Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Barbara Ann Scott

Olympic champion figure skater, sports pioneer, philanthropist

"She was the epitome of class and grace"— Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa

Born in Ottawa in 1928. Passed away in San Fernandina, Florida at age 84 (Sept.30, 2012).

Started her skating career at age 7 at the Minto Skating Club. At the age of ten, was the youngest Canadian to pass the gold figures test.

Became the first female skater to land a double Lutz jump in competition at age 13.

The first and only Canadian to ever win Olympic gold at the senior’s women’s figure skating level. Was the first citizen of a non-European nation to win a world championship in skating in 1947.

Was Junior Figure Skating Champion of Canada (1940); Canadian Senior Women’s Champion (1944-1948); North-American championships (1945-1948); won two European championships (1947-1948); two World championships (1947-1948) and an Olympic gold medal at the 5th Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland on February 6, 1948.

Was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1948, four days before she won her Olympic Gold Medal.

Received the key to the City of Ottawa in 1948 upon her return from the Olympics.

Became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991.

In 2009, she carried the Olympic flame into the House of Commons; it was the first time an Olympic torch had entered the House of Commons.

In August 2012, came to Ottawa to open a gallery at City Hall that shows artifacts of her skating career.

Has always been involved in supporting other figure skaters through her foundation.


Francess G. Halpenny

Editor, Professor Emeritus

Born in Ottawa in 1919.

Received a Master's degree in English language and literature from the University of Toronto in 1941 at a time generally unsupportive towards women academics.

Joined the Editorial Department of the Toronto Press in 1941. By 1965, becoming Managing Editor and then the Associated Director in 1979.

Her contribution to scholarly publishing in Canada is outstanding. Realizing that knowledge of Canadian history, scholarship and publication needed to be increased, much of her work as an editor, writer and professor has focussed on that area.

Awarded the prestigious Molson Prize in 1983 for her formidable editorial work on the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Halpenny has also received eleven honorary degrees from various Canadian universities.

Became a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1984.


Judith R. Crawley

Pioneer in the Canadian film industry
Filmmaker, writer, editor, director, producer, camera operator, sound recordist and actress,

1914-1986; born in Ottawa.

Her first film, L’île d’Orléans, won the Hiram Percy Maxim Award in New York for the world’s best amateur moving picture of 1939. It was the first time a Canadian film had ever received a distinction of this kind.

President of the Canadian Film Institute (CFI) from 1979 to 1982.

Founded Crawley Films in Ottawa with her husband Frank; the studio quickly became known for its quality productions and for making films all over the world.


Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa

Founded in Ottawa in 1898.

The Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa (WCHSO) was founded in 1898 and became known as the Historical Society of Ottawa in 1956.

The WCHSO amassed many artefacts relating to the history of Ottawa which eventually led to the creation of the Bytown Museum (located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, at the Rideau Canal locks between Parliament Hill and the Château).

Its objective in 1898 was to increase public knowledge of Canadian history through publications, meetings, and tours, and continues to be so to this day.


Lisgar Collegiate, First Female High School Teacher in Ontario

The first female high school teacher to be hired in a public secondary school in Ontario was at the Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa in 1892.


Nancy Greene

Olympic champion alpine skier

Born in Ottawa in 1943.

Won Canada's first gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1968 Olympic and a silver medal in the slalom in Grenoble, France. She also defended her World Cup title, winning ten races in a row.

Became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1968.

Declared Canada’s female athlete of the 20th century in 1999.

Nancy and her husband Al were instrumental in the early development of Whistler Resort and are well known for the assistance which they give to young skiers.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Almanda Walker-Marchand

Militant, philanthropist

1868-1949; moved to Ottawa in 1890.

Born in Québec city.

In 1914, at the start of World War I, volunteer Almanda Walker-Marchand organized an initial meeting of French-Canadian women in Ottawa to raise funds to charter a hospital ship. More than 400 women answered her call and quickly grew into a formal association.

In 1918, the Fédération des femmes canadiennes-françaises was officially founded with Almanda as its first President. The group worked to expand the participation of French-speaking Canadian women in the fields of education, economics, culture and politics and has now branched out to reflect the needs of francophone women living in minority communities.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Abigail Wyman Wright


1760-1828, arrived in the area in 1800.

Wife of Philemon Wright whose group from Woburn, Massachusetts were the first permanent settlers in the Ottawa / Hull / Gatineau area in 1800.