Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mamta Gautam

Physician, executive coach, author, speaker and physician health pioneer

Was a psychiatrist in private practice in Ottawa for 20 years, and is a clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. 

Specialist in physician health and well-being, hailed as “The Doctor’s Doctor"; trained in CoActive Coaching from Coaches Training International and certified physician development coach.

Founding director of the University of Ottawa Faculty Of Medicine Wellness Program. 

Co-Chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association Section on Physician Health. 

President of the Ottawa chapter of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and has recently launched the International Alliance for Physician Health.

Has published Irondoc: Practical Stress Management Tools for Physicians in October 2004.

Has received several major awards to recognize and honor her pioneering work in the field of physician wellness, including the 2004 CPSO Council Award and the 2005 University of Ottawa Alumni Award for Community Contributions.

Has recently been awarded the Canadian Medical Association’s first ever Physician Misericordia award which recognizes contributions to the field of physician wellness in August 2011.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gladys Cameron McGregor Watt

Theatre promoter

Born in Galveston, Texas.; died in Ottawa in 1979.

Graduated from Brooklyn’s Adelphi College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Married Canadian forestry engineer Roy McGregor Watt in 1917.

Lived in Dauphin, Manitoba where she was paramount in establishing a local library and a little theatre.

Moved to Ottawa in 1937 where she became involved in local theatre; she advanced the One Act contest Play at the Ottawa Little Theatre to a national level. Upon retirement from the Ottawa Little Theatre, a seat in the Theatre was named for her.

Was Governor of the Canadian Drama Festival and was presented with the Canadian Drama Award for her efforts in 1958.

Lady Bird Johnson, first lady of the United States, presented her with the Margo Jones Award in 1963 for her impact on encouraging live theatre.

Was instrumental in preserving Ottawa’s old Union Station building in the heart of downtown Ottawa and campaigned vigorously against the demolition of the West block of the Canadian Parliament buildings.

The City of Ottawa honoured her for her dedication in 1964 and in 1967, she was recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clare Beckton

Social entrepreneur, member of the Women's Leadership Board, Harvard Kennedy School

Executive director of the Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership at Carleton University in Ottawa; the Centre is focused on increasing the representation of women in public leadership and politics.

Has an MPA from Harvard, an LLB, and a BA from the University of Saskatchewan.

Was the deputy head of Status of Women Canada from 2007-2009.

Has over 25 years experience leading teams and organizations to create innovative multi-sector and multinational partnerships and networks to develop policies, to provide services, to deliver programs, and to incorporate diversity, gender, and learning to assist the development of organizations through times of significant change.

Was named the Federated Press woman of the year for her leadership and recognized by the Women's Executive Network as one of Canada's most powerful women in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category in 2008.

Is the author of several books and a number of articles on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

University of Ottawa Trailblazers

The University of Ottawa Senate approves the Bachelor of Arts program for the women’s colleges (Bruyère and Notre-Dame). Women students begin to attend classes.

Sister Paul-Émile (Marie-Louise Guay), sister Marie-du-Rédempteur (Angélique Beaulieu) sister St. Lorenzo (Gabrielle Lemaire) and sister Joseph-Arthur (Martine Moreau) are the first women to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa.

Women students attend the new Ottawa Normal School (later known as the Ottawa Teacher’s College and now as the Faculty of Education).

The Ottawa Normal School has a majority of female students.

Bernadette Tarte and Rita Roy become the first lay women to obtain a Bachelor of Arts at the University. Soon thereafter, Mrs. Tarte became one of the first lay persons to work as a librarian at the Normal school. She worked at the library for 30 years. The University named the Bernadette Centre (daycare) in her honour.

Sister Joseph-Arthur (Claire Laramée) and Thérèse Archambault are the first two women to receive a PhD from the University.

A School of Nursing is created exclusively for women students and the teaching staff is exclusively female (Sisters of Charity). Sister Madeleine de Jésus (Corinne Laflamme) is the first woman director of a school at the University.

Hélène Landry-Labelle became director of pianist teaching at the School of Music, the first lay woman to teach at the University of Ottawa. She was a Paris-trained accomplished and renowned musician

Claire Boult (Bélanger) is the first woman to receive a diploma in a non-traditional sector for women at the time – BA in Commerce.

Foundation of the School of Domestic Sciences for female students with an all female teaching staff (Congrégation Notre-Dame).

First women to appear on the mosaics of the Faculty of Arts building.

Évelyne LeBlanc becomes the first Dean of Women, responsible for the recruitment of female students. She was involved in the development of the LeBlanc residence which was completed in 1965, providing the first accommodations for women at the University.

Sister Madeleine de Jésus (Corinne Laflamme), director of the School of Nursing, becomes the first woman to sit at the Senate of the University.

Magaret Beznack becomes chair of the department of physiology. She is the first female to occupy the position of department chair at the University of Ottawa, and of any Faculty of Medicine in Canada.

Pauline Vanier becomes the first woman and the first lay person to occupy the position of chancellor at the University of Ottawa.

Margaret Beznack is the first woman elected to the board of governors. She will go on to be the first female vice-dean and the first female dean at the University (Faculty of Medicine). She is the first woman to hold such a position in any Canadian university.

Gabrielle Léger becomes the second female chancellor at the University.

Susan Mann becomes the first female vice-president, academic, of the University. She was also the first woman chair of the department of history at the University and one of the first in Canada to teach a course on women’s history.

Carole Workman becomes the first female vice-rector, resources.

Huguette Labelle becomes the third chancellor at the University. She still occupies that position as of today.

Chantal Beauvais becomes the first female rector at St.Paul University, affiliated with the University of Ottawa.
A Chronology of Women's History at the University of Ottawa, by Michel Prévost, Chief Archivist, University of Ottawa, 2011.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Alexa Stirling Fraser

Amateur golf champion

Born in Atlanta, Georgie in 1897; died in Ottawa in 1977.

Youthful prodigy who won three consecutive U.S. Women's Amateurs, winning her first in 1916.

After the war, she won the 1919 and 1920 U.S. Women's Amateur titles; was also the U.S. Amateur's runner-up in 1921, 1923 and 1925.

Won the Canadian Women's Amateur in 1920, finished second in 1921 and 1925 and won the Canadian title a second time in 1934.

Married Canadian doctor W.G. Fraser in 1925, and made her home in Ottawa, Ontario, where she became an honorary member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club; was its ladies' champion nine times.

Was also a skilled violinist.

Returned to Atlanta for the U.S. Open during the 1976 United States Bicentennial celebrations. 

Was inducted posthumously into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.

Was portrayed by Stephanie Sparks in the 2004 film, Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Evelyn Robson Strahlendorf

Collector, researcher on Canadian doll collecting

Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1931.

Lived in Ottawa from 1971-1999.

Worked in the Cataloguing Department of the National Library of Canada.

Has passionately collected Canadian dolls and researched this topic extensively.

Her book Dolls of Canada: a Reference Guide was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1996. It remains the best and most complete guide to Canadian dolls.

Encouraged the Canadian Museum of Civilization to create a display of Canadian Dolls in 1999; collectors came from all over the world to see the largest display of Canadian Dolls produced to date.

Many of her dolls have been donated to the Bowmanville Museum which maintains the largest privately owned collection of Canadian dolls in the country.

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.

Was an executive member of the Canadian Doll Guild and past editor of Doll Creators: A Canadian Doll Guild Publication.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Patricia den Boer

Communications consultant, journalist, editor

Studied journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Is a business communicator, facilitator, media specialist and focus group moderator with experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Worked in mainstream print journalism, the trade press and broadcast. Well known in Ottawa for her work in local magazines such as Fifty-Five Plus, Ottawa Family Life and Ottawa Wedding; has more than 21 years' experience in communications and contract editing with a specialization in lifestyle and health consumer publications.

In her editorial role, she plans content and manages editorial production for 18 publications a year.

Co-founded Ottawa's only woman's quarterly magazine, City Woman, launched in 2000.

Has extensive experience in communications project management in such areas as publications, video production, backgrounders, speeches, internal communiqués, brochures, presentations and electronic bulletin boards.

Is a nationally-recognized speaker in the area of writing to reach the right target market.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dyane Adam

Psychologist, professor, researcher, bilingualism advocate

Born in Casselman, Ontario (near Ottawa); studied in Ottawa.

Holds a masters and doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa.

Was teacher, researcher and Assistant Vice-President, French Programs and Services at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

Was appointed to the position of Principal at York University’s Glendon College in Toronto in 1994.

Became Commissioner of Official Languages in 1999, a position she held until 2006. Her role as Commissioner of Official Languages was as an ombudsman for English and French bilingualism in the federal government of Canada and as a promoter and supporter of linguistic duality both in the Canadian federal government and in Canadian society in general.

Acts as a special advisor and consultant to governmental agencies and Canadian universities.

Has consistently worked towards the recognition of the rights of the French-speaking minority, the status of women, health and education in Canada.

Served as the first President of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, from 2001 to 2005.

Awarded honorary doctorates by McGill University, the University of Ottawa, St-Paul University, Laurentian University, Université de Moncton and Collège Boréal.

Was made Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in the Republic of France.

May Frith

Professor of applied linguistics, black culture historian

Born in Jamaica in 1925; died in Ottawa in 2011.

Arrived in Montreal in 1960s; moved to Ottawa in 1987.

Had a teaching career at McGill University as a professor of applied linguistics for 20 years before moving to Ottawa.

Established the Harambee Education Centre in Ottawa, a community-based program that helped young black students gain an appreciation of their culture and history. Harambee means “let’s pull together” in Swahili.

Gave local workshops to develop awareness and respect for Caribbean heritage languages, such as Creole.

Was on the original board of directors for Black History Ottawa.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Speakers of the Senate

The Speaker of the Senate of Canada plays an important role in facilitating the conduct of business within the Chamber and is responsible for ruling on all questions which are raised with regard to parliamentary procedures in the Chamber, or the rights and immunities of the Senate, or of individual senators as they carry out their duties.

There have been 46 Speakers of the Senate since 1867 of which two were women.

Muriel McQueen Fergusson
  • Born in Shediac, New Brunswick in 1899; died in 1997.
  • Admitted to the bar of New Brunswick in 1925.
  • Was elected the first woman alderman in 1950.
  • Became a senator in 1953; was known to work tirelessly for women’s rights and poverty.
  • First woman Speaker of the Senate or the House of Commons in 1972.
  • Served in this role from 1972 to 1974.
  • Appointed to the Order of Canada in 1976.
Renaude Lapointe
  • Born in the Eastern Townships, Quebec in 1912; died in 2002.
  • Studied music, literature, languages and sociology.
  • Worked as a journalist.
  • First woman to work as a news reporter for La Presse in Montreal in 1959.
  • Became a senator in 1971; her interests were Senate reform, old age security, bilingualism and the United Nations.
  • Second woman Speaker of the Senate or the House of Commons in 1974; first woman francophone.
  • Served in this role from 1974 to 1979.
  • Appointed to the Order of Canada in 1989.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jeanne Sauvé

Journalist, politician, stateswoman

Born Jeanne Benoît in 1922 in Prud’homme, Saskatchewan; died in 1993.

Educated in Ottawa and in Paris.

Worked as a journalist for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

In 1964, became the first women to be elected president of l'Institut canadien des affaires publiques, a French Canadian think tank that held annual conferences on issues of significant national importance.

Elected to the House of Commons in 1972; served as Minister of the Crown until 1980.

First woman Speaker of the House of Commons (Parliament of Canada in Ottawa), served in this position from 1980 to 1984.

First woman to serve as Canada's governor general from 1984 to 1990.

Was named Companion of the Order of Canada and Commander of the Order of Military Merit in 1984, member of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jérusalem and winner of the Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967 and the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 1977.

Founded and worked with the Sauvé Foundation for youth until her death in 1993.é

Speaker of the House of Commons

The Speaker of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada assumes the position of highest authority in the House, and represents the Commons in all its powers, proceedings and dignity. The duties of the Speaker fall into three categories: 1) acting as the spokesperson of the House; 2) presiding over sittings of the House and maintaining order and decorum; and 3) assuming important administrative responsibilities.

Since 1867, there have been 35 Speakers of the House of which one was a woman.

Jeanne Sauvé was elected 29th Speaker of the House on the recommendation of then Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau in 1980. She served as Speaker until 1984.

She resigned as Speaker on January 15, 1984 during the Second Session of the Thirty-second Parliament, after having been designated to become Governor General.  On May 14, 1984, Mme Sauvé was sworn in as Canada’s first female Governor General.

For more information on Jeanne Sauvé, please read the entry under the letter S.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rolande Faucher Soucie

Author, consultant, visionary, advocate for French language culture, rights and services in Ontario

Lives in Ottawa.

Is a consultant in the fields of official languages, education, health, justice, professional development, serving community groups as well as provincial and federal ministries.

Played an instrumental role the development of the francophone community in Orleans, in particular, the construction of the cultural centre in Orleans, called the Centre culturel du MIFO.

Was president of the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) in 1988 and served the association for a number of years.

Played a key role in numerous franco-ontarian causes including the Montfort Hospital and la Fondation franco-ontarienne.

Received many prizes and accolades for her work and dedication to the development of franco-ontarian cultural resources.

Was chosen by Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier to write his biography for which she won the Prix Champlain in 2009.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ruth Cull

Therapeutic Clown at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa

“The rewards are not only the smiles but also the privilege of being part of the lives of family and kids who display extraordinary courage and inspiration. Throughout my journey I have come to learn that "It is not a matter of being funny, but rather of having fun." – Ruth Cull

Worked as a Registered Practical Nurse in the Operating Room of CHEO for the last 35 years.

Works as a Therapeutic clown at CHEO 3 days/week since 2001.

Has trained with Susie Kleinwatcher, Cheryl Oberg, and Leon McBride and has presented at numerous conferences and education settings to raise awareness of this work.

Has appeared in various media and offers clown workshops for children during their hospital stay.

Hélène Brodeur

Writer, historian of franco-ontarian culture

Born in Saint-Léon-de-Val-Racine in Québec, raised in Northern Ontario; died in Ottawa in 2010 at the age of 87.

Studied to become a teacher at the University of Ottawa and also obtained a Bachelor’s degree in 1946.

Worked as a teacher in Ottawa and a newspaper writer. Was the first woman to become the Director of Communications for the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Began her career as a writer in 1957, first by translating books for publishers, then writing for the CBC, Châtelaine, Maclean’s and Flight Magazine. Most of her writing was initially done in English but in 1977, upon her retirement from the federal civil service, she published “Les chroniques du Nouvel-Ontario” (A Saga of Northern Ontario), a historical novel about the French-Canadian presence in Northern Ontario and their role in developing that region of Canada. Went on to publish many more books about Northern Ontario and franco-ontarian culture.

Has received numerous prizes and accolades for her writing and her contribution to franco-ontarian history.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lilias Ahearn Southam

Philanthropist, girls’s education advocate

Born in Ottawa in 1888; died in 1962.

Daughter of Thomas Ahearn, inventor and Ottawa businessman. He made Ottawa’s first long distance call, brought electric street lights to Ottawa and electric streetcars. His power company at the Chaudière Falls was the first in Canada to use a hydraulic generator to produce electricity.

Married Harry Southam whose family owned the Ottawa Citizen as of 1896; they had four children.

Was one of the first mothers in Ottawa to send her daughters to school in 1919 at the Rockliffe Prep School (later renamed Elmwood).

Became co-owner and a major benefactor of Elmwood School for Girls, and remained on the board of governors until the end of her life.

Through her organization of sponsorships with Ottawa families, she played a key role in helping 24 young British refugees settle in Ottawa in 1940.

Known to use her wealth to help homeless children. (Janet Uren)

Elmwood School for Girls

"When you walk through the halls of the school you notice the extraordinary energy, enthusiasm and purpose that our students possess. This is a place where girls feel safe and secure, a place where girls can find their voice, and a place where girls dare to dream big." Cheryl Boughton, current  headmistress of Elmwood, 2011

Founded as The Rockliffe Preparatory School in 1915 by Theodora A. Philpot. She was the visionary, the founder and the first headmistress of the school.

The school was established on Elmwood Farm (originally called Keefer farm but renamed Elmwood after Mrs. Philpot and Mrs. Fauquier bought the farm); initially, the school had four students, male and female, aged four to seven. The school set out originally to “prepare” young boys to attend a nearby boys' school at age 11 (likely Ashbury College).

From the beginning, the school attracted the attention of Ottawa's elite who sent their daughters to study at that school.

Edith Button, an Englishwoman marooned in Ottawa by wartime lack of transportation, joined the Elmwood staff in 1917 and remained with the school until 1951.

Ethel Fauquier and Lilias Southam, with the assistance of Mrs. Southam's husband, Harry, and her father, the Hon. Thomas Ahearn, purchased the Elmwood property and institution in 1919 in order to allow for its expansion.

Edith Buck, who was Philpot's assistant, became the second headmistress in 1920, and fulfilled that role until 1951.

The Rockcliffe Preparatory School changed its name to Elmwood in 1923 and shifted its vocation from the “preparation” of young boys to the education of young women.

Elmwood was the first Canadian independent day school for girls to adopt the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in 1978.

Wilson House, part of Elmwood, was created and named in honour of Cairine Wilson, Canada's first female senator and long-time Elmwood patron in 1982. (Janet Uren)

Edith Buck

Headmistress of Rockliffe Prep School (later known as Elmwood)

Was assistant to Theodora Philpot, founder and headmistress of Rockliffe Prep School in 1915, and became the school's second headmistress from 1920 to 1951.

Theodora A. Philpot

Entrepreneur, first headmistress of Rockliffe Prep School (later known as Elmwood)

Theodora Philpot was born to Scottish parents in 19th-century Burma.

Was married to a teacher at Ashbury College in Ottawa.

In 1915, established the Rockcliffe Preparatory School with four students, male and female, aged four to seven in the ohe old house at Elmwood Farm in Rockliffe.

The school set out originally to “prepare” young boys to attend a nearby boys' school at age 11. However, Elmwood also attracted the daughters of Ottawa's elite. Mrs. Philpot was the only teacher at first but soon hired a second to teach French.

The Rockcliffe Preparatory School changed its name to Elmwood and shifted its vocation from the “preparation” of young boys to the education of young women in 1923.

Retired to England in 1920, leaving Elmwood in the hands of Edith Buck for the next 31 years.

Donated a Bible Box, inscribed with the words “Pactum Serva” meaning “Keep the Faith” to the school, and it came with a plea to carry on the work she had started. (Janet Uren)