Out­stand­ing Cana­dian women

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COVER STORY -

from the Univer­sity of Toronto. She worked on Bant­ing and Best’s di­a­betes re­search and later con­ducted a bench­mark study on di­a­betes in the First Na­tions peo­ples of Saskatchewan. Chase joined the Royal Cana­dian Army Med­i­cal Corps and spent three years shut­tling back and forth across the At­lantic on troop ships. Af­ter the war, she was a founder of the Cana­dian Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion.

Mary Black of Wolfville trained as a ward oc­cu­pa­tion aide at McGill in 1919. Her first as­sign­ment was at the Nova Sco­tia San­i­to­rium in Kentville. Black likely de­vel­oped the first oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy pro­gram in Canada. In 1942, she or­ga­nized a suc­cess­ful prov­ince wide hand­craft pro­gram. A mas­ter weaver, her book on the sub­ject went through three edi­tions.

Called “Queen of the Girl Run­ners,” Gertrude Phin­ney was se­lected for the 1928 Olympic team but her fa­ther would not al­low her to go be­cause the com­pe­ti­tion was deemed too stren­u­ous. Born in Lawrence­town, Phin­ney was a star ath­lete in Wolfville. In just three years, she won over 40 gold medals and later be­came one of the first two women in­ducted into the N.S. Sports Hall of Fame.

Esther Clark Wright, who died in 1990, was a pioneer in Cana­dian stud­ies, in­clud­ing the Loy­al­ists, the Planters, and the eco­nomics of the Mar­itimes. A gen­er­ous per­son by na­ture, her stud­ies of ge­og­ra­phy in this re­gion are still im­por­tant. She also taught eco­nomics and so­ci­ol­ogy at Aca­dia.

Con­stance Hayward’s hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism in­flu­enced Canada’s im­mi­gra­tion and refugee poli­cies dur­ing and af­ter the Sec­ond World War. Un­til her re­tire­ment in 1958, she worked with im­mi­grants and Cana­dian mi­nor­ity groups. Hayward died in Wolfville in 1992.

In 1946, Gla­dys Porter was the first woman in Nova Sco­tia his­tory to run for the may­oralty of any town. Porter beat her male op­po­nent by a two-to-one mar­gin. She was re-elected, serv­ing for 11 years. In 1960, she be­came the first fe­male MLA in the Mar­itimes, rep­re­sent­ing Kings North.

A renowned bas­ket maker, Chief Rita Smith was the mother of the Glooscap Band in 1984, but she was also chief of the An­napo­lis Val­ley Band for three terms and a Mi’kmaq who sought jus­tice. She was a found­ing Chief of the Con­fed­er­acy of Main­land Mic­macs.

A teacher and com­mu­nity leader, Edith H. Cromwell of In­gle­wood, An­napo­lis County paved the way for race-eq­uity in ed­u­ca­tion when she suc­cess­fully lob­bied for her stu­dents to be bussed to Bridgetown, so they could reap the ben­e­fits of its bet­ter-funded ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. She was an Or­der of Nova Sco­tia ben­e­fi­ciary, and the re­cip­i­ent of an hon­orary doc­tor­ate from Aca­dia Univer­sity.

All are worth re­mem­ber­ing.

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