary after they were married. .She was a successful and published
science researcher and a librarian at the University of Manitoba. In addition
to her job she was a busy lecturer in the local arts community of Winnipeg, a
charter member of the Women's Canadian Club and an honourary member of the University
Mary Eileen Travis
née Connolly. Born March 16, 1931, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Died
December 21, 2005, Rothsay, New Brunswick. She earned her B.A. at St. Frances
Xavier University, Nova Scotia and Her Masters in Library Science at McGill
University, Montreal. She worked from 1960-69 as Head, Children’s
Department, Saint John Regional Library and from 1969-1997 as Head, Saint
John Regional Library. She was also a role model for single mothers, raising
her two children alone after her husband , Art, was killed in a plane crash
in 1970. She was an active member in the Atlantic Provinces Library
Association, serving as president from 1967-1969, the Canadian Library
Association and a member of the National Library of Canada Advisory Board.
In 1972 she was honoured with the Saint John Woman of the Year. In 1977 she
was a recipient of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal. In 1982 she earned the
Merit Award, from the Atlantic Provinces Library Association. In 1983 she
became the first woman to head the Saint John Board of Trade. In 1985 she
was Vice-President of Ceremonies for the Canada Summer Games. She was
involved the the founding of Hestia House Women’s Shelter and President of
Opera New Brunswick and was on the Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier
University. She was honoured by the YMCA with the Red Triangle Award and in
2003 she was recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Award. After a stroke
confined to a wheelchair she wanted to develop a cross-country so she could
go fishing ! In 2004 she was presented with the Chairman’s Award from the
Saint Jon Board of Trade and was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada.
Source: Mary Eileen Travis
Collection Ex Libris Association Online (Accessed November 2011) : Personal
Knowledge; Literary champion Eileen Travis dies by Grant Kerr Saint John
Telegraph Journal December 23, 2005
Freda Farrell Waldon
Winnipeg, Manitoba August 29, 1898. Died 1973. After obtaining her BA at the
University of Toronto, Freda did post graduate studies in English at
Columbia University in the U.S.A. and studied Librarianship in England. She
began her career in the cataloguing section of Hamilton Public Library. Head
Librarian by 1940, she would help her library become one of the top urban
public libraries. She worked towards the establishment of the National
Library of Canada and served as the first president of the Canadian Library
Association. She also served as the first president of the Programme
Planners Institute in Canada. She was the recipient of the United Nations
Award for Meritorious Service.