Copyright © 2004-2020 Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved.


  The names appearing are just a fraction of the Canadian women of accomplishment.
Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's section ON THE JOB 
which contains mini profiles of 3000 Canadian Women of Achievement.

Francoise-Marie de La Tour Born July 28, 1621, France. Died 1645 Saint John, Canada. She sailed to Port Royal in New France to marry in June 1640, Charles de Saint-Etienne de la Tour (1593-1666).The couple settled at Fort la Tour at the mouth of the Saint John River (modern day Nova Scotia) .  She soon became involved in the Acadian Civil War. In 1643 gave birth to her only child. She escaped a blockade of the Fort and headed to France to plead her case before the King. The decision came down against her husband and she escaped to England where she hired a ship to get her back to her husband. The ship was stopped by La Tour's rival Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnizay (1604-1650) and Francoise was forced to go to Boston. Eventually she and her husband were reunited in Fort la Tour. In  spring 1645 la Tour was in Boston in the American colonies when the fort was attached. Assuming command of the Fort Francoise refused to surrender and fought three days to defend the Fort only to be forced to surrender on the forth day of battle. Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnizay (1604-1650) slaughtered the remaining defense forces forcing Francoise to watch the executions. She died three weeks later. She earned the nickname of Lioness of la Tour. She was the 1st European woman to make a home in the colony that would grow to become Acadia.
Marie-Madelaine Jarret de Verchères Born Verchères, Quebec March 3, 1678. Died August 8, 1747. The young Madelaine would become one of Canada's 1st youth heroes when she, with only a handful of helpers would successfully defend the family fort against attack. Her exploits have been written up in several books including HerStory by Susan Merritt. Her entire life story is recorded in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Volume III). Be sure to check out the true life adventure at your library.
Mary Elizabeth Crowley Born 1858, Streets Ridge, Nova Scotia. Died 1869, Streets Ridge, Nova Scotia. Mary was one member of a family of 10 children. In 1869 a fire broke out in the family home. Mary was asleep upstairs with her sister and her 2 brothers when she was woke up by her mother’s scremes. Mary awoke 9 year old Gus and got him to jump out the upstairs window. However when she tried to wake her sister the Catherine the younger girl was scared and fought her sister’s efforts. Finally Margaret managed to pick up her sister and jump to safety. Unfortunately both girls dies within a few hours from burns. The doctor who had tried to help the wounded girls took the story of Margaret’s bravery to the Nova Scotia Legislature where a motion was passed unanimously to honor Mary Elizabeth’s bravery. A monument was erected in Pugwash, Nova Scotia where Margaret had been laid to rest. This monument is considered the 1st monument to be dedicated to a female in Canada.
Fern Sunde née Blodgett. Born 1918, Regina, Saskatchewan. Died 1991, Norway. Her family settled in Cobourg, Ontario and as a youngster she loved watching the steamships on Lake Ontario Fern dreamed of being a sailor. With the onset of World War ll she saw a chance to serve by becoming a wireless operator using spark gap radios to transmit Morse code messages. Moving to Toronto she worked during the day as a stenographer and took night courses to become a wireless operator graduating in June 1941. The Canadian Navy did not take women to serve so Fern joined the Merchant Marine. On June 13, 1941 she became the  1st Canadian woman to serve in the Merchant Marines,  serving on a Norwegian Merchant Navy ship the Mosdale sailing out of Montreal with Captain Gerner Sunde. Their role was to transport provisions across the Atlantic. Fern would make 78 of the 98 crossings made by the ship She and the captain were married a year after she boarded the ship. In 1942 the Norwegian King presented the husband and wife duo with the Norwegian War Medal. Fern was the 1st woman to ever receive this Hounour. Fern left the ship shortly after the war ended and settled in Norway In 1988 the city of Farsund gave Fern a medal for the distinction she brought the city. Source: Merna Forster in  100 More Canadian Heroines.
Mary Dohey Born September 22, 1933 St Bride's, Newfoundland. Died June 12, 2017 Mississauga, Ontario.  A trained Registered Nurse, she chose to have a career as a stewardess Air Canada. On a flight from Calgary Alberta on November 12, 1971, which started out to be routine, Mary would show that she had the 'right stuff'. A hijacker, with a hood over his head, threatened the passengers and crew with a gun.  This brave stewardess spoke  gently to the armed man and managed to persuade the hijacker to allow the passengers and some of the crew to depart when the aircraft was diverted to Great Falls, Montana, U.S.A.  Even thought the hijacker was allowing her to leave she was concerned for the remaining crew and remained to do what she could to calm the aggressor until the drama was brought safely to an end when a fellow crew member overpowered the gunman.  On February 16, 1976 she was awarded the Cross of Valour, the 1st living person to receive Canada's highest award for bravery. (2019)

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