Congratulations to this year’s 17 new honourees to the Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour. Please join our host MSVU President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mary Bluechardt, as we celebrate virtually with special messages from donors Dr. Jim Spatz and John Flemming, and new honouree Dr. Noni MacDonald.
The Virtual Women’s Wall of Honour is a platform which provides an opportunity to feature an inspirational story and photo for each woman honoured with a leaf. People from all over the world are invited to share in the experience.
Explore the virtual wall and read the vignettes of these remarkable women.
Ada Ethyl Doreen Wiggins (Forbes) 1920 – 2010
Ada was our inspiration. As the heart and strength of our family, she devoted herself with unwavering love and humour enabling us to pursue our dreams and instilling in us that everything is possible.
Ada was born and raised in Edmonton. Upon graduating from secretarial school, she applied for a position at University of Alberta only to be told she was too young. Determined and confident, she replied “Can I try?” in the end proving herself and her abilities as a young woman in the late 1930’s. It was here at U. of A. she met her future husband, Bill. They were married and raised their family in Montreal, and Ada later retired to Nova Scotia.
Ada was a dedicated volunteer holding a number of executive positions in various community organizations. It was her volunteerism at the Beaconsfield Library that led to a rewarding full time career where she was frequently introduced to newcomers as, “and this is Ada … she IS the library”.
Knowledgeable, active and involved; she was an avid reader, quilter and lover of sport - as spectator and player, in particular basketball, tennis, golf, and represented NS at the 1998 Canadian Lawn Bowling Championships.
Dr. Alexis Joan Walker was a Professor in Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University and a leader at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). A woman with a wicked sense of humour and a love of great food, she was, among many things, the founding Chair of NCFR’s Feminism and Family Studies (FFS) section and a mentor to many students, colleagues, and staff in family studies and gerontology. Shortly before she passed away in July 2012, she received NCFR’s Felix Berardo Scholarship Award for Mentoring. This tribute is sponsored by members from the FFS section.
I am delighted to recognized Alice Gardiner for the Women’s Wall of Honour at Mount Saint Vincent University. Alice started her own business at age 30 and after 40 years, this successful business is in its 2nd generation. She shared her business knowledge over the years by mentoring many young women who years later thanked her for their success. Giving back to the community by volunteering was also a passion Alice had and I am proud of her commitment as a mother, wife and successful business owner.
Born 1908 in England. Arrived in Winnipeg 1910. She was an excellent student with high marks. As the sole support for her widowed mother who worked as a public restroom attendant, she had to leave school at age 13 to find paid employment. She cared for wounded WWI veterans at the Deer Lodge Hospital. Member of the Voice of Women and the Winnipeg Rock and Mineral Club. Skilled in needlework and many crafts. Voracious reader. She retired to B.C. with her husband Geoffrey and remained there until her death in 1995.
Her arm was
crooked, and her hand a claw a stroke condemned her, trapped her,
Just forty, with two young boys
at the foot of her bed
at the familiar woman redrawn
Speechless, all three.
She clawed herself back:
to walk, to talk, to smile â€“ but not quite straight.
Held her right arm in an invisible sling,
turned up curled fingers to make a pocket,
a place to wedge and hold and brace whatever needed
two good hands.
And her left hand learned to write
when letters were the only tie
between her soldier sons
Sometimes I write with my left hand
to be ready
should words be struck out of me.
As a successful Chemical Engineer Angela understands the impact of a great education. Her career has been focused in food production first with Proctor and Gamble (Duncan Hines) and now with Labatt Brewing. Working in a predominately male industry (brewing) has allowed her the opportunity to be respected for her knowledge and skill level. She has a special connection with the Mount with two of her four children enrolled in the University’s Business and Science programs. Along with Brian; who works at the Mount, their focus has been to encourage their children to be physically active while balancing formal education and life lessons.
Beloved mother of Judy and Crystal, proud grandmother and great grandmother. A loyal friend, a kind gentle lady.
My Mom was better known to her friends as Anne Brennan. She was born in Brown Hall, Ballintra, Donegal Co., Ireland. About the age of 6 years her family then comprising her father, George McBirney and her mother, Sarah Jane (McQuade) McBirney and their then six children, (two more of whom were born in Canada) immigrated to Omemee, Ontario. In 1914, they sailed from Ireland to Canada. The family moved to Toronto where Anne went to school and then commenced her career with Eaton’s of Canada. She was ahead of her time by being a travelling business woman in the 1930’s, covering the Maritime Provinces handling the insurance and security concerns of the company. While in Halifax on business, she met her husband, Dr. Maxwell D. Brennan, a medical doctor and surgeon. They subsequently married and had a family of four children, and lived in Dartmouth, NS.
Anne became involved in assisting in the communications, social and business side of the medical practise at the Dartmouth Medical Centre, all the while caring for her four children. She became the ultimate volunteer as well, with charities too numerous to mention, but she loved most her involvement with the IWK Children’s Hospital and the Canadian Paraplegic Association for which she did the PR, having taken courses at King’s University.
She enjoyed her time on many community boards, assisting in such things as the establishment of Neptune Theatre, community concerts and other cultural undertakings. She was also an artist and enjoyed this hobby in her retirement years. She became involved in the schools which her children attended and was on the initial MSVA Parent’s Guild for several years.
She was a devoted mother, wife, community leader, accomplished artist, friend to many and inspiration to all who met her. She will be long remembered in the hearts of those whose lives she touched.
Anne (Naugler) Leonard, 1919-2001, was born in Inglisville, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, one of 19 children. She was not able to achieve much formal education, but she instilled its importance in her children and grandchildren. She was an avid quilter, cook, and community volunteer.
Anne McGuire was President & CEO of the IWK Health Centre for over ten years until her retirement in the fall of 2014. She was also former CEO of the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority and the Nova Scotia Hospital. Prior to that, Anne held senior leadership positions in a variety of roles. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing from McGill University, a Master of Health Service Administration from Dalhousie University, and in 2014 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dalhousie University. Anne has taken a leadership role in health care associations provincially and nationally throughout her career. She has served as the Chair of the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations (NSAHO), and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Healthcare Association and was a surveyor with Accreditation Canada for 10 years. She also chaired the Nova Scotia Health Academic Council and the Professional Advisory Committee of the School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University. In addition she was co-chair of the provincial government’s Early Years Initiative.
Anne was recognized with the following awards:
Award of Distinction - IWK Board of Directors, 2014
Certificate of Special Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to the Improvement of Mental Health of Children, Youth & Families, Provincially and Nationally - Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2014
Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres – Contribution to Child Health Award, 2014
Atlantic Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame – Inducted in 2012
Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year – Atlantic Division, 2012
Top 50 CEO Award. Presented by Atlantic Business Magazine, May 2007, May 2008, May 2009, May 2010, May 2011
Big Brothers, Big Sisters – Community Mentoring Award, 2009
Outstanding Contribution Award, School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University, 2005
Bluenose Chapter, CCHSE Mentor Award, 2005
Award for Excellence and Innovation. Presented by the Bluenose Chapter, Canadian College of Health Service Executives, June 1997
Progress Women of Excellence Award for strategic leadership in reshaping mental health service delivery, November, 1997
In retirement, Anne Chairs Brigadoon Village Board of Directors, and is Vice-Chair of Mount Saint Vincent University Board of Governors.
My mom has always been my inspiration, confidante and trusted advisor.
Although I am the one with the degree in Public Relations, it is my mom who has the real intelligence when it comes to knowing just the right thing to do to resolve a sensitive situation or to deal effectively with difficult people. My mom has always been there to provide advice, guidance and direction. She has never steered me wrong. In fact, my mom is so well known at my place of work that my colleagues will often ask me to call her to ask for her advice and opinion. They are clearly jealous that she is MY mom. On one occasion, during a discussion with my boss about how to handle a particular problem, he turned to me and said, "Perhaps we should call your mother." He wasn't joking. My mom is my secret weapon. Over the years, I have done a lot of public speaking and in every speech my mother has figured prominently. After a while she started to wonder if she should get a "cut."
All joking aside, although we live in different cities, my mom is always with me, on my shoulder cheering me on, or the voice in my head saying: "You can do it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!" My mom has set a fine example that I have tried to replicate with my own children. I am so grateful to my mom for her selfless love and for instilling in me the drive to do my best. Every day, I pay tribute to her by being the best I can be and someone in whom she can be proud. The Wall of Honour is a fitting place to pay tribute to my mom, Anne Abbass.
Professionally, Anne is a wonderful mentor, teacher and inspiration to me. I've learned so much from her, and continue to do so every day - even after more than eight years working together. Personally, I'd be hard-pressed to find a better friend. She has such a wonderful sense of adventure. She enthusiastically embraces new experiences and challenges (like cheerfully traveling alone to a foreign country, where she didn't speak the language or know a soul). She has a terrific sense of humour that keeps me laughing. Always (and without fail), she's been there when I've needed her. She's the best!
We are proud to honour our wife and mother with a leaf on the Women’s Wall of Honour. Anne-Marie graduated in 1972 from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. She went on to teach Home Economics for 4 years at Saint Patrick’s and Bloomfield Junior High Schools in Halifax City before marrying Paul Ellis (Dalhousie, 1974) and moving to New Brunswick and to Newfoundland in 1978. She taught Home Economics for 11 years at the Central Newfoundland Community College in Gander, Newfoundland where both children, David and Carolyn were born. In 1989 the family moved to Ottawa, Ontario and Anne-Marie taught there until retiring in June 2016.
Dedicated by husband Paul; son David and daughter Carolyn.
A Cancer survivor who has generously volunteered her time to help numerous women , Annette was a member of the Ostomy Group since 1977 and President for 10 yrs. Her amazing story of survival appeared in the Ostomy Quarterly and Ostomy Canada in 1981 and 2005. She was honored by receiving the Maple Leaf Award. A cub leader for over 20 years, and a member of the Ladies Auxillary at the Yarmouth Hospital.
Actively involved in the Church, Lector, Lay Minister, brings communion to the sick and dying as a member of the Pastorial Team and has been a member of the Cursillo Movement for 35 years. Received Family of the year award in 2007-2008. She also continues to visit the elderly and mentally challenged.
If you lived in the East End of Saint John, New Brunswick anytime from the 1930's to the 1980's, you knew Wakim's Grocery. It was my mother Annie Wakim who, along with her mother, Emma Wakim, was the driving force behind that store.
Annie Mary (Wakim) Saab (1918-2000) was the eldest daughter of a Nova Scotian, my grandmother, Mary Anne ( Emma) Emin, born in Yarmouth of Lebanese parents. Emma Emin married Arthur Saleem Wakim and moved to Saint John New Brunswick. Annie was their first child; she was followed by seven sisters and a baby brother.
When my grandfather was struck with bad health the family had to fend for themselves, and Grandma started a small grocery store in the East End of Saint John. The store became "Wakim's Grocery". Annie eventually left school to help her mother with the store.
Women's issues were not terribly advanced in the 1930's. My mother and grandmother soon found that out. In those days the East End housed the Lebanese/Syrian community. This was a first generation, traditional, and a very chauvinist bunch who had little tolerance for strong women like Grandma and Annie - and in some instances they were somewhat hostile.
Annie not only worked in the store to help her mother, she took a job uptown at a "fancy confectioners" to learn how to "market" and to decorate store windows. She went to Boston for a few years and worked to send money back to her mother to help the family. When her father died in 1942, Annie returned to Saint John to work in the business full time.
By the 50's Wakim's Grocery was doing very well. My grandmother became ill and Annie took over the business full time on her own. She expanded the store's offerings and even had a small meat department.
Two women built a small business and made it a viable enterprise that paid for the educations of one sister who became an RN in the 40's, a sister who obtained a BA and had a long career in government, the brother who became a successful lawyer, and myself.
During those years, Wakim's Grocery was one of the focal points for the community. People would come to my mother for help with problems and she'd be calling a lawyer, a doctor, or whomever was needed. Mom knew everybody and everybody knew Mom. A stranger couldn't walk into the neighbourhood without Mom knowing who they were within ten minutes.
Many of Annie's customers couldn't afford to pay for their groceries. They were tradesman, painters, plumbers, and she let them have credit accounts at the store. If they had no money, Annie would get them to work on her properties, and that's how many of them worked off their grocery debts. Some never could pay them off, but she never saw anyone go hungry. She believed in her responsibility to her community.
And she never wanted any publicity. In fact when a writer from the Atlantic Advocate came by to do a story on her Annie threw him out of the store.
My mother was my driving influence. I didn't always appreciate her forceful personality. At times she could be tough, irascible, loving, single minded, but always devoted to her extended family and community. And she taught me to understand that a good education was not only a calling card, more importantly, it was a woman's freedom.
Our children never had an opportunity to meet their Nan McCarthy. She left us long before any of us wanted. But the day our daughter was born, we knew immediately that she would be Nan's namesake - little Annie Claire. The first piece of mail to arrive by Canada Post to Miss Annie McCarthy made us all smile. It had been years since we saw that name in print! Nan McCarthy is remembered for so many things. She was a friend to so many. Humble. Funny. Happy. Caring. Strong. This honour for Nan McCarthy is our way of saying Merry Christmas to my husband. Love Karen, Matthew & Annie.
Our Mom was born in 1923 in Montreal, QC. She relocated to Toronto as a young child where she spent her formative years, married and raised three children.
She moved to Halifax during the early seventies, a time when the women’s movement was gaining momentum. This changing dynamic was of great interest to her as a woman, who grew up at a time when few women were encouraged to pursue post-secondary education and often left a career once married. To her immense credit, Mom never gave up on her dream of getting a degree, and she saw this time of her life as an opportunity to achieve that goal.
To our Mom, The Mount was a welcoming beacon to fulfill her own personal journey of liberation. Mom enrolled in MSVU courses and, over several years, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with Distinction in 1984 at the age of 61. Surrounded by the learned women at The Mount, she felt enlightened, energized and connected. Her foray into formal post-secondary education at MSVU exemplified and nurtured her lifelong love and passion for learning. That has served as an example for us, her grandchildren and her broader community.
Into her 90s, Mom continues to educate herself and keeps involved in life with art, memory classes, bridge, volunteering, yoga, gardening, reading and honing her keen powers of observation and intuition. She also adores her six grandchildren whose lives she follows with great interest.
We can’t think of a better way to honour our special Mom by acknowledging her achievements through the MSVU Women’s Wall of Honour. She encourages, supports and believes in us, but more importantly, in herself. A wonderful role model for us all.
Jennifer, Barb, and Greg
For more than 40 years, Barb Kuester has been a mentor and friend to many, including dozens of students and graduates of Mount Saint Vincent University’s Bachelor of Public Relations program. An early champion of public relations education, she has helped build a generation of professionals. A true leader, Barb has defined her success through the success of those she has led. Many now ask themselves, “What would Barb do?” when faced with a challenging situation. Barb has lived her life with integrity, enthusiasm, optimism and an infectious sense of fun. From those with the great fortune to have known and worked with Barb, we are eternally grateful.
A tribute from Mary Pat Barry, Katherine Blake, Louise Campbell, Ian La Couvee, Darlene Crowell, Colleen Donahue, Lisa Frizzell, Matthew John, David Jones, Carla MacNeil, Katie Pearn and Katherine Roberts.
Barbara Goldbloom Hughes enjoyed a successful career for 30 years as a teacher (St. George’s School, Montreal; Fern Hill School, Oakville; Hillfield Strathallan College, Hamilton), Head of School (Fern Hill School, Burlington), and education consultant. She completed a BA in French Literature at McMaster University, a Master’s in Education at Harvard University, and advanced training in neurodevelopmental assessment. She combined her affinity for connection with children and her specialized skills to guide them and their parents. Her relentless generosity and warmth defines her engagement with others. She learned the value of voluntarism from both of her parents, Ruth and Richard Goldbloom, to whom she provided unending support and care. She remains committed to giving back – to community, family, and friends.
Growing up in the forties, in a large family headed by a young widowed mother, mom learned resilience. She knew education gave one possibilities and wanted for her children and grandchildren what she hadn’t had for herself-a university education. I remember after visits to the mother house, mom would take me by hand and tour the halls of Evaristus. No doubt she was planting a seed. I became a Mount grad. Years later as she envisioned the same dream for her granddaughters, she counseled them, “Don’t let a man into your life until you have finished your education.” Eyes may have rolled but they have their degrees. Her grandson continues to study. So this is for you mom, a thank you for the world of possibilities opened to us by your vision and love.
In your words…
"When on earth our play acting is over
From the stage we must say our adieu
How we lived while on earth, will decipher
The place He reserved there for you."
- Barbara Jeanne Barron Comeau
The Muise Family wishes to honour our mother Beatrice Muise. Mom was born in South Branch Newfoundland, on October 10, 1911. In 1931, she married Denis Muise. Together, they raised sixteen children; eleven sons and five daughters.
Her main role in life was a housewife, but most of all a mother. In those days most small villages were isolated so she had to be the doctor, nurse and teacher. No words can describe the love, care and kindness she gave to each and every one of us and to her neighbours.
Mom left us on May 3, 1999. We know she is on the wall of honour with God's angels. We love you Mom. You will always be on our wall of honour.
Bianca was born in Kentville and was raised and deeply loved by her great-grandparents, Elsie and Sheldon Davidson. She was a sweet and spirited little girl, who loved inviting everyone over for dinner.
An animal-lover from birth, Bianca took-in and cared for many pets, including: dogs, cats, Gladys the chicken, racoons, pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and her treasured guinea pigs. She had a beautiful, inherent connection with horses and found great peace with them. A talented rider, Bianca loved learning anything she could about training and caring for horses. She had a genuine love for each horse that she encountered and they loved her, too.
Bianca was a student at Mount Saint Vincent University and had aspirations of a career as a social worker. She was brilliant and determined. She bulldozed the obstacles in her way and worked towards her degree tirelessly until her passing. She wanted to be the social worker she never had growing up, and she would have been amazing.
Bianca was selfless, compassionate, generous, and kind. She would go out of her way to help anyone and gave whatever she could to those in need. She loved volunteering, and was delighted to spend a day with her great-grandparents every weekend. She is missed by all who knew her. She will never be forgotten. Her spunk, goofy faces, warm heart, sweet smile, infectious laugh, and unique sense of humour will live on forever in the memories of those who were blessed to know and love her.
We love you. We miss you. We can’t wait to see you, again.
Mother to five, wife of more than fifty two years, grandmother to eight, friend to many and caring and compassionate nurse to hundreds.
My mother taught us the importance of family, generosity, grace and education. She supported us in earning eleven university degrees and encourages us to work hard, do our best and 'be good.'
My mother is the unsung hero of our family. I thought this would be a fitting tribute to permanently recognize her influence and my love and admiration for her. Natalie Doyle Oldfield
Sister Margaret was unique in so many ways. She loved all her students regardless of their creed, ethnicity, etc. and embellished their lives with a variety of music teaching techniques. Her piano instruction included the classics, chording, improvisation, accompaniment skills, keyboard ensemble work, music theory and history classes and performance opportunities galore! Whether she was teaching Music Appreciation classes at Mount Saint Vincent Academy or in the Fine Arts Department at Mount Saint Vincent University, Margaret always accentuated the “enjoyment of music” with her students. While observing her Fine Arts Class at the University in the 70’s I’ll always recall hearing the “Swingle Singers” and “Switched on Bach” in her attempt to teach the characteristics of Baroque music. Her philosophy of ‘music enjoyment” preceding “music understanding” could also be seen in her favoring “Program” music of the 19th century ex. River Moldau, a tone poem for orchestra by B. Smetana. The students felt comfortable listening to the folk rhythms, songs and dances “as the river flowed toward Prague”. (even if they didn’t understand all the elements of the music).- Susan H. (Goldberg) Jones, former student and colleague
Sister C. Margaret Young, (formerly, Sr. Cecilia Margaret), completed her degrees in music at MSVC, B.Mus. and Boston University, M.Mus. and advanced music courses at other institutions including Mount Allison and the University of Arizona. She was the Head of the Music Department at MSVC when I attended there in the early 1960's. My roommate was taking music and we frequently would hang out in the “Music Room”, mainly due to Sister Margaret's magnetic personality. Being a specialist in piano and organ, she could have been a concert pianist, however, being a Sister of Charity, she served as a teacher and professor of music for 42 years at the Mount, in the Halifax, Dartmouth and Amherst, NS schools and in Bermuda, inspiring and encouraging her students in one of the finer things in life, her passion, music. She enabled those with whom she came in contact to experience joy and creativity in their own lives. Devoting her life to the music world, she gave papers at the International Society of Music Educators in places like Warsaw, Poland as well as serving as a member of the Board of the International Scholarship Foundation. Sr. Margaret also received the prestigious Mount St. Vincent Jubilee Award in 1980 in recognition of her significant contributions to music education. Her contribution to liturgical music is still uplifting souls as she plays the organ at the Veteran's Hospital Mass every Sunday, even in her advancing years. Her friends and former students will never forget Sr. Margaret's positive influence on their lives. She is truly a deserving addition to the Mount's Women's Wall of Honour.
It’s no wonder Carol MacCulloch has been a catalyst for change in the construction industry.
One could say the construction industry is in her genes and that she followed in the footsteps of generations of family members before her.
As part of her work with the Nova Scotia government, MacCulloch spent several years working with the Voluntary Economic Planning construction, manufacturing, mining and transportation sector committees. It was through this work that MacCulloch met a number of board members and volunteers with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and came to appreciate the value of not-for-profits.
During MacCulloch’s 20 years as president, CANS undergo significant change. “We were constantly evolving and growing with technology, the needs of the work force and current economic times,” she says. “It was a dynamic environment and I enjoyed the process of learning and continually expanding the Association and its services.”
“I had the opportunity to partner and collaborate on important issues such as the adoption of the national building code, on changes to the apprenticeship system and eventually to help create a construction industry strategy,” she says.
MacCulloch says that for almost 10 years there were only four staff and zero turnover.
In 2002-2003, MacCulloch worked with CANS Board Chair Tim Nobes to create a formal strategic plan by engaging CANS’ Development Executives group, past chairmen, board directors and members throughout the province. The input received fundamentally changed the organization and its relationship with both membership and the industry.
From the strategic plan grew the first version of CANSnet and the introduction of the Association’s continuing education programming.
In 2008, CANS partnered with the Department of Education and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to launch the Building Futures for Youth program for high school co-operative education students. The program aimed to promote awareness and increase the number of youth choosing careers in the construction industry.
In May 2011, MacCulloch ended her journey with CANS as she retired from her role as president. Although she is no longer seen in the office Monday to Friday, through her ongoing commitment to the construction sector, MacCulloch continues to be a driving force for industry change.
Carolyn Nobes embodies lifelong learning. Through her commitment to the application of learning in both her professional and personal life, she embraces creativity, wellness and community engagement. Most personally meaningful to her is her role as a mother and now a grandmother, being able to share her love of learning across generations. While at MSVU, she combined entrepreneurial concepts and academic strengths to grow innovative technological opportunities. New educational markets were reached nationally and internationally. She provided leadership during the early stages of the evolution of open and distance education from print-based to an online world.
I met Carolyn about 10 years ago when I was recruiting for a job. Within 15 minutes of meeting her I offered her the position. I've never done that before and probably never will again. It was immediately clear to me that she possessed rare qualities...a deep commitment to professional excellence, an insatiable desire to learn, a quick mind, sense of humour and warm and caring spirit. I owe her a great debt of gratitude. More than anyone she has contributed to my professional success and the growth of our company. And she has become a beloved friend to me and my family. I cherish the role she plays in my life.
Friend, Mentor, Director, Business Owner, Mother - Cathy wears and has worn many hats in her lifetime. A graduate of MSVU’s Early Childhood program she has dedicated nearly 50 years to her life’s passion - guiding, teaching, and supporting our youngest learners. For over 4 decades, as the director and owner of Chestnut Street Pre-School, she has played an integral role in the lives of more than 2500 children. An energetic, innovative leader, Cathy’s vision of early childhood education reached beyond the classroom to include such activities as dance, gymnastics, music, skating, swimming, and yoga.
Cathy’s support regularly reached the broader community through her willingness to offer help, encouragement, and heartfelt childcare advice. Her kindness and thoughtfulness continue to positively impact the lives of those around her, and it is these traits that have endeared Cathy to her family, friends, and community.
Chris Baert-Wilson proudly joins her daughter, Jessica Mae Ann Wilson, on the Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour. Chris has a long history of leadership and volunteering in her community, a legacy of caring that she learned from her mother, Betty Ann Baert, and subsequently shared with her own daughter. Starting at a young age, Chris would accompany her mother when as a volunteer with St. John Ambulance she staffed the first aid station at a local public arena. Later through participating and then volunteering within the Girl Guides of Canada movement, Chris’ commitment to community involvement and action was instilled. At age 18, Chris participated in an exchange through Canada World Youth where she spent time in India, volunteering in a small rural community building roads and working with young people, an experience that created an awareness of volunteering on a broader scale. Those early experiences are what led Chris to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and begin what would be a life-long career working with seniors, community health initiatives and a continued focus on volunteering that she embraces to this day. Currently as Provincial Director for Nova Scotia with Canadian Red Cross and as the organization’s Atlantic regional Senior Director for Community Health, she continues to support her community through humanitarian programs on a local and national scale, while still finding time to volunteer with organizations such as the Dartmouth Seniors Centre and United Way Halifax. One of her favourite volunteer memories is bringing her daughter Jessica with her to the Seniors Centre at a young age to help provide cookies, hot chocolate, tea and coffee to children and youth from Cadet, Scouts Canada and Girl Guides Canada units after they participated in annual Remembrance Day ceremonies at nearby Sullivan’s Pond in Dartmouth. The first year, Jessica was too young to serve hot beverages so instead was given a mop to clean up spills. Every year after, she would ask to move up to the more prestigious volunteer job of serving cookies and beverages, which finally happened only after she succeeded in recruiting new volunteers for mop duty. That tradition of enlisting friends to volunteer continues to this day and serves to ensure a steady source of ready hands to help. Chris believes volunteering to help others in your community and country truly illustrates leading by example, and she plans to keep doing so.
Mrs. Christina Hagan is a native of Ghana and a nurse by profession. She joined her husband in Halifax on November 30, 1967. After having three children, she decided to start her own business so she could have flexible time to take care of her family. Members of the United African Canadian Women’s Association (UACWA) decided to honor Christina because of her kind caring nature and sacrifice for others. Based on her philosophy of “loving everyone with all your heart”, she takes service to others to a different level. She helps everyone who needs help young, old, white, black- it doesn't make a difference. No one leaves Auntie Christie’s house without being fed or leaving with some form of a parcel. Are you hungry? Call Christina. Are you homeless? Call Christina. Are you lonely or sad? Call Christina. Do you need a word of advice on life? Call Christina. She is a role model for all of us. Her friends call her Mama Africa. No one deserves this honour more than Christina. We love you Auntie Christie. Ayekoo!
Cindy Wozney is both a successful business woman in real estate, but also someone who for over 43 years has been an inspiration and support for thousands of people. Cindy is a pastor’s wife and through this has been a comforter at bedsides of the sick, encourager of the struggling and compassionate helper for those who’ve travelled difficult roads. This kind of work is too often unnoticed and uncelebrated but is none the less part of what makes life better as a community and society. Cindy has been an inspiration to many and many more to come I am sure.
Wife, mother to five children and working full time, Mom still had the energy to plan holidays, speed skate, go camping, visit friends and motivate us to succeed. She was fiercely protective and proud of her family.
Always an adventurer at heart, she loved to make travel plans for her and her husband of over sixty years. She was always ready to pack for another adventure.
With grade six education, she reached the position of assistant manager of a large retail chain and was often asked to step in as the manager. We wonder what she could have accomplished with a university degree.
We, your children, honour you Mom.
"A graduate of the Mount with a Bachelor of science in Nursing in 1963 she is a wonderful wife and a great mother and grandmother. We had a great time trying to outdo the Sisters to sneak the odd hug"
Clem lived 104 years in Lacombe, Alberta, was of Metis origin from Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan, and raised a successful family of ten amid the Depression and its fallout. Always a strong female figure in my life despite the distance she encouraged education as a way to escape hard economic conditions. A member of the Women's Institute, she helped Lacombe's needy by fundraising through knitting and baking. "You can do a lot with a little" was her favourite quote to me.
Colleen Keefe Malone (1950 to 2011) was the oldest daughter of Leonard and Genevieve of Kinkora, Prince Edward Island. She, along with her eight siblings, actively pursued the attainment of higher formal education. In 1971, Colleen became the first woman to graduate with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island.
From a career viewpoint, Colleen chose the field of Human Relations and thrived in this capacity holding to a steadfast goal of promoting employee competency, fairness, and equality in the workforce. In her dealings with others, there was always evidence of a fun loving and caring approach to all those she encountered.
Her broader legacy reflected a woman who held a strong faith belief and left no doubt that she possessed a “family comes first” attitude towards life. Her family were all blessed when she married Len Malone in 1973. Through her life she supported her siblings and their children through thick and thin and was always generous with her time and talents. She was the family kinkeeper – always there to host family events and provide special care to her aging mother. Her spirit and example remain alive to this day and is best recognizable in the lives of her children, Jason and Leslie, and undoubtedly, in going forward, to continue on with her grandchildren.
Expressions of the positive mark Colleen left with others still exist with personal tributes given freely by her friends, family and former co-workers. Every year the Colleen Keefe Malone Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a returning Business student focusing on human resource management in her honour. Many physical testaments have been erected to also bear witness to her goodness, achievements and compassion such as a beautiful Terrace erected in her name at the University of Prince Edward Island; a classroom built in the village of Mikinduri, Kenya; a beautiful resting bench in her beloved village of Kinkora; and, of course, her recognition on the Women’s Wall of Honour at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Born April 20, 1961 to Allen and Pat Robinson (of Halifax), Danette was the flashy sister to Karen Kosendowski (Edward), Mary Lawson (Steve) and Daniel Robinson (Katherine), and stepmother to Lilly Hart.
Danette’s impact at the Mount on the people she worked both with and for during her 35-year career here was huge. She always knew how to make people feel good just by being herself and she had a personal flair which manifested itself in every fiber of her being. Danette could liven up a room with a funny story; could quickly see how others presented themselves and connect according to personal interests; and could sweet talk someone into happily doing a task for her.
Danette had a wicked sense of humor continuing even until the day she passed away. She would often comment that she was "well past her expiry date" in reference to her terminal diagnosis and she always saw herself as living with cancer versus dying of cancer. She was a shining light to her family, to her friends, and to the medical staff who got to know her through her journey.
So Danette, if you’re reading this up there, in honour of your memory and on behalf of your many friends and co-workers at the Mount whom you so positively impacted over the years, welcome to the Women’s Wall of Honour, a recognition you so richly deserved.
Profoundly ethical,Stalwart friend.
Darlene’s life mission is the betterment of children’s lives. She was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club in Spryfield for 11 years, Program Director at Bayer’s Westwood Family Resource Centre for 13 years, Community Kitchens Developer and office administration at Single Parent Centre, plus a single mom of 3 and a de facto step mom to many, many more. Her deep concern for children’s lives has altered their futures through her hope, love and compassion. Darlene volunteers countless hours in capacities that assist children and nurture strong, healthy communities
My mum’s mantra is ‘live, love and laugh,’ and she has taught me that and so much more. Growing up, I watched her work on our farm, preparing countless meals for the workers in the hay fields and acting as my father’s bookkeeper; from her selfless actions and her winning attitude, I learned the value of hard work and also to take time to pick the flowers along life’s path. She’s an excellent nurse, inspiring teacher, adventurous travel partner and the best friend I could have hoped for in life. For all that she has done for me and our family, it’s a privilege to honour her in this way.
Deanne MacLeod, educated in the Amherst school system. She graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree followed by an MBA and LLB degrees from Dalhousie University. She articled with the law firm Stewart McKelvey where she is now a senior partner practicing corporate law. Deanne has served on and was chairperson of the Mount St.Vincent alumni association and she served on the university board of directors completing a term as board chair. She also served on the Nova Scotia Art gallery board and was board chair. Despite her busy agenda she finds time to be involved with her two active boys.
A beautiful role model, talented, industrious, loyal, gracious, always encouraging.
It is fitting that Denise Nevo be honoured at a university known for its school of Education since for us, she exemplifies what a teacher should be. For many of us, her teaching methods encouraged us to redefine our expectations of ourselves. She gave freely of her time for her 35 years at MSVU to anyone who needed it, and demonstrated genuine caring for students and colleagues alike. For many of us, Denise made a long-lasting, positive impact in our lives, for which we can never properly repay her. Thus, we say thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. With love, from her former students.
Diana Carl, Ed.D. set up the first MSVU distance learning network in 1982. It began on cable and through her effort expanded to the Atlantic Satellite network and was eventually used by Dalhousie University. She authored 11 articles and papers based on the MSVU work, 3 of which were juried research and one of which received one of the top NUCEA awards for scholarly research. Two cover the women in distance education. She continues to publish research in the areas of technology-based learning and human performance improvement.
Dianne Kelderman, President & CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-op Council, Thinks Big! Whether on stage alone; sitting down with President Barack Obama; volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters; traveling the world; helping her Church; creating exquisite cakes or haute cuisine meals; Dianne is a genuine leader!
Dianne has a never ending thirst for learning. Educated at Harvard, Memorial, St. Mary’s, Southern New Hampshire School of Business, Manchester and Dalhousie Universities, earning her an MSc(Economics), M.Ed and a BA. In 2014 inducted into Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs Hall of Fame.
Dianne’s enthusiasm, intense drive, and community contributions continue to lead to high achievements. Nationally and Provincially respected for her forthright vision, entrepreneurial spirit and business innovation, Dianne is a true champion for Co-op and Credit Unions globally.
Donna obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Masters in Education in Counselling from the University of Ottawa. She also obtained a post graduate diploma in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from the Department of Law at Carlton University, Ottawa.
Donna worked for the federal government for over 30 years in three different departments and was certified by the Treasury Board of Canada as a Human Resource Planner. A particular focus of some of her work was outreach to minority communities and assisting them to obtain federal jobs as well as protecting their rights both in accessing employment and in the workplace.
While working for the Canadian Coast Guard, Atlantic Region, Donna was nominated by her employer for, and received, a YMCA Women of Distinction award.
Donna has been active in the community holding several volunteer jobs over the years including as a Common Food Advisor in Ottawa promoting safe and healthy eating; assisting an immigrant family from Sudan in many aspects of integrating into Canada; and tutoring immigrants in English on a one on one basis.
Donna has a passion for languages and learned French while working for the Coast Guard, then studied Spanish on her own both at home and in Spain and Costa Rica and has recently embarked on the study of Italian.
Born in Bridgetown, N.S. Doreen came to the HRM Region during the 1960’s. While raising a family she decided to take an Early Child Development Course and opened a Preschool in her home, which she operated for seven years. During that time, she was also involved in Girl Guides as a leader. In the 70’s she produced and hosted two local television shows, “Kids Time” and “Rangers On The Move”.
In the 80’s she accepted a position as Shopping Centre Manager and continued in this career for eight years. She worked tirelessly in the community on several committees and organizations, two of which she is a founding member, The Sackville Heritage Society and Cobequid Cultural Society.
Doreen’s art ability was recognized at a very early age and has played a big part in her life. In her later years she has realized her dream, with an Art Studio and Gallery in her home. She is currently a member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia and Contemporary Art Society of Nova Scotia.
Family is most important in her life, and enjoys sharing her love of art, gardening, quilting and genealogy with her children and grandchildren.
I honour my mother, Doris DeLory, because of her attitude and approach to life. She lives in the moment and makes the most of every situation she is in. My mom can talk to anyone - and she will - but she is as interested in hearing their stories as she is in sharing her own. She is social and above all else comfortable, both with herself and whatever company she's in. She loves to read, knows much about current events, is a wiz at crosswords, and sometimes circles the grammatical errors she discovers in magazines. These qualities and her curiosity inspired me to become a writer and editor. She never complains, she delights in her family, and finds joy in simple pleasures like a swim on a hot day or a pot of hot tea on the stove.
Doris Roswitha (Loehnert) Harrison came to Canada from Germany when she was 14 years old. She learned English with ease and excelled at academics and sports. She enrolled in teachers’ college in Ontario where she found her life’s work in the elementary classroom.
After marrying an armed forces soldier, she postponed her career to dedicate her time to raising her two children as they moved from place to place. After another posting to Nova Scotia and a change to requirements for teaching credentials, she enrolled at MSVU as a mature student while working part-time in the language lab as a German translator.
After graduating in ’86 with her BA and BEd, she returned to teaching. Generations of students benefitted from her knowledge, kindness, and dedication in the classroom. Now retired, she knits hats for preemies, sews dresses for girls in Africa, quilts for charity fundraisers, cares for ill friends, and sponsors children around the world.
She instilled life-long lessons in her children, including the importance of empathy and the power of giving. Her passion are her grandchildren, who adore their grandmother for her unwavering energy, warmth, creativity, and generosity.
With much love from her daughter,
Dorothy (Hooper) Bond grew up in London, England but, like so many others, she met her one true love during World War II and found herself crossing the Atlantic as a “war bride”. The family farm was a far cry from the streets of London but she carved out a new life and became a cherished member of a new family. In 1956, she and her husband, Robert, left the farm to take over operation of a general store. For almost twenty years, she ran the store and acted as postmistress, all while raising two children. Dorothy was a very astute businesswoman but never hesitated to also lend a hand to those in need.
Dorothy Anne Forward, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend and so much more. Our mom was a wonderful and strong woman and this wall of honor is just one of the ways we can recognize her for all that she did for us. She worked hard no matter what she was doing and in raising 9 children taught us to be kind, respectful and caring adults. She helped us to raise our own children and when the going got tough, we knew we could count on her time and time again. She supported and encouraged us even at times when she may have needed some of that herself, but never asked. Our mother lives within us in so many different ways throughout our family now. She taught us lessons that we will have for a lifetime and that we are now teaching our own children. She created family memories that we continue to share with our families but also showed us the value of family over and over. Her laughter and her love for simple things in life, her smile and her kindness, always wanting to help someone shows up in all of us today. She gave us a home, not just a house, but a home where we grew up and we knew she would be there when we needed her. She taught us about growing up and taking responsibility for ourselves, even though she followed us every step of the way, in her own quiet unassuming way. She was such a proud mother and grandmother, taking every opportunity that she could to speak about her family and their accomplishments. She was kind to everyone and made friends wherever she went and in everything she did. She held us together as a family, taught us forgiveness and we will always cherish and appreciate those strong family ties that she valued. Her strength helped us through some very difficult life situations and she showed us that we can deal with anything, no matter how difficult it might seem to be, we are strong. She was resilient, compassionate, caring, kind, giving, thoughtful and sincere in everything she did. She is and always will be more than a memory; she lives within all of us.
Dorothy Walker had a lifelong love of learning in all forms. She always took the opportunity to spread love, kindness, optimism and fairness to everyone she met.
"Dot" was an amazing nurse, mother and mentor. She will never be gone from our life to everyone she touched.
"If you don't get out of the box you've been raised in, you wont understand how much bigger the world is.” Angelina Jolie
Catherine is remembered for her extraordinary work in Canadian education from teaching at the Mount and becoming its fourth president to representing Canada on UN commissions. She led the Mount from collage to university and began the expansion of its physical facilities. She received the Order of Canada and honorary degrees from 13 universities. She was a proud Canadian and a fierce advocate for women's advancement in every profession.
I was fortunate to have Catherine as a teacher, but more fortunate to have her as a friend. It was a friendship forged when our families emigrated and became neighbors in a new country. The time in York Maine was spent in conversation, exchanging travel plans, and enjoying the excitement of each new adventure. It was the smile and twinkle in her eyes as she relished each idea and encouraged the next great journey that enriched so many days.
Her memory and smile still linger for all of us who had the privilege of her friendship.
Suzanne M. Reynolds
With pride, I honour my sister, Dr. Christine (Hall) Anthony. Growing up, Chris was always the one who mended the scrapes, calmed me down, and dried the tears. No surprise, then, that her first career would be RN. Then she put herself through both Med School and an MSc to become an emergency medicine specialist, an epidemiologist, a clinical practitioner, a renowned researcher and an educator. She is a born leader and teacher. Yet she is still the sister I grew up with in rural Nova Scotia: funny, smart, musical, athletic, creative, and generous. With love and admiration always! ~Terri Milton
Dedicated, by her long-time friend Sheila Brown, to the memory of a supportive colleague, committed feminist, insightful scholar, highly regarded teacher, advocate for social justice, avid reader, and shopper extraordinaire. A social psychologist by training, Dallas taught management theory and organizational studies at the University of Alberta and latterly was Head of its Women’s Studies program. Dallas recognized the importance of serving the educational needs of women affirmatively and had a special affection for the Mount and its mission.
Daughter, sister, partner, mother, grandmother, professional dietitian, accomplished scholar, teacher, and leader; Daphne’s passion for education, innovation, creativity, mentorship, student development and her profession are what motivated her to follow a career in academia at Mount Saint Vincent University.
She has been recognized nationally as a Fellow of Dietitians of Canada and provincially with an Honorary Life Membership Award from the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association. It is fitting that we, her family, acknowledge and celebrate the conferral of her doctoral degree (2013) on this wall. It was an important but long journey as she balanced her own education with work and her beloved family. Congratulations Dr. Lordly!
In addition to her many other contributions, Dr. Margaret Fulton led a visionary project that launched distance university education: the first in the Atlantic Canada region, Working with the government in Ottawa, the Province of Nova Scotia, and with regional satellite-based telecommunication services, teleconferencing services, and an early form of online computer networking developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and at minimal cost, she was the architect for Distance University Education via Television (DUET). Shortly after the inaugural semester, other Atlantic Canada universities approached the Mount to use the Mount’s system to reach key student populations. Among these was Dalhousie University.
The Mount’s signal was received as far west as Toronto, Ontario. The system was fervently used and celebrated by women in rural areas of Atlantic Canada. Thank you letters were received from women living in remote areas of Atlantic Canada; these touted Mount professors as “women warriors” with whom they identified. Because of Dr. Fulton, the Mount led the way in learning away from campus using technology; DUET paved the way for current policies and business models that govern online higher learning at the Mount and in other universities.
Dr. Emily Stowe was the first female physician to practice medicine in Canada and a lifelong champion of women’s rights. She was instrumental in opening the door to women’s equal pursuit of learning and entry into their professions.
She was forced to take her medical training in the United States due to restrictions on educating women in Canada. She returned to Canada in 1867, defiant and determined to practice medicine, she practiced without a license until 1880 when the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario granted her one based on her experience. Her daughter, Augusta Stowe-Gullen subsequently became the first woman to graduate medical school in Canada.
In honour of Dr. Emily Stowe’s advocacy and impact on women’s access to the profession, National Physician’s Day is celebrated on her birthday May 1st. She is also recognized by the Government of Canada as a Woman of Impact in science, technology, engineering and math.
Dr. Emily Stowe is remembered as a teacher, physician, and a suffragist, a defender of women’s rights and a champion for women in medicine.
Sponsored by Doctors Nova Scotia.
Dr. Felicia Eghan, MSVU professor, proud wife and mom of three, is a founding member of United African Canadian Women’s Association (UACWA), started in 1996 by women who sought to empower and support African immigrant women. Felicia, mentor, sister and friend has earned the respect and admiration of the community by sharing her time, talent and treasure to serve and make a difference. Most importantly, she was instrumental in securing MSVU as a site to run UACWA’s Cultural Awareness and Supplemental program, founded in 1999, and continues to be a staunch advocate for the program that runs successfully today.
We feel it very appropriate that Dr. Jane Baskwill be included on the Wall of Honour. She is an extraordinary woman. As an educator, Jane has touched many lives. Through her teaching, writing and community work she continues to inspire teachers, parents, children, family and friends. She has shown her children that reading can be an adventure. From digging Midnight Turkey traps to growing balloon trees in our front yard, we all learned that reality can be what you imagine. Because of her imagination and love of writing, we have sometimes found ourselves in a poem or a book. She is an inspiration and always a support. This is a small acknowledgement of all she has done.
Janice Graham-Migel, PhD, is an alumna with a life-long connection to the Mount. In addition to completing three degrees at the Mount (BSA ’78, BEd ’79, and MA in Educational Psychology ’83), she began her teaching career at MSVU in the Department of Secretarial Arts, was a researcher with the Institute for the Study of Women, served on the Board of the Mount Saint Vincent Alumnae Association (1999 - 2007), Co-Chaired the Metro Chapter Annual Dinner for several years, and was a member of the MSVU Board of Governors (2005 - 2007). Over the years, she also supervised several Mount students as part of their practicums and internships in the public school system. In her role as school guidance counsellor with the Halifax Regional School Board, Janice coordinated a Comprehensive Guidance and Counselling Program where her affiliation with the Mount continued by piloting a program at the junior high school level in partnership with MSVU, Ridgecliff Middle School, and the Nova Scotia Community College. In 2008, Janice completed a PhD in Educational Administration at the University of Toronto and continued her connection with MSVU by teaching courses on-site and on-line in the Faculty of Education and the Department of Child and Youth Study. As stated by Janice in the 2009 issue of MSVU Folia Montana, “My academic studies, as well as my teaching and research experience at the Mount, prepared me well for my work in Education over the years. It was a privilege to serve as a member of the Board of Governors and to be able to give back to the Mount through my volunteer work as a Board Member of the Alumnae Association.”
Janice’s name on the Women’s Wall of Honour was dedicated by her husband, Paul D. Migel.
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
-- Chinese Proverb
Dr. Kara Mitchelmore, DBA, MBA, FCPA, FCMA, CMRP, was born and raised in Nova Scotia. Kara’s drive to learn has taken her across the country and beyond in pursuit of research and education that have propelled her organizations to achieve significant results in a variety of disciplines. From her Bachelor of Arts (Soc.) from MSVU to receiving her Doctorate in Business Administration from Athabasca University, her career has merged her strategic approach to leadership and management with a desire to demonstrate excellence through example.
An experienced CEO and strategic leader, Kara currently leads the Market Research Intelligence Association where her dedication to accreditation programs that blend the highest quality professional standards with accessibility, innovation and support continue to encourage market research professionals across the country to achieve accreditation within their field.
Kara’s commitment to education and personal development have contributed to her success in leading the Certified Management Accountants of Alberta where she played a key role in curriculum development, recruiting and engagement and outreach which resulted in historic levels of satisfaction and engagement. Her understanding of professional credentials and the crucial role education plays in delivering meaningful professional development has led to significant contributions to the merger of Canada’s accounting disciplines into one, internationally recognized designation – the Chartered Professional Accountant.
As an instructor, a leader, a mentor, and a colleague, Kara truly embodies a commitment to life-long learning and is generous with her time and talent in helping others. A volunteer for a variety of educational councils, boards and local charities, including local food banks, Kara takes time to ensure she is giving back to her community.
Leader, colleague, mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend–Kara inspires others to achieve more, finds fun and joy in every day, and continues to find the treasure in a life dedicated to learning, development and growth.
Dr. Lourdes Heber is a self-taught artist of eclectic talent. After receiving an early retirement from the University of Saskatchewan teaching as a professor of nursing, she opened Lou’s Art Gallery. Her home gallery in Saskatoon displays over 250 paintings which reflect South Seas memories in pastel, oil, watercolor and acrylic. Her art has been critically appraised at the academic conference on Advanced Methodology Qualitative International. Lou’s paintings have been exhibited in both private and public collections.
Dr. Heber holds a Nursing Diploma from Cebu Velez College of Nursing (‘55), certificates in Home Nursing (’55), Psychiatric Nursing (’62) a Diploma in Teaching in Nursing (’71), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (’75), a Masters in Education (’78), a Doctor in Philosophy (’92) and a Doctor in Education (’93). She is the loving wife of Dr. Wesley Heber and mother to her two children, Jacqueline and Walter.
Lou is writing her second book on art and painting, contributing her sales to local and international charities. In her spare time, Dr. Heber enjoys reading, playing the piano, and horticulture. She says her degrees enhanced her self-esteem and creativity in teaching, and re-channeled her ideas into art form.
I wasn’t able to attend university right out of high school but rather went to work full time. I always felt something was missing. I longed for a university education but did not think it was possible. So when an advertisement appeared in the paper for a non- credit evening class at Mount Saint Vincent University, I signed up. The instructor for this class was Dr. Mairi St. John Macdonald. During our sessions, Dr. Macdonald saw my desire to learn and encouraged me to take a credit class. She helped build my confidence and showed me the way to obtain my goal as a mature student. Dr. Macdonald was always there with a smile and support when I needed it. It took a great many years but I succeeded and I owe it all to that first non credit class and Dr. Macdonald’s kindness, reassurance and faith. Thank you Dr. Macdonald.
A talented and skilled teacher, an insightful and inspirational mentor, and a generous colleague, quick to offer breadth and depth of expertise and unstinting support.
“The Mount has defined me.” From her days as a university student, to President of the Student Council, to serving as a Biology professor at the Mount, Dr. Flinn worked tirelessly to advance the role of women in science. As a female pioneer in Fire Ecology, she encouraged her students to become strong, intelligent voices in Environmental Science. Her roles at the Mount included Professor of Biology, Student Advisor, Research Director, and Dean of Students. Dr. Flinn was also elected to the Mount’s Board of Governors and to the Senate. In 1983 she was chosen to receive the prestigious Teacher Excellence Award, an honour she treasures to this day.
Marguerite was a Sister of Charity for 18 years, and then she was subsequently widowed twice. Throughout a career committed to academic excellence, she has also been a lifeline for her family and friends, some of whom have had a deep connection with her for many decades. She is a spiritual woman with unmatched compassion, resilience, a persistent quest for the truth, and a contagious sense of humor. She enjoys music, reading, sewing, quilting, knitting, puzzle solving, travelling and photography, all of which energize her curiosity as a true scientist. Her family and friends are delighted to have this opportunity to ensure that Marguerite’s legacy is celebrated on the Women’s Wall of Honour at the Mount.
It is my wish to honour Dr. Moira McConnell on her retirement from Dalhousie University in July 2015. For many years it has been my good fortune to have had Moira as a friend and as a colleague at Dalhousie Law School (now Schulich School of Law). I have witnessed and benefitted from the many facets of this remarkable woman’s talents, support, and generosity.
Moira is a traveller. Born in 1956 in what is now Zimbabwe, and subsequently living in many countries including Australia and Sweden, Canada has been her home base since the 1960s. Her early education was in the liberal and fine arts, before turning to law. After graduating from Dalhousie Law School in 1984, Moira articled with the Honourable Bertha Wilson, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She then undertook graduate studies, completing her PhD in law at University of Sydney, where she also lectured.
Dr. McConnell is a dedicated and highly productive legal scholar. Specializing in the law of the sea, she has written on a range of marine and environmental topics. Moira has also published important articles in constitutional law, women’s right to reproductive control, and corporate directors’ liability. Often, as well, she has ventured outside her academic “comfort box”, undertaking projects with United Nations agencies in connection with ship source pollution or as a Special Advisor drafting and assisting in implementing the Maritime Labour Convention.
Moira has always said she feels she has been privileged to have had so many interesting opportunities to work with law in action and to help to make changes in the law. In addition to her work at the United Nations, she was Executive Director of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia when it was established. In that capacity she led projects examining the ways in which the legal system can more effectively prevent domestic violence, improve the system for appointments to administrative agencies, or help ensure more inclusive jury selection processes.
Dr. McConnell has also played an important role in promoting the role of culture and arts as a sustainable economic sector through her role as Chair of the NS Film Development Corporation during an important period in the growth of the film and TV industry in NS.
But these are professional accomplishments and contributions. More importantly, no matter where she lives, Moira is a person who greatly values and keeps her friends over many years and in many parts of the world.
John A. Yogis, Q.C.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dr. Noni MacDonald is a pioneer in the medical community in Canada and internationally. She was the first female Dean of Faculty of Medicine at a Canadian Medical School, serving as Dean of Medicine at Dalhousie University from 1999 to 2004. She is currently Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre.
Dr. MacDonald was the first pediatrician in Canada certified in pediatric infectious diseases by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She founded the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Ottawa in 1981 and led the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Service at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, serving as Chief until 1999.
Her two current major areas of interest involve global health. The first is Vaccines: including vaccine safety, hesitancy, demand, pain mitigation, education and policy especially through her work with the World Health Organization (WHO). She co-founded the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in 2004 and in 2017 became a member of SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization for WHO), a committee which advises WHO on all aspects of vaccinology. She also chairs the WHO Decade of Vaccine assessment committee who's goal is to review the progress (or not) on the Global Vaccine Action Plan goals as a precursor for development of the next Decade of Vaccines plan which will be presented at the World Health Assembly in 2020.
The second area is MicroResearch: in 2008, she co-founded the Centre for MicroResearch International, a program that builds community capacity through focused research in developing countries and now also in Canada. This program helps interdisciplinary health professionals find local solutions for community health problems that fit the context, culture and resources.
Dr MacDonald has published over 400 papers; was the founding Editor- in- Chief of Paediatrics & Child Health for over 20 years, and a former Editor- in- Chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Dr. MacDonald has long been recognized in Canada and internationally, as an advocate for children and youth health and as a leader in pediatric infectious disease and global health. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and is a recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia.
Sponsored by Doctor's Nova Scotia
Dedicated by her husband, Dr. Donald Wyllie, to honour Dr. Sheila Brown, the Mount’s 9th President (1996-2006) and, subsequently, President Emerita. Under her leadership, characterized by a style open to diverse views, clear personal ethics and a sense of humour, the University increased its support to students through enhanced scholarships, a new residence and other services, maintained its excellent academic reputation, continued to innovate in blended learning and strengthened its international commitment. Her education at a girls’ school and at a Cambridge University women’s college heightened her appreciation of the benefits of an education that encourages everyone to reach their full potential.
Sheilagh came to the Academy from Buchans, Newfoundland and is both a graduate of the Academy and the University. She entered the Sisters of Charity is 1958. She received graduate degrees from the University of Alberta (MSc) and University of Calgary (Phd). She taught Biology at the Mount, chaired the department and on her retirement was recognized with the status of Professor Emerita.
But Sheilagh is more than an academic. She just is great fun and up for anything! She is deeply involved in social issues through her volunteer work. She is a true dilettante in the most positive sense! She loves physical activity, gardening, reading, and travelling and.... Post-retirement she continues to teach part-time at the Mount and currently serves as the Director of Administration for the Sisters of Charity Centre in Halifax.
Our mom seemed to have boundless energy as she raised her 15 children, always resourceful, managing to stretch the limited budget so that we were well fed, well clothed and happy. Her faithfulness to family was a life long commitment as was her engagement to her community, always maintaining an outstanding record of service. Abundantly proud of her linguistic and cultural heritage, she was the motivating force behind a long list of accomplishments aimed at the betterment of her Acadian community as a whole and more specifically Acadian women.
With this tribute we, her sons and daughters, proudly honour her life's achievements but most importantly we fondly remember her love and devotion to us.
Edith Gertrude Silver never stopped being grateful to the Mount for the education she received. Admitted tuition free as part of an initiative for mature students, this life-long learner enrolled in her first university course in 1975 at age 61. Ten years later, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish.
Edie, as she was known to her friends, dedicated herself not only to her courses but also to the Mount community as a whole. A gifted thespian, she co-starred with English professor Peter Schwenger in Michel Tremblay's Damnée Manon, sacrée Sandra, a performance described as “astoundingly courageous” by director Renate Usmiani. In Spanish, Edita delivered another outstanding performance as the old woman in Federico García Lorca's play Yerma.
After the death of her devoted husband Ralph, she continued to live independently in their Olivet Street apartment. In her 90s, still motivated to learn new things, she would walk to the Keshen-Goodman Library to take computer courses.
Edie died on June 15, 2012 at the age of 98. Although few family members remained, the chapel was filled with caring friends anxious to celebrate her life. She was described as all about giving, thanked for her encouragement, laughter, and compassion for others, and chided for having set extremely high examples for those of us left behind.
This is the legacy of Edith Gertrude Silver, a woman who inspires us all to be better and do better than we thought we could. We are proud to place her name alongside those of other exceptional women on the Mount's Women's Wall of Honour.
Carole A. Hartzman, Edith's Friend and Spanish Professor
Eleanor was a proud alumna of the Mount (ACAD ’29), a survivor of the Halifax Explosion (her father was Vincent Coleman), an avid tennis player and an accomplished musician (piano). She was a devoted Catholic and belonged to a number of Church organizations.
Mum was a very supportive, devoted and loving wife to her husband Jim and mother to her four children (all university graduates – a fact that gave Dad and Mum great pride).
Mum took great joy and delight and was a cherished grandmother of four and also a great grandmother.
Eleanor loved her “Mount Days” where she received a wonderful education by the Sisters of Charity. While attending the Mount, Mum made many lifelong friends. She loved to attend the Annual reunions.
Her family will always remember her as a loving, caring, sensitive woman with unshakeable values.
Eleanor's life was full, studying as a nurse in Montreal, she practiced nursing for 40 years in Montreal, New York City and on the Miramichi in New Brunswick. After raising 6 children and retiring from her nursing career, Eleanor became an active member and participant in the Miramichi Senior and Retired Nursing Association and active in business carrying on from her husband Alphonse in 1986.
Best known as a private person keeping family first; a loving, encouraging and giving mother, grandmother and great grandmother; a steadfast and caring confident to friends and an intelligent and conservative business woman in the Miramichi Community.
Our mother, Betty Anderson, is an inspiring gifted, selfless. and loving care giver to everyone in her life.
She graduated from the Registered Nurse's Diploma Program at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax in January 1965, she was president of her class and president of the student council. She received the prize at graduation for the student making the greatest contribution to the School of Nursing. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a Diploma in Public Health Nursing in 1966 and following this was appointed Nurse-in-Charge of the Northside Branch of the VON, North Sydney. Following this she became the VON Liaison Nurse in charge of discharge planning at the Victoria General Hospital. Later in her career, after a Nursing Refresher Course, she became interested in Psychiatric Nursing while working as a Float Nurse at the Victoria General Hospital. She then went to work in the N.S. Chief Medical Examiner's Office doing Psychological Autopsies as part of a suicide follow-up program. She helped establish a Suicide Support Group at Saint Andrew's Church, Halifax, as a result of this.
She is a care giver to the core, giving endless amount of love and nurturing to her family and friends, especially to her husband, John, and two children Heather and David and her five grandchildren.
She has always enjoyed being involved in community work: canvassing for the Heart and Stroke or Cancer Society and Kidney Foundation, being a Brownie and Girl Guide leader (being a Gold Cord Guide herself), being an active member of the IWK Hospital for Children Auxiliary, President of the PTA at Gorsebrook Junior High School, being on the Board of Mental Health Nova Scotia and Northwood Home Care and being on various committees of Saint Andrew's United Church.
She has always taken a keen interest and participant in sports such as swimming, golfing and skiing. Taking Art lessons and painting with oils and watercolours was also an interest she had.
Betty is a true friend and beloved by everyone who meets her.
We honour her with this gift on her 70th. Birthday, Sept. 13th. 2013.
When my parents told my Grandmother I had nominated her for the wall of honour she asked, "Why?"
Born in 1914 Elsie grew up in Guysborough, Lunenburg and Halifax counties. She left school in Grade 8 and went to work to help support her family. She continued to work until she married and had children.
While the story may seem mundane, the inspiration is in the details..
In her teens she pulled a drowning man, twice her size, from the Northwest Arm. A true heroine.
She supplemented her family's income, while raising the children, by doing clothing alterations for family and friends. A pioneering entrepreneur.
She has lived through war, family tragedy and personal infirmity. The epitome of perseverance.
Her life shows how a life lived can be an inspiration to generations.
Emma is our inspiration, she is our heartbeat, and she is our friend. Inspiring -- because we cannot believe the woman she has become: a feminist; an articulate defender of human and prisoner rights; and an exceptionally kind person. Our heartbeat -- because we love her so very much and cannot imagine life without her. Our friend -- because she is funny, generous, and a delight to be around. Emma is our daughter -- we don’t know where she came from, but we are so very proud.
Julie McMullin and Scott Arnold
When our mother, Eileen Dickie Baillieul, died in 1967, leaving four children under the age of 10, her sister, our Aunt Esther, ensured that funds were put in place for our further education. Aunt Esther is the family historian, the genealogist, the traveler and the photographer. Without her, we wouldn't have had such a varied pictorial history of our past and knowledge of the world beyond Nova Scotia. Esther's benevolence and foresight provided an invaluable educational legacy for me and my siblings, enabling us to spread our wings and go successfully into the world. Thank you, Aunt Esther!
Eveline Murray born November 28, 1953, Died, August 9, 2004.
In the 1970s Eveline Unger, as she was known then, was the first Beaver Leader in Canada, during the development and the start of the program, with the 58th Colony. Eveline Murray became involved with foster children. Over 300 children were helped. Eveline saw a need for assisting with children with alcohol fetal syndrome. She learned about AFS and later taught groups on the subject. Before her death, Eveline was instructing women on healthy ways to grocery shop and cook through the YWCA.
Evelyn Elizabeth Deveau 1911-1997
Conversations with Evelyn could commonly veer into any number of topics from feminist theology to Fermat’s Last Theorem, evidence of her irrepressible curiosity and love of ideas. She was a generous, open woman who easily befriended everyone she met whether a next-door neighbor or a seatmate on a plane. She was a devotee of classical music and a talented graphic artist. Her grandchildren remember a kind woman who listened to them and took them seriously. She had a strong disposition to contribute to the making of a better world by personal action. In the 1960’s she was a Block Captain for the March of Dimes. Later she joined Common Cause, the political advocacy group founded to establish greater accountability in political institutions. She threw herself into the work, writing, calling, and enlisting others in support of progressive legislation in both Washington and Boston. Evelyn is honored today by her legacy, taken up by her children and their families: an appreciation for the arts and sciences, a thirst for knowledge, a humble spirituality, a love of neighbor, a respect for truth, and a commitment to social justice.
One of Nova Scotia’s great literary treasures is Evelyn Richarson’s We Keep a Light, her 1945 Governor General’s Award-winning memoir of life married to a lighthouse keeper and raising a family on Bon Portage Island near Shag Harbour. Born on the Emerald Isle in 1902 and raised on Cape Sable Island, Evelyn attended Halifax Academy and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She became a teacher before marrying and moving to Bon Portage Island, where she lived for 35 years, when the lighthouse was mechanized. During that time, while she raised three children and helped run the lighthouse, she began writing, penning several books and articles, many which chronicled her experiences on the remote island. She wrote in winter when there were few interruptions from visitors. After leaving the island, she lived in Barrington, Nova Scotia until her death in 1976. Today, the prestigious Evelyn Richardson Memorial Non-Fiction Award is presented annually to the best published non-fiction work by a Nova Scotian author. The Evelyn Richardson Memorial School in Shag Harbour was named in her memory. Bon Portage Island is now owned by Acadia University and is used by students for biological research.
Evelyn May Young, was a woman of great honour, integrity, and grace. Born in Jamaica, West Indies on August 1st, 1911 and died January 1st 2003, in Ontario, Canada. Her enthusiasm for learning, made education an integral part of her life. A legacy left for her children and grandchildren.
Fannie was born in 1875 in Halifax, NS. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Our grandmother (we called her Nan) had many sorrowful experiences in her early married life. She lost her youngest son to diphtheria in 1916 and her heroic husband, Vincent Coleman, in the Halifax Explosion, as well her home and all the family possessions. Nan was seriously injured in the Explosion along with the baby of the family. After a long hospital stay she was reunited with her children and she started the long road to rebuilding her life.
Nan and her sister started a very successful millinery business and eventually she bought a new home for her family. Nan never looked back on the sorrows in her life, but always had a very positive attitude. She was a very active member of the ladies societies of St. Thomas Aquinas Church, an avid bridge club member, a wonderful gardener and had a wide circle of friends. Nan enjoyed her life to the fullest especially when her grandchildren were around. She loved to organize family parties and always a good card game of “45’s” to end the evening. Nan was a strong resilient woman who was a wonderful source of inspiration for her mental strength, strong personality and love of family. She died at the age of 92, having lived a full and active life. All her grandchildren were proud to call her Nan.
This tribute was submitted by two of her grand-daughters, E.Diane Smith, BScN ’64 and Ann L. Finlayson, BA ’68 BEd ’69
She was an artist, Wife to Dr. Prescott Creelman, mother, grandmother, teacher…an inspiration.
Frieda’s paintings show the strong influence of Arthur Lismer, her teacher. In 1940, she was trying to start a children's art centre, being a great believer in the importance of early arts education. Frieda helped form the Art Society of PEI, serving as its president in the 1930s and again in the 1950s.
Frieda died of cancer in 1967. Soon after, the Charlottetown chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women named a scholarship in her honour, recognizing her contribution to the arts.
My Mom is generous, hospitable, fierce defender of her family and equally proud of them… and “a trooper”. She had to leave school in Grade 10 to work in her father’s store. Nevertheless she and my dad encouraged – rather insisted - all nine of us finish university – with some success - as we collectively have 23 university degrees. My Dad died suddenly at age 51. With four of us still at home, cows to milk, potatoes to dig … life wasn’t easy but her faith sustained her as did her children. She has many descendents: 9 children, 25 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren who love her dearly. Turning 88 this year, she has seen a lot of change but the one that remains constant is her welcoming personality. She deserves to be on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
When our Mom passed away in 1995 the Daily News headline read “Dartmouth Loses Former First Lady”...it was a most deserved title, but one we are certain she would have shied away from.
Mom never wanted the spotlight that came with being the wife of Dartmouth's Mayor ( Dad was Mayor from 1976-1985). We can recall one time when she and Dad were going to this special dinner and she said “Danny can we sit at the back of the room”....Dad replied “we can't they are honouring me”.
Born in New Waterford and raised in Saint John, NB Mom met Dad there during World War II when he came through the door of the naval area where she was working and she remarked to her girlfriend “that is the Man I am going to marry.”
They would spend the next 51 years together.
It was their undying love that was reflected onto us as we grew up.
Mom was always there for us no matter how young or old we were. We learned a great deal about how to treat one another, as well as others in society. In our house everyone was treated equally and we were taught that was what you did with others in society.
She felt her role as a homemaker was certainly one of her choosing. It was Mom who helped us settle our little disputes, passed on advice and always made certain we were home safely from a school dance or outing.
When we were younger Mom became a cub master at the local Church and of course each had to join. It was her way of keeping us involved in community activities and the importance of helping those less fortunate. Her teachings were not lost on us.
She worked tirelessly for the St. John Ambulance organization, again displaying what she had taught us...”to help others.” For many years she was also involved in the St. Paul Church Women's Association, religious education and of course the annual St. Patrick's Day show.
For Mom (and Dad) her faith was most important and she wanted to make certain that this instilled in her sons. We can remember getting outfitted for our altar boy uniforms. Making certain we went to Mass on time and this presented certain challenges of walking the two plus miles to serve an early morning church service before we went to school.
She was always our biggest supporter, no matter if it was a hockey game, a football game and of course school graduation.
One of the highlights we are certain of her life was meeting Pope John Paul II when he visited Halifax. Dad was Mayor at the time so they were in a special receiving line and advised that “you do not talk to the Pope unless he speaks first”....that protocol did not apply to Mom. When she went to shake his hand she calmly said “God Bless You Dear One”...this same message was on the memorial card under her picture when she died.
Georgette (Lapierre) Bergstrom 1919-2011, twelfth of fifteen children from Ste Madeleine Quebec, moved to Danielson Connecticut in the 1920s when her older sisters began work in textile factories. New state education laws made Georgette the first in her family to graduate high school and fostered a love of life-long learning. A navy wife, she completed a BA (1964) and BEd (1965) at MSVU and she began a teaching career. When her husband joined Canada’s Foreign Affairs, Georgette continued to tutor Canadian and foreign nationals including a family member of the Shah of Iran. She was a quiet, patient and nurturing Educator.
Geraldine McKinnon is an inspiring woman of great generosity, integrity, optimism, intelligence and grace. As a mother and grandmother she has been the ultimate example of how to live life to the fullest. By never setting limits on herself she has taught her family that everything is possible. With her boundless enthusiasm, determination and joie de de vivre, no wall has ever been to high for Geraldine to climb. She has followed her own mother’s model of resourcefulness, hard work and quiet faith and has embraced life’s challenges and rewards. Geraldine has instilled in her children the value of education and the importance of lifelong learning.
Originally from Gaspé, Québec, Geraldine has spent her married years in Nova Scotia with the love of her life, Alex McKinnon. Although she has never lost her Quebécoise “je ne sais quoi”, she wholeheartedly embraced her life in Halifax and Cape Breton, always opening her home to family and friends, adding an extra seat at the table for anyone who dropped by.
Above all, the essence of Geraldine is captured in her role as a mother, wife and grandmother. She has created a beautiful life filled with love, laughter and the delicious aroma of her signature homemade porridge bread, which has brought sustenance and comfort to many grateful recipients far and wide. Geraldine continues to nurture her family and all those who meet her through her warmth, kindness and never-ending love, support and compassion.
Amazing – this is the word that is top of mind when describing Gillian. She’s an amazing colleague, friend, mother and partner, and these are just a few of the ways she contributes to the world. Her smile brightens up any room and is matched only by her generosity. She is both kind and fierce, a wonderful combination that sometimes catches people by surprise. She is the best of the Mount and represents the university with pride. She has a lovely way with words and people. Gillian is an amazing addition to the Women’s Wall of Honour.
My mom, Ginnie Vrooman, is a successful business woman and has lived by this philosophy to make definite her priorities in life.
She was a stay at home mom until we were in school when she started working part time and going to the Mount part time to earn her degree in Business Administration. She completed that degree (with Distinction) shortly after my father suffered a debilitating accident that left him with brain damage.
She then went on to form her own company which provided employment to my father who was unable to continue his career with the federal government. She supported all three of her children through their post-secondary studies, many times assuming role of both mother and father.
Ginnie is a rare mix of capable business owner, loving and playful mother and grandmother, and loyal friend. She has taught me that when trying to make choices between furthering my career vs tending to family, there is one phrase that helps me make the right decisions. Family first.
She has been an inspiration and an incredible role model and it is with great pride that I honour her in this very special way, on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
The Centre for Women in Business team couldn’t think of a better way to recognize the accomplishments of Gordia Macdonald by adding her to the Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour.
In 2004, Gordia Macdonald was enticed to join the Centre for Women in Business (CWB) team as the Valley Regional Business Facilitator. A former nurse, Gordia graduated from the Victoria General in 1972. Her nursing career led her to positions at the San in Kentville, NS and Northwestern General, Toronto, while her husband Fred finished his studies. Two daughters later, Zoe and Danielle, Gordia would eventually become co-owner of Country House Catering with her sister Tanya which they operated out of the Annapolis Valley for many years. They were well known for their attention to every detail and expert service. These skills were a perfect transition to her new role with the CWB which she did for fifteen years. Her compassion to help women start and grow their businesses was evident. With hundreds of business advisories behind her, Gordia became well known in the women’s entrepreneurship eco-system throughout Nova Scotia, across Canada and internationally. Gordia loved to ‘rattle the bushes’ in rural Nova Scotia for women business owners – anxious to help them along in their entrepreneurial pursuits. She was a proud team member of the CWB and loved the work to support women business owners. Gordia fully supported the integration of diverse, under-represented groups in corporate supply chains and was an early pioneer in her work to develop the early programs of supplier diversity in Atlantic Canada. We know Gordia will continue to nurture those around her, especially her grandchildren Liam and Fiona who affectionally call her Lala.
Grace April Glenn embraced her difficult life with an open, resilient heart. Mother of five children, she worked as a nurse in Western Canada and died in Winnipeg on Christmas Day, 2007 at the age of 85. Generous, tough, and bright, Grace was a champion of the underdog and the disenfranchised. Her daughter, writer Dr. Lorri Neilsen Glenn, remembers the many ways Grace fostered creativity and strength in all her children.
I do not often express my personal feelings but this is an opportunity that should not be missed. I am delighted to recognize Gwen Haliburton as a most appropriate nominee for the Women's Wall of Honour at Mount Saint Vincent University. More than 50 years ago, I fell in love with Gwen. In the years since then I have always been proud of her commitment as a wife, mother and volunteer. Our community has benefitted greatly from Gwen's leadership and I have watched as she quietly mentored many young women, her only reward being their success. She is part of me and I feel exactly the same today as I did those many years ago.
Born in Halifax in 1917, “Aunt Gwen” is an inspiration to all who knew her. Gwen was employed for many years as a stenographer in the Clerk's Office of the City of Halifax and was a survivor of the Halifax Explosion. She was a pillar of support to her family over the years, caring for her mother and sister Josephine during prolonged illnesses. She is best remembered by three generations of nieces and nephews and their families, for her keen interest and enthusiasm in all aspects of life, including her beloved Toronto Blue Jays. A devoted family member, she never hesitated in offering advice, wise counsel and encouragement, including advising against a career in politics. Her optimism and faith in God epitomized her life, her extended family will miss her daily prayers for them. Gwen lived a beautiful and rewarding life, passing away peacefully at 101 years old on December 23, 2018. Gwen leaves behind a legacy of love and caring, we are forever grateful for her generosity and inspiring spirit.
Born in Peterborough, Ontario, she earned bachelors and masters degrees in education from MSVU. Her fields of interest and accomplishment embraced elementary and inclusive education enhanced by her specialty in literacy. Heather served her 34-year career as an elementary school teacher in McAdam, Bathurst, and Belledune, then as principal in Janeville for many years, all in New Brunswick. Heather was named Canada’s Outstanding Principals in 2011. She completed her career as president of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association followed by president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation in Ottawa.
Born on July 11, 1971, our cherished mom, wife and daughter, Heidi Stevenson, died in the line of duty as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on April 19, 2020.
Heidi grew up in Antigonish and was known to be a smart, independent girl who always stood up for herself. Heidi was an active member of the local 4-H club and an avid reader and baker in her youth. Taught by her parents, Avon Brophy and David Burkholder, to embrace her creativity, be open-minded and to always be herself, she carried these traits with her throughout her life and because of them was always up for a challenge or to try something new.
Heidi graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Science in 1993. Her time at Acadia brought the start of many lifelong friendships and the beginning of a new interest in rugby (a sport she would later coach as part of her dedication to inspiring young girls and giving back to her community). During her part time job with Campus Safety and Security, her passion for policing was born.
Heidi loved her chosen career. There was no doubt in her mind when she graduated from Acadia that her next step was going to be the RCMP. Reaching that goal wasn't always easy but her incredibly strong work ethic, driven personality and resilient nature got her to exactly where she wanted to be. She held many different roles throughout her 23 years as an active member - most notably her time spent representing the RCMP across the continent as part of the Musical Ride (a job she took without even knowing how to ride a horse). She loved her time working at headquarters as a Drug Recognition expert and was especially proud of her expertise in that area and the respect the judges had for her professionalism in court. Whether it was general duty, community policing, communications or training, Heidi dedicated herself to her role, turned her colleagues into friends and was a role model for many in the communities she served.
It was "the most beautiful smile I'd ever seen" that first attracted Dean to Heidi when she worked as a High School Liaison Officer at Cole Harbour District High in 1997. Their connection was strong from the start and eventually led them to pause their careers and take a one-year leave of absence to focus on each other and teach English in Japan. Their life together has truly been filled with love, laughter and adventure. Heidi and Dean cherished their family ski trips, beach walks in Stanhope, P.E.I. and one-hour kid-free interludes for a glass of red wine. The feel of her hand holding his, the way she called him "Hon" and the gentle pecks on the cheek she'd give as she snuck off to work in the morning will be held in Dean's heart forever.
Even with her extensive list of accomplishments in both career and life, Heidi found her one true calling when she became a mom. She cherished Connor and Ava and they cherished her. From birthday parties to special occasions to holidays, Heidi had a way of making everything special and fun (even if it meant cooking and decorating in the middle of the night). When she spoke of Connor and Ava her eyes lit up. When she stood next to them, she had her arms around them. When she cheered them on at hockey games, she cheered the loudest.
And when she tucked them into bed at night, she always took the time to cuddle and review their day. One thing Connor and Ava always knew was just how much their mom loved them. Heidi's grit and determination live on in Connor and her beautiful smile in Ava.
Heidi was the neighbor who waved at everyone. She was the busy parent who volunteered at the school. She was the friend who delivered cinnamon buns and homemade bread. She was the second mom to many kids who came over to play. She was the gentle smile when you needed it most. Heidi made an impact on this world and words can't begin to express how much she will be missed.
"You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are." -Melissa Etheridge
We honour you because...
A tribute to Mom: It was from you that we learned to think, feel, imagine and believe in ourselves. You loved unconditionally and your talents were endless. You dedicated your life to our family and were an incredibly loving, gracious wife, mother and grandmother.
A tribute to Grandma: You never ran out of hugs, patience or cookies. We could watch you knit for hours, the hats and mittens, for us, and children you did not know. Your compassion towards others was an inspiration to everyone.
Thank you, for your love and guiding us to be the women we are today.
In remembrance of my grandmother Helen, she was born in Milton, Nova Scotia in 1918. She was a mother of five children and died much too early in her life. She was a smart, strong and inspirational woman that I wish I could have had the pleasure of knowing.
Helen was described as a marvelous woman, an influential person and the last of the true ladies. She was also our matriarch. She touched people’s lives and made them richer, whether it was her family, neighbours, fellow parishioners or the children in her Brownie troop and Sunday School classes over the years. Most of all, she defined her life by her family and our happiness. No matter what we did, she supported us without judgement. As her family grew and she became a great-grandmother many times over, she often commented that she was having a hard time keeping up with her prayers for everyone.
Her greatest sense of strength was her faith. She was an institution at the Harmony-Camden United Church outside of Truro, NS. The members of the church loved and admired her, and she returned those heartfelt sentiments ten-fold. Not only was she devout, she was also intelligent and wise. She was a teacher in Harmony and later in a one-room schoolhouse in Camden where she taught some of her own children. English was one of her interests, but she was a true whiz at math.
She was known for her humility, sense of adventure and strong work ethic. She was also incredibly kind and selfless. All told, she took care of five generations of Raths and mentored us. If we have amounted to anything, it’s because of her. She once quoted Franklin Jones as saying: “Love does not make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” She said our love made her ride a very pleasant one, and was ever thankful and grateful. In reality, it’s her love that lives on in us and makes our lives worthwhile.
With much love from her family
Helen Rhoda Shaw (née Fox) was born in Bedford in 1925. At the age of 21, she married Windy Hartlen. The next year, when Helen was six months pregnant, Windy tragically died after an emergency appendectomy. Forced back to work after her daughter, Wendy, was born, Helen turned to foster care for her little girl. In 1955, Helen married a British sailor, Dennis Shaw, who was on loan to the Canadian Navy in Halifax. She was finally able to take Wendy out of foster care and with Dennis, Helen bore another three children – Robert, Barbara and Joanne. She passed suddenly in 1990 due to heart complications at the age of 64. Her remarkable resilience and attitude when facing adversity will forever be admired by her children and family.
My mum and granny taught me the value of education, the importance of family, the need for diplomacy, and the restorative benefits of a strong cup of tea. They are the unsung heroes of my family and I thought this would be a fitting tribute to permanently recognize their influence and my love for them.
Teacher, Artist and Mentor
Taught resource, Learning Centre, Reading recovery to Elementry School children for 35 years
Currently a photographer and watercolor artist.
Mother of 3 grown children
Mentor and teacher to thousands inside and outside of classroom.
When Allison’s father passed away, Allisons mother had difficulty adapting. Itzi helped Allison with her strength and was a silent supporter until the family was able to get back on its feet. Allison would not be the woman, mother and teacher she is today without her support
Ours was the safe house. You know the one that all the kids knew about, the one with the milk and fresh chocolate chip cookies. As my brother, sister and I grew, ours was also the home where our friends felt safe when their homes were not. That was Mum. Of course she could also be a real she-bear. Mess with her children and you knew the wrath of Iris. The youngest of seven, Mum grew up in depression era Saskatchewan. She completed her schooling in Alberta and spent two years with friends working and travelling in Europe. The Queen’s coronation, mass at the Vatican, a love of travel passed down to her children.
A move to Nova Scotia in 1963 for our Dad, Edward’s work, saw Mum leave family behind but never her love for them. Two cross Canada driving vacations in the 60’s were proof of that. When Mum was not baking she was teaching multiplication tables, using flash cards or helping with that essay due in the morning. On rainy days everyone looked for the station wagon that would drive them safely home after school. That was Mum.
After Mum was told she had Celiac Disease, she attacked her diagnoses the same way as everything in her life, with both feet in. She was a major contributor to the newsletters and the friendly voice on the Celiac help phone for almost 25 years winning her the Lieutenants Governor’s award for volunteerism. After Dad’s death, Mum continued playing bridge, enjoying the company of her great grand-sons and baking for Celiac fundraisers. At the young age of 85 this dynamic woman was silenced by a stroke. She would be honoured to know her name will be forever engraved on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
Love Patrick, Michelle (Sean) and Joanne (Dayle).
My mother is being honoured because she was the backbone of our family. She taught us all compassion, gratitude, independence and most importantly how to enjoy a good meal with family.
Our mother and grandmother had a special connection with each of us. She was always there when we needed her, leading and guiding us by example, a true teacher.
If there was a meaning to unconditional love she would be it.
Everyone says that they have the best mom in the world, but it is our family that actually does, and we miss and love her more with each passing day.
Isha Sharisma Helena (Simmons) Davis
Isha Davis first came to the Mount as an International transfer student from the Grenadine Island of Bequia in 2001. Not long after she began working for Conference Services as a residence team leader during the summer season to help support her way through school. Isha graduated in 2004 with her Bachelor of Business Administration and after graduating she explored a few different opportunities before returning home in 2008 to help her parents run the family business.
Isha’s love of the Mount and her second home here in Nova Scotia brought her back to us in 2010 to continue her education. She took a position as a Custodian in the Facilities Management department and returned to school part-time to work on her Master of Education. During this time Isha also served on the Mount’s Employment Equity committee and Literacy Campaign. As part of her degree, Isha volunteered to host training session for her co-workers on computer literacy to rave reviews. Isha had also accepted a secondment position in the Education department while working on her degree.
One of Isha’s proudest moments came in August 2015 when she received her Canadian citizenship. Isha graduated in November of 2015 with her Master of Education with a special mention from President Ramona Lumpkin during the ceremony on what she had achieved while working full-time and battling serious health issues.
Isha always put the needs of others before her own and always gave back more than she received. She was a volunteer with her church, an advocate for lifelong learning, a member of the Mount’s Africentric Support Group and the driving force behind their mentorship program. Isha was also engaged in literacy outreach programs, including hosting lunch and learn sessions for her colleagues.
Isha was a much loved member of the Mount community and she made friends wherever she went. Isha had a big smile and a bigger heart and the impact she had on our community will be remembered by all who knew her.
From Rick Walkden, Manager, Environmental Services & Sustainability
Mom was our hero: kind and loving with quiet confidence and a silly sense of humour. She taught us about love, compassion and respect. And she told us to follow our dreams, just as she had followed her own. Her military career took her from small town roots to France where she met our Dad. She worked full-time and raised five children. She graduated with a university degree while doing all of these things, taking only a short break to beat cancer before returning to graduate with her B.A. at the age of 58. She instilled in all of us her values for education, hard work, and perseverance.
Submitted by Dr. Karen Blotnicky on behalf of Ivy's children: Karen, Stephen, Patrick, Shannon and Sharon.
1941 – 2015
There was no room in Anna’s life for prejudice. Born in Scotland, her earliest memories were of London during the Blitz and evacuation to Canada across an Atlantic riddled with German U-Boats. Immigration, growing up an “army brat” and her parents’ disappointment at not having a son were early experiences inspiring Anna to seek a more fair and equitable world, championing feminist causes and mentoring women in want of strong female role models.
Like many women of her generation, Anna truncated her undergraduate studies to marry and start a family. Fired from a retail job for wearing a fashionably short dress, Anna turned this setback to her advantage, building a career on her lifelong interest in municipal and planning issues. She worked for the Ontario Housing Corporation and City of Toronto Planning Department until hitting the glass ceiling, then applied to York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School as a mature student.
It is a testament to Anna’s grit that as a single mother of two earning her law degree, she not only survived but thrived. Finding time to be active on a number of non-profit boards, she appreciated the value of mentorship, both as recipient but, more profoundly, deriving satisfaction from providing support to women needing help to fulfill their dreams.
Anna practiced on Bay Street before accepting an appointment to the Ontario Municipal Board and ultimately forming Fraser Grant Associates (Consulting) with her second husband. A gender equity case earned Anna a place in legal history. Anna and her client, a young woman who wanted to be allowed to play on the team on which she earned a spot based on skill, won repeatedly while the league appealed right up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Blainey v. Ontario Hockey Association remains a landmark human rights Charter case in Canadian law.
Anna is survived by her husband; daughter, son, stepsons and their spouses; sisters; six grandchildren; and countless friends who treasured her personal kindness and honesty.
Photo credit to Libby Hague (libbyhague.com)
Janet (Pottie) Murray was 18 when she graduated from Mount Saint Vincent College in 1956 as class Valedictorian with an honours degree in Philosophy and an honours diploma in Journalism. She was SMU’s first Director of Public Relations, and went from there to CBC radio as an on-air commentator. She married Dr Jock Murray, and they have four children and seven grandchildren. She chose the role of committed community volunteer, and served on many Boards, including 8 years on the MSVU Board (three as Chair); the Dalhousie BOG; the Voluntary Planning Board, Bryony House and the National Board of the CAC. Nominated by her daughter, she was named one of the Mothers of the Year by Glamour Magazine. At 74, she continues to be an independent scholar, researching and delivering papers on the History of Women in Medicine, and researching and writing books with her husband. She is a woman of imagination, intelligence and integrity.
My sister Janice and I come from a family of nine children. As her older sister, I remember her wonderful zest for learning as a child. This attribute, along with her very caring nature, has motivated her to create more positive environments for older people and their caregivers.
Janice has degrees in Sociology (BA, UPEI and MA Guelph) and a PhD in Family Relations and Human Development (Guelph 1997). She began teaching at the Mount in 1990. She was MSVU’s first Canada Research Chair (2002-2012) and is currently a full Professor and Chair of Family Studies and Gerontology. In 2006 she became Director of the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging and the Lena Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology. Since that time, her gerontological research in the areas of caregiving, both in home care and long term care has resulted in significant developments in public policy. This has garnered her numerous awards at the provincial, national and international level, including the Global Aging Award. She has always strongly promoted the Mount in her research, teaching and interaction with others.
Janice has been a member of many national committees including Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee for Demographics and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Dementia Review. She was Chair of the Nova Scotia Expert Panel on Long Term Care in 2018-19; She has served on international advisory boards such as the EU Joint Program initiative on Demographic Changes.
Janice is also an active participant in various community organizations in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). She served on the Cobequid Health Board for six years and spent five years as a co-chair of School Advisory Committees. She has been a leader in her faith community for over a decade.
Janice has suffered significant losses in her life. Our father died when she was just 13; she became a widow with a young child herself early on in her career. A few short years after her husband died, our eldest sister (who was a major support to her) was diagnosed with cancer and died shortly thereafter. Despite her many challenges, Janice continued to be a loving caregiver to her own aging mother until she passed away.
Janice has not only persevered through all of these losses. She has become a stronger and more compassionate person as a result. Although she works mainly with quantitative data, every person is important to her and every life improved by the research is significant.
I was pleased to be able to make a contribution to the Wall in her honour.
Marion Keefe Clorey
It gives us tremendous pride to honour Jean (Edgar) Surrette. Jean has lived her life giving to others. As a caring Halifax Infirmary nurse, loving wife, dedicated mother, helpful friend and doting grandmother, Jean exemplifies the true meaning of “Caritas”.
In addition to nursing, Jean also worked for the Halifax School Board offering guidance and assistance to youth at risk, impacting many young people who might otherwise have been headed down the wrong path in life.
Over the years she has been there offering words of wisdom & encouragement, fresh baked tea biscuits & lemon loaf, and an endless dose of sharp wit & realism.
We are proud to call her Mum/Nanny and to celebrate her contribution to our lives and this community.
With love and gratitude,
Mark, Angela, Allison & Caroline
KIENAPPLE, Jean Ann (Hamill) - passed away April 13, 2001
Jean was the Chief Operations Officer/ Vice President of Audiometric Consultants Maritimes Ltd. (Audiology Associates).
She was a Co-founder of the Canadian Academy of Audiology and a Co-founder and President of the Private Practice Audiologists of Atlantic Canada.
She was a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.
She was a board member of the American Foundation of Audiology.
She is remembered with the Jean Kienapple Award for Clinical Excellence and the Jean Kienapple Memorial Scholarship.
Jean graduated with a Pharmacy degree and went on to practice as a pharmacist. After which, she proudly devoted her married life to her family, friends and faith. She continues to be active in her church and remains involved in her fraternity, Alpha Gamma Delta. She remains well read and knowledgeable about world and community events, and has an endless interest to stay with the times. She has a wonderful positive outlook and continues to enjoy her life to the fullest.
She has a many friends and keeps in touch with them regularly.
She has been the Dexter family pillar, keeping all siblings, cousins and grandchildren connected and closely tied. With great affection and respect, we are delighted to have this opportunity to honour you Mom!
Jean (MacDonald) Graham was one of eight “Hadley” children from Antigonish, NS. She grew up in the great depression with modest means and never forgot the roots of her upbringing. She devoted her life to family and was a deep source of love, wisdom, inspiration and humour for family and friends. Jean personified small town Nova Scotia values – gracious, open-minded, resilient and unpretentious. She imbedded those values in her ten children and asked for nothing in return. Her hidden hand in the lives of her many grandchildren is felt to this day, despite her untimely passing in 2006. She lives on in our hearts and minds as a reminder of the eternal influence of mothers, sisters and daughters who have made an enormous difference - one daily act at a time.
Jeanne Flemming may have been born in Halifax, but through a federal public service career that spans over three decades, she was and is a citizen of Canada. She began her career in the federal government at a time when the national social welfare programs were taking shape, working first with the Department of National Health and Welfare, before moving to the Federal-Provincial Relations Office and the Ministry of State for Social Development. She spent many years at the then department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. During that time, she was handpicked among a small cadre of senior executives to support the constitutional conferences that lead up to Charlottetown Accord in the early 1990s.
In 1993, Jeanne was tapped as Executive Assistant to the Minister of National Revenue, and later Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister. For the next ten years, she advanced within Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA), taking on more senior positions, including Director General of Special Investigations, Director General of International Tax, and finally, Assistant Commission Appeals Branch. She worked as Assistant Secretary at the Treasury Board for a year before being appointed by the Prime Minister as the Director of FINTRAC, Canada's financial intelligence agency. She was the first woman to head any of Canada's intelligence agencies where she remained until her retirement after an impressive 35 years of federal public service.
Even in her retirement, Jeanne continued to give back, teaching courses at the University of Ottawa's School for Public Policy directed to young public servants.
Never one to enjoy sitting still, Jeanne enjoys playing tennis several times a week, is a voracious reader and an avid traveller. She is always looking for her next challenge and has recently undertaken writing novels. She has been an inspiration to her daughter Natasha, a devoted wife to Norman, a wonderful grandmother to Bennett, Lauren, Alec and Sara, a loyal friend and a wonderful colleague and mentor to so many.
We honoured our daughter Jennifer because she is bright, ambitious, and determined to be a woman who has, and will continue to make a difference in both her personal and professional pursuits. She understands “that planted within every child are the seeds of a beautiful harvest.” Jennifer absolutely radiates caring, love and fun both personally and professionally. No matter how young or old, she is always willing to extend a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on.
As we grow older, it is wonderful to realize that in Jennifer we have a daughter who demonstrates kindness in so many ways. Remarkable women come in forms and for us our daughter inspires us every day - we are blessed for what she brings to us which is some of life’s most important things: Love, Happiness and Laughter.
When she was 8 years old, teachers told Jessica’s parents she was going to fail the third grade. After extensive testing, she was diagnosed with a learning disability when she was 11. With special attention from teachers, long hours at Sylvan Learning Centre, and lots of extra studying, Jessica graduated from Armbrae Academy in 2009. Despite her academic struggles, she decided to pursue a higher education and was accepted into MSVU’s child and youth program. In 2015, with the odds stacked against her, she graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts. She now works as an Early Childhood Educator with the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre.
March 18, 1990 – February 8, 2018
Jessica Mae Ann Wilson was an incredible young woman whose over-the-top personality just made the world a brighter place. She had an infectious laugh that drew you in and made you want to be included in whatever she had on the go. And she always had something on the go.
A proud Dartmouthian and strong community advocate, Jessica found a way to support those who needed help by volunteering with the VON, serving the homeless at David’s Place and serving cadets and veterans at the Dartmouth Senior Service Centre following Remembrance Day services. She also provided and received support within the colitis community and had 600 followers on her Instagram page @thegirlwithcolitis.
Jessica lived life to its fullest; always seeking a new adventure, setting a new trend, finding a new Tim Hortons to visit with her pal Fast Eddy. She couldn’t carry a note in a bucket but cranked up the karaoke machine when it was her turn to sing. She had a spirit too large to be contained in this world and she had hopes for the future; a hope to one day complete her Public Relations degree and embark on a career in Communications; hopes for a family and a long happy life, and hopes for a future without the constant struggle to control a disease that had so often controlled her.
On February 8, 2018, after years of struggling, Jessica passed away from complications from colitis, leaving many of her dreams unfulfilled and leaving family and friends with unbearable sadness.
During the 2018 Convocations Ceremonies, Mount Saint Vincent University awarded Jessica her Public Relations Degree and Jessica’s family is forever grateful to see one of her dreams realized.
Jessica Wilson’s leaf on the Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour is our tribute to a beautiful, courageous, incredibly witty young woman who has made a difference in the lives of all who knew her… her memory forever alive on this campus and in our hearts.
An entrepreneur & mother, Jessica attended community college in 1986 for business administration. Today Jessica has a group of companies from Security, traffic control, commercial flooring, residential and commercial rentals.
She was a champion bodybuilder winning her first competition in 1991 NSABB first in her division, first in couples and overall. In 1992 she won the overall Atlantic bodybuilding championships, 1992 Canadian third place and second place couples, 1994 Canadians fifth place middleweight
Born and raised in rural Prince Edward Island, Jessie left her beloved PEI to join the Canadian Forces in World War 2.
Generous to all, Jessie always had a smile on her face. Throughout her life Jessie was kind, and humble. The one constant in her life was her intense pride in her family. She had a lifetime love of Scotland and all things Scottish with Scottie dogs being a particular obsession. Jessie also loved baking and doing cross stitch.
Jessie was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Star and she attained the position of Worthy Grand Matron. Mother of Thelma Fraser, Nancy Stevenson and Donna D’Entremont, grandmother and great grandmother. Jessie will always be remembered for her smile, humble spirit and positive attitude.
Jessie Jollymore lights up a room, inspires all those around her and nurtures the hearts and minds of her children, grandchildren and the “Hope Blooms” community. She is a kind, talented and strong woman, daughter, mother, grandmother, mentor and leader.
She has a head for business and social entrepreneurship, a heart for social justice, and a spirit for transformative change. Jessie is a proud Mount graduate having completed a Bachelor of Applied Human Nutrition in 1999 and she has since invested her time, talents and expertise in support of helping others through creatively addressing the social determinants of health.
She is the founder and Executive Director of Hope Blooms, a social enterprise that engages youth in North End Halifax, positively impacting food security, education, social inclusion, and disrupting the cycle of poverty. Jessie is the rock of Hope Blooms. She is tireless in her commitment to seeing the youth and community grow and succeed and she has broadened the reach of her impact to include other Maritime, Canadian and International communities.
Jessie can often be heard saying “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” When we look at Jessie we see the change that is possible and we are grateful and inspired by everything she has done and continues to do.
Jo-Anne is a proud grad of the Mount and it’s fitting that she be included on the Women’s Wall of Honour. Her energy and spirit are contagious. She’s adventurous, curious and never one to shy away from a challenge or opportunity. She has a love of life that can only be matched by her beautiful smile. She’s a role model to her two girls, both independent and strong young women, and she’s devoted to their success and contributions to this world. Her caring nature, easy way with people and genuine interest in the well-being of others are why so many consider her a friend and cherished loved one. If you are one of the fortunate ones to have her in your life you’ll agree she’s a trusted confidante who is always willing to listen, provide wise advice and share a laugh or two.
My mother is compassionate, gentle, and modest. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, tackling cryptoquotes, baking mouth-watering sweets, and watching re-runs of The Waltons. Mom selflessly left the professional world in her early twenties to begin a new career as a stay-at-home mother. She packed our lunches, volunteered at the school in many capacities, prepared healthy meals, drove us to all of our sports games, and cheered for us on the bleachers. She went the extra mile, and still does, to make every holiday and special occasion one to remember with beautiful decorations and the presence of family and friends. Mom instilled in all of her children the importance of being kind to ourselves and others, and encouraged us to further our education and follow our hearts. I know I speak for all of my siblings when I say that our Mom has been and will always be the best role model a child could ask for. In recognition of her unconditional love, commitment to family, and unwavering guidance and support, I honour my mother, Joan Carolyn Tomlinson, on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
Mum was born in Halifax in1934. As a young girl she enjoyed school and had to walk 4 miles each way. At 14 this all changed when her mother became ill and as the oldest girl she had to care for the family. She did eventually study nursing in Ontario before returning to NS. Because of not finishing high school she always emphasized the importance of a good education and being independent. As a result both of her daughters obtained 2 degrees each from MSVU and went on to successful careers. It is only fitting that she is honoured with a brick on The Women’s Wall of Honour in such a progressive building. The day I informed her of this tribute she broke down in tears and it was at that point I realize how important this was to her.
Love from Dayle and Patricia Harrington
Joan McCarthy (1932 - 2006)
Joan used to say she felt closest to God picking blueberries. An avid gardener invariably to be found on a summer day surrounded by the greenery of her garden, Joan tended to her family with the same love and patience. Joan was also a painter; many are her artworks that grace the walls of homes from New Brunswick to Alberta. She was a devoted partner to husband Tim and a loving presence to her children and grandchildren. A caretaker to her mother in her final years, Joan opened her home without question to countless relatives and friends. Many are the schoolchildren too who flowered under her guidance during her years teaching at Harkins Elementary School.
My mum and granny taught me the value of education, the importance of family, the need for diplomacy, and the restorative benefits of a strong cup of tea. They are the unsung heroes of my family and I thought this would be a fitting tribute to permanently recognize their influence and my love for them.
My mom was modest, hardworking, independent, creative, courageous, and selfless.
As I grow older, I continue to recognize and appreciate the wisdom that she imparted to me and my thirteen siblings. Over the years Mom taught me the correct way to fold towels, how to swaddle my newborn daughter, and to frequently stop and enjoy a strong cup of tea. Most importantly, I learned from her that moms are only human, which helps me be more accepting of my own frailties as a woman and a mother. I wish every day that she was still with us.
My Grandmother, Jo Briggs, was an amazing woman. Born in 1907 her mother was a suffragette and socialist. She studied at the Normal School in Fredericton and in 1924 became a teacher. After she married and raised a family she returned to teaching, studying at UNB during the summers. She taught for 25 years in one room schoolhouses, making sure that beyond learning to read and write her students understood and saw the world outside their small community. She was one of the most open-minded people I ever met. She was the community historian, a joyful storyteller and could recite a poem to fit every situation. For me, my Grandmother’s kitchen was the safest place in the world – where you were loved unconditionally, you laughed and learned, and you could always find a cookie in the pantry! Shelley Rowan, BPR'82
My sister Josephine, known to most people as Molly, has been a continuous positive influence in my life and the lives of other family members, friends and colleagues. She has always set a wonderful example for others by her dedication and commitment to her profession, her spirit of generosity, her work, her volunteer endeavours and her support for her family and friends. Molly completed high school when she was sixteen years old. She worked in the family business for a while, at Shearwater as a clerk and even taught school on a permissive license at West Lawrencetown, Halifax County. The latter was quite an experience since several of her students were older than she was. After a few years she decided to attend the Provincial Normal College in Truro from which she graduated in 1951. Following her graduation she taught in Halifax County, Stanstead and Point Clare, Quebec and the City of Halifax. In 1958 Molly was hired by the Dartmouth School Board to teach the first auxiliary class for children with intellectual disabilities in the City of Dartmouth. While working she pursued further education and attended Saint Mary’s University where she obtained both a Bachelor of Arts Degree Magna Cum Laude and a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1970. In 1978-79 she attended the University of London, England obtaining an Associateship in Education. Throughout her working years, she devoted herself to her students and the creation of better programs for them within the Dartmouth public school system. In 1963 she was appointed Supervisor of Auxiliary Classes. Shortly after her appointment she developed a curriculum for students who required a different type of learning experiences at the Junior High School level. In 1975 she was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Dartmouth Schools – Programs and Special Services. With a colleague she edited a text book, Anchors Away for Macmillan Canada. During her career Molly mentored young teachers many of whom have remained steadfast friends in her retirement years. A great gardener, an adventurous explorer of the highways and byways of Nova Scotia, a tireless volunteer for many years and a voracious reader she remains a vibrant and spirited individual interested in all that goes on in her family, her community and the world in which she lives. In 1994 she was honoured to be recognized by the Dartmouth Historical Society as one of Dartmouth’s memorable women.
Joyce was a gentle and loving daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and wife. In her career, she was a respected educator employed as a principal of elementary schools with the former Halifax County School Board.
Joyce performed all of her personal and professional roles with dignity and respect for others. She was a steady, calming, and positive influence in our lives. When she found a verse or saying meaningful to her, she made a note of it to share with others, like this one she once noted:
While here, try to do something good, something helpful with your life. Contribute to other people’s happiness, make someone smile and you will find the true meaning of life.
Joyce will be remembered in our hearts forever.
(1937 - 2012)
A beloved wife and mother, Joyce was also a talented academic administrator and champion of women as the Mount's director of continuing education. She was an avid scholar, receiving four degrees and teaching at four universities. Joyce was also a newspaper columnist, a literary editor, and an authority on the life and writings of Herman Melville. Active in professional, church, and civic organizations, Joyce was a founder of Canadian Catholics for Women's Ordination. She was also a Red Sox fan and Elvis devotee, but was most passionate as an advocate for the less fortunate. No one who came to Joyce in need was ever turned away.
My wife and a super mom to our three children, Joyce has always been an inspiration to me. Her career as a Chartered Accountant and now recognized as a Fellow Chartered Accountant has been an exemplary example of the struggle women face today to be treated equal among men and to demonstrate that hard work and excellence can remove some of the barriers women face in the work place. Joyce’s many career accomplishments include President and CEO of the Halifax Airport Authority, Chair Halifax Gateway, Vice Chair Halifax Waterfront Development Board, Vice Chair Mental Health Foundation Board, and Honorary Secretary Dalhousie University Board of Governors (chair, Academic Affairs and Research Committee and member, Executive, Steering and Audit Committees). Her commitment to her community and empowering women needed to be honored.
Judge Corrine E. Sparks made history when , in 1987, she became the first African- Nova Scotian to serve on the judiciary in her native province; and the first African Canadian woman to be appointed to the bench in Canada. Her early education was in a racially segregated school in Lake Loon, Nova Scotia. In 1971, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Saint Vincent University. Her years of educational instruction at the Mount provided her with tremendous support and encouragement from the Sisters of Charity. Emboldened by this affirmative educational foundation and experience she discovered while studying at the Mount ,she later enrolled to study law at Dalhousie University, graduating in 1979 with a LL.B. Subsequently, many years later, she returned to Dalhousie Law School and completed her LL.M graduating in 2001.
Several awards have been received by Judge Sparks including the Canadian Bar Association’s prestigious Bertha Wilson Award and the Lillian Fish Award from the National Association of the Women and the Law. During her years on the bench she has actively advanced judicial education; and has often lectured in the areas of gender and racial equality and the courts.
Judge Sparks is the eldest of nine children born to proud parents, Helen and Spencer Sparks, whose ancestry and heritage date back to the arrival of the Black Loyalists and Black Refugees as early settlers in the province of Nova Scotia. She credits her parents as well as her teachers and professors for instilling a everlasting love of learning coupled with fostering the ability through hard work as complimentary tools in attaining her educational and professional goals.
She has been, and continues to be, motived to serve others; and, views this as the hallmark of her calling in life. Her hobbies include travelling, reading, gardening and music.
In a distinguished career spanning almost half a century, Judith Gold made significant, frequently pioneering, contributions as a medical specialist, researcher, writer and editor in many areas of psychiatry, women’s health and education, visible minorities and medical politics. She was the first woman to become President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the first Canadian and second woman to be elected president of the American College of Psychiatrists. She was a member of the Mount’s Board of Governors (1981-1987) and chaired the Board during the period 1988-1989 which was a time of great change for Mount Saint Vincent. In addition to many other honours and awards she received the Order of Canada for some of her many contributions in 1994.
Judith (Judy) Moseychuck Schurman was born in New Waterford, Cape Breton in January 1945. After completing high school, she made a crucial decision that changed her life; she joined the Sisters of Charity of Halifax (as Sister Edna Michael) and headed to Mount Saint Vincent University. The training and mentoring she received there prepared her for the vocation she longed for: Education. All aspects of learning and teaching became her lifelong love. Her almost ten years with the Sisters cemented some superb and long-lasting friendships and experiences.
Soon after graduating from MSVU, Judy began her teaching career at St. Patrick’s High School in beautiful Quebec City. She was delighted to be teaching in this predominantly French-speaking city, as she was passionate about the language. She quickly acquired a proficiency in French which lasted all her life. Her teaching involved multiple subjects including English, mathematics, chemistry, and geometry.
In 1971, she left the Sisters but continued teaching at Katimavik High School, a new school in Ste-Foy. It was there that she met her future husband – David Schurman. They married in 1973 and in 1977 they moved to Montreal. Judy was soon teaching in another school in east end Montreal. The very next year, she began a new phase in her career by joining the Quebec Ministry of Education and began having a strong influence on the development of curriculum for the Quebec Anglophone school system. In 1980 they welcomed their beautiful daughter, Miriam Ann, who is now happily living and working in Quebec City.
Eventually Judith returned to teaching at Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School (ECS) in Westmount. There, she inspired many students in the high school as she taught English, as well as took a lead role in the debating club and school newspaper. As you can see, Judy’s first love was education - transmitting knowledge to future generations! Her students remember her strong teaching methods – always leading them to do their very best.
In addition to teaching, Judy was deeply involved in other related activities focused on education, learning and women’s issues. She volunteered her time tutoring many people at the South Shore Literacy Council in addition to her work with the South Shore University Women’s Club supporting higher education for young women. She played a vital role in both these organizations as well as numerous others. She was always very interested in opera, plays and music and was a participant and moderator in many groups at the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning and the St. Lambert Community Learning Centre. In 2011, with husband Dave, she helped to launch the Montreal Bloomsday Festival which places emphasis on James Joyce, Irish literature and culture. She was pivotal in obtaining grants for the Festival which completed its tenth year in 2021. One of Judy’s friends and a fellow teacher summed up her life best when she said, “Judy was a scholar with boundless energy. She was humble and joyful, with an easy smile and sparkling eyes to greet everyone and make them feel valued and appreciated. If she was in the room, there was laughter and learning. Judy’s unflinchingly positive nature and generosity of spirit were inspiring for everyone whose life she touched”.
And here are some comments and tributes from friends and colleagues…
Debra Banks (colleague at ECS): Here was a woman who was a consummate reader, who was endlessly curious about the world, and was brimming with good cheer. Judith insisted on the best in all of us. She was passionate about teaching, she was demanding, and she was always fair. A perfect mentor.
Suzanne Cardinal (colleague at ECS): Judith knew her path and walked it confidently, step after step without fluster, relentlessly and powerfully driven by projects born of love. Yet, most of all, Judith was a loving person. Time has ceased for you, my dear friend, but while you lived in it, not a minute did you waste. Be assured that the seeds of love you sowed
continue to flower in the hearts of those you touched, who in turn, will impart your passion to multiple other humans and thus, your spirit will ripple and disperse itself throughout the world and the years.
Kathleen Fee (colleague, friend, animator): She was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a teacher, a colleague, a baker, a hostess, a fighter, a joiner, a carer. She was a huge human being. A nonpareil. A woman of heart. Let’s imagine a rainbow connecting our hearts to hers wherever she may be. A bright, shimmering arc of colour as rich and beautiful as that hearty laugh we’ll never hear again.
Miriam Milne (friend and former Sister of Charity): I am so grateful for her joyful presence all though the decades. And for her deeply respectful welcome of her fellow humans. May she be celebrating infinity. Amen.
Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.
Christine Georgina Rosetti
A loving and caring mother and grandmother and loyal friend, Judy Bragg is an exceptional woman. Judy attended Mount Allison University, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Prince Edward Island. She has made considerable contributions to our community. Her philanthropic work through the Bragg Foundation has supported education, health research, science, and nature conservation. Judy is a talented seamstress and quilter and singer.
I have chosen to honour my mom, June Snow MacDermid - 2012
Abandoned by her husband at the ripe old age of 30, she was left to raise six children aged 10 and under in a very rural area of Cape Breton. With no income and little or no formal education, she worked beyond what is imaginable to raise her children. Days and nights were filled with hard work that left her hands red, raw, and chapped as ensuring your children have clean clothes, without the use of a washing machine, for six children including at least two still in diapers, is not easy on the skin. Oh what a joyful day it was when she finally got an old secondhand washing machine with wringers.
Over the years, she sold her sewing machine, her wedding rings and even her winter coat to put food on the table and I remember many nights her not eating at all; there just wasn’t enough food to go around. Many evenings were spent preparing for the next day….. trying to find enough food to make lunches for six children for school, and sewing and mending clothes for us to wear. Yet, she never gave up…..today, at 77 years of age, she continues to be a pillar of strength and wisdom to her family……and she continues look after her children, doing for them whatever she can. She’s my hero and my inspiration.
Jutta started as my professional mentor; she was my boss at my first "real" job after I graduated from the Mount. We have been best friends for 25 years. Most of that time, we have lived four provinces apart. But our friendship is truly special and despite the distance, she is a very important part of my daily life. She is always my soft place to land. With a ready laugh, quick intellect, and open heart, she is friend to all, a brilliant professional, terrific mom and true character.
Karen Dawn Greene: November 10 1963 – September 14 2019
Our Dearest Friend, Karen:
You have given a book of memories that we will cherish forever. As we turn the pages, we read the story of a woman of substance. It is the story of your strength, your bravery, your unconditional friendship through the years of our times together. We had laughter and tears. We had joy and sorrow. We had good times and not so good times. Through it all, the pages tell the story of your calm, cool and collected personality. You were an angel on earth and now, our dear friend, you have your angel wings. You have touched our lives in many ways. We will never forget you as you have left us the biggest gift of all, a memory book that time can never erase.
Thank you for being a friend. Your sisters from: Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Canada.
Kathryn Britten has played an integral part in the Public Relations and Communications programs at MSVU since 1997. As Department Secretary, her commitment to serving students and faculty is unparalleled. Many a department chair, myself included, has been lost in the myriad regulations and policies, only to be rescued by Kathryn’s knowledge and experience. Her unfailing professionalism and sense of humor in a crisis can always be counted on. I am proud to pay tribute to Kathryn. –Judith Scrimger
As a teacher, volunteer, businesswoman, and municipal leader, Kathryn (Kay) Davis (Theakston) demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving and contributing to her community.
Born in Halifax and raised in Truro, Kay was the youngest of six children and known as “Babe” to her five older brothers. She was a graduate of Acadia University. After settling in Bridgewater in the early 1950s, Kay was a busy stay at home “Mum” to her six children until the mid-60s, when she returned to the workforce.
Both the private and public sectors benefitted from Kay’s skills and expertise. She spent 12 years as a teacher of office administration at the Lunenburg Regional Vocational School (now part of the Nova Scotia Community College system) before starting her own home services business. She served three terms as a member of the Bridgewater Town Council before retiring in 1997.
Kay and her husband Ellis were deeply involved in the many interests and activities of their children. They were instrumental in the creation of many organizations, including home and school, minor sports and community recreation associations. These efforts were recognized when Kay received the provincial Volunteer Award as Bridgewater’s representative volunteer in 1999.
It is said that volunteers are the heart of their community. Kay lived that mantra and thrived her entire life serving in leadership capacities with many local, regional, provincial and national organizations. Her faith and recreation communities were beneficiaries of that commitment to service.
If you took a peek in Kathy M. (Harlow) de Molitor's handbag, you would be sure to find three signature items: a retractable measuring tape, a notepad, and a miniature flashlight. Not only did these prove helpful tools on a particularly high-stakes shopping trip, they also embodied the way Kathy lived her life.
With her measuring tape Kathy taught her family that attention to detail and preparedness were qualities to be admired, but that the best measure of a life well-lived was your kindness and compassion for others. Her notepad recognized the fun of making lists and creating plans, but that a single page does not make a book— reminding us to be open to change, to embrace life's uncertainties, and to make the most of every moment. Then there is Kathy’s flashlight, a beacon of hope. Whenever you found yourself in a dark place, Kathy was there to light your way. Her warmth and sense of humor were a blessing to everyone she met, and she made the world a brighter place for all those who had the distinct fortune to know her.
Kathy's handbag of lessons and love saw her through life's biggest moments, and it is just one of the many beautiful gifts she has left behind for her family. As a wife, mother of three, sister and friend to many, Kathy inspired, encouraged, supported, and loved with a smile that was almost as big as her heart and that will always hold a special place in ours.
My mother, Katijah was an outstanding human being, wise,intelligent, compassionate, non-judgmental and understanding She was a firm believer in education and inspired all who knew her to pursue their goals and dreams.
Kelly Gallant is an adored daughter, godmother, cousin, friend and colleague. She’s an expert strategic communicator and advisor, and from Mount Saint Vincent University to Bell Aliant (then MTT) and Canada Post, she has enriched each organization with which she has shared her talents.
Along the way, Kelly has been a personal and professional mentor to many. She’s the kind of leader who makes you want to work harder and deliver greater. She’s the kind of friend with whom you can be comfortably and entirely candid, and from whom you can expect the soundest of wisdom.
From Bathurst, New Brunswick, Kelly has spent most of her academic and professional careers in Halifax. She is a proud alumna of Mount Saint Vincent University and Dalhousie University, and a dedicated member of the Hope Blooms Board of Directors – an organization whose mission she cares greatly about.
Deeply thoughtful, her kindness and generosity are exceptional. Among her friends are many who would consider her to be more like a sister, others for whom she is more like a daughter.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention Kelly’s sense of style and wit – both are wonderfully sharp and widely appreciated!
– Written by Mount colleagues and friends
Kelly Lynn MacLeod graduated from Amherst Regional High School, Dalhousie University with a bachelor of science, Mount Allison with a Bachelor of Education and a certificate in special education and obtained a special education specialist certificate from UofT. At Mount St.Vincent she graduated with a Master of Arts in Education and Master of Education. She has recently attended the Instructional Leadership Academy completing a three year certificate program for school administrators. Kelly served on the MSVU alumni board. She was the last principal of Queen Elizabeth High School and is now principal of Sackville Junior high. She is busy after hours. With her two children.
When the project outlining the opportunity to celebrate women via the Wall of Honour arrived on my desk, many names came to mind. Famous women, not-so-famous women, politicians, teachers, professors, colleagues, friends, cousins, aunts, grandmas: I felt I alone could build the new centre. The most influential woman in my life, however, is my mother. LaRue Rehberg didn’t finish high school. Instead, she received a GED while raising her children and working full-time. She went to college, and supported me as I did the same. She celebrates my accomplishments, and so I celebrate her. Here’s to you, Mom!
Lauren Leal Barnes
She loves fiercely and is a devoted daughter, partner to Mike and mom to Luke. Lauren is compassionate, thoughtful, creative and talented.
She has an angelic face and gorgeous curls but don’t let that fool you…she has a wicked sense of humour and a mischievous side. She’s passionate and playful, and is the person you want to be around in good times and in bad.
Lauren is proud of her Cape Breton roots and has an affinity to her homeland. She is a great friend to many, and has a big heart and a kind soul. She sees the best in everyone and brings a positive perspective to the world.
As a child she had a love of miniatures, but there is nothing miniature about Lauren’s spirit. Her contributions are huge and we are all the better for having her in our lives.
We only wish we could celebrate all the women who have made a difference. But it makes sense to begin at the beginning, with our mothers who opened worlds of possibility to their children. - Susan Drain & Patrick Donahoe
Laurie was a reverse war bride, moving to England in August 1945 to marry the RAF navigator she had met while he was training in Canada. That willingness to do what was necessary – which in 1945 meant learning to lay coal fires and to manage ration books – in order to realize what she wanted has stood her in good stead. A dedicated wife and mother, church and community volunteer, she took Freedom 55 to mean the freedom to pursue a professional career in the nonprofit sector, and she did so with considerable success. All her life she has maintained a remarkable international correspondence with family, friends and colleagues, though many of them are now more likely to hear from her via email than Canada Post. She is now learning how to send attachments.
Leslie McLean is a special person and her impact makes the world a better place. Through her leadership in health care, education, and community service she has made a difference in the lives of so many people. Her humble approach and tireless efforts to provide hope and confidence for those in need has been recognized by all who know her.
Leslie invests so much of her time in giving back to her community through international development projects, fundraising, serving on various boards and foster care. She has a special ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds and is dearly loved by many around the world.
Business leader, philanthropist, feminist, dedicated mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to all. Lily learned to overcome life obstacles at a young age when she lost her mother to cancer. Her feminist spirit fueled her activism at Université de Moncton, where she challenged masculinist curriculum. After receiving her undergraduate degree in 1972, Université de Moncton recognized her business impact by awarding her an honorary PhD in 2015. Her 46-year career as an Atlantic Canadian business woman has been recognized by Profit Magazine’s top Canadian Female Entrepreneurs and her appointment to numerous provincial and national boards of directors. In her philanthropy, she places community above self. Receipts have included L’Escale Madavic, Les Jeux d’Acadie and Université de Moncton.
Linda has the warmest and most giving spirit of anyone I know. She has been my mother since she and my father married over 30 years ago. She simply is one of those rare people who bring sunshine with them wherever she goes. She gives a great deal of herself to others, is always there to provide help, support, humour and perspective. She spoils my children in the way only a grandmother can, and is always a soft place to land for the people around her. We love her dearly.
Herlinda deBedia Oland came to Mount Saint Vincent School in 1905. There she met her future husband Sidney C. Oland.
Linda was devoted to home and children and found time in the 1930s to work in relief projects for the unemployed of Nova Scotia.
During the Second World War she chaired the Atlantic War Fund Club and with the help of twenty volunteers she opened the Atlantic Superfluity Shop in part of the Mills Brothers Store. Through their untiring efforts, the ladies produced and sold cookbooks for a dollar and had sold enough collected items to purchase twelve field kitchens for troops overseas.
Linda DeGrace came to work at the Mount in November 1994. She was one of our own graduates with her undergraduate degree in Public Relations. She began in an administrative support role within the Office of the Vice-President (Administrative) and was promoted through the years to HR Consultant in 1999. Most Mount employees have met Linda at least once over the years in her HR role here at the Mount. One of Linda’s many legacies was profiling Human Resources as a positive resource. With a heart of gold, she provided a confidential ear and always focused on the upside of any situation or person. She was called upon to lead the Human Resources team through the years, while training new HR directors on our processes and accommodating a variety of views on HR strategy.
Staying true to the philosophy of the founding Sisters of Charity, she was frugal too. She took the bus to work all those years even in snow storms. She lived in Eastern Passage – a long ride away! At the end of an evening at a Mount event she’d melt away to grab the bus to avoid charging the University for taxi fare.
Linda was responsible for Staff Recruitment, Job Evaluation and was actively passionate about Diversity.
She coordinated our pension plan and the Pension Governance Board for over fourteen years. As one Board member says:
“The image that comes to me is the fact that she trucks up the hill (without any elevator or use of a car) with tons of stuff for every meeting. I have been blown away by her dedication to the PGB and to all the plan’s members. She is such a reliable individual and keeps all of us fully and properly informed.”
No one knew better than Linda on how to prepare for retirement. Aside from being financially astute, she had a wonderful social life. Linda travelled to many exotic places, she was on a bowling team, she played tennis, and swam at the Dartmouth Sportsplex! In the Passage she held deck gatherings with her close friends and was a proud community contributor. She loved to share. When she won prize tickets at a staff event she insisted we all spend them together. On the home front, Linda was very close to and proud of her son and she took her treasured grand-daughters, Katelyn and Kallyn, on vacation trips and found joy in helping them discover new worlds.
After 18 years serving the Mount, Linda retired in July 2012. She passed away on April 11, 2013 after a short illness.
Her compassionate nature and dedication to the Mount will be truly missed by many across campus, but especially our HR team. She was the mainstay that kept us afloat during some trying years and we ask everyone to join us in honouring her friendship and service to the Mount, her legacy in building our exemplary pension governance model, and her golden heart that made us all fortunate to have shared some time with her.
Why have I placed Lorri Neilsen’s name on the Wall of Honour?
Most obviously, for her tireless work as a respected scholar, esteemed teacher, and valued colleague at The Mount for nearly thirty years.
Less obviously, but perhaps more importantly, for the way in which she has worked in these roles and relationships – with fairness and respect, compassion and generosity, intellectual and moral courage, openness and wonder, with humour and affection.
And with grace, always with grace.
Always drawing strength from her authenticity and strong sense of self,
Lucy has been a pioneer in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine
education, and started her career in 2002 as the youngest Professional
Acupuncturist to hold a B.Sc in TCM from a British university. Passionate
about clinical practice, TCM education and professional excellence, Lucy
has dedicated her career to inspiring patients and practitioners across the
world to always think outside of the box and strive to be the best version
Rooted by the unwavering support of her family and her husband, Lucy
moved from UK to Nova Scotia in 2018 where she has made the positions
of Dean of Acupuncture and Standards of Practice Director her own. It is
through these paths she hopes to inspire future generations of TCM
practitioners as well as expand the profession to serve the health needs of
Known for her dry sense of humour, analogy-based teaching style,
patience and honesty, Lucy strives to infuse positivity, future wellbeing and
cast her light to brighten the world.
Lynn is a lifelong learner and has demonstrated this through her academic pursuits, love of travel and natural curiosity about people, places and all things in between. She is a proud Mount PR grad and strong supporter of the university, giving of her time and talents. She embraces new experiences, seeks new opportunities and challenges the status quo. She enjoys good food and company, new adventures and she tells a great story. She has a strong bond with her family, she’s a loyal friend and a giving community volunteer.
Madeline May Blanch (Davison) Ward was born July 19, 1912 in Halifax, grew up in the village of Rockingham, attended school at the Mount along with her three sisters Beatrice, Blossom, and Joan, starting at the age 4. All the family had close ties to the Mount.
The Davison children all studied music and elocution with the Sisters. Madeline played piano cello, gran viola and violin, Beatrice played the piano. Together, with their friend Eileen Joyce, they formed a quartet after graduation to provide dinner music for the Mount and in the Halifax area.
In 1930, Madeline married Jordan Ward, a United Church Minister and she was in demand as guest speaking for church and public functions. When her four children were teenagers, Madeline decided to attend Royal Conservatory in Toronto to obtain an ARCT in Speech Arts and Drama, earning the Gold Medal for Canada.
For many years, Madeline was a loyal member of the Mount Alumnae –Toronto Chapter and became known as the “auctioneer”, Madeline passed away April 9, 2011 in her 99th year.
Born in Halifax, Maggie grew up in Sackville, New Brunswick.
After receiving an Education degree at the University of New Brunswick, Maggie continued her pursuit of higher learning at Dalhousie University where she earned her law degree, as well as the Canada Law Book Prize in Conflicts of Law.
After working in both public and private practice, Maggie realized that her heart belonged in education, so she became a teacher. Being fluently bilingual, Maggie teaches core French.
Along the way, Maggie found time to marry Owen, her childhood sweetheart from Sackville and raise three wonderful sons, Patrick, Christopher and Nicholas.
Daughter, wife, mother and a friend to many, Maggie is an inspiration to us all.
Unorthodox is the best word to describe this incredible woman. With her red hair, vibrant personality and quick wit, she made a statement when she walked into a room and an impression on anyone fortunate enough to meet her. She was spontaneous in her approach to life and took the road less travelled. She forged her own path as a single parent and she graduated from nursing school later in life. She loved her family, lived life to the fullest and pushed the boundaries for herself and others. Her generous nature, sense of humour, unconventional character and free spirit are missed.
Margaret lived in Big Glen, Cape Breton, N.S. and was an active member of the Loch Lomond United Church. She was a graduate at the Normal College (now NS Teachers College), Truro, N.S. and taught at Canoe Lake, Big Glen and Belfry schools. After her husband died she raised her family of three to be independent thinkers. She shared a favourite quote with my father and I when I was growing up "Never, never, never give up."
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG OM PC FRS (née Roberts, 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist called her the "Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.
Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition and became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.
Margie O’Brien (faculty member from 1980 until her death in 1998) had a notable impact on Mount Saint Vincent University and the many who knew and respected her as teacher, colleague, mentor, and friend. The year 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the unionization of the Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association, and Margie was its first President (1987-1989). This brick commemorates Margie’s inspirational leadership to the faculty during the certification process and during the highs and lows (including a strike) that resulted in the signing of our first collective agreement in 1989. Margie’s forthright, cheerful demeanour, her abilities as an effective communicator, and her determination to advance the commitment to excellence at the Mount impressed the media, her colleagues, MSVU students, and the university administration. When the government of Nova Scotia implemented the restructuring of the province’s teacher education programs in 1995, Margie played a key role. She worked tirelessly on the committee overseeing the integration of university faculty from three metro universities in a restructured Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University. Margie’s capacity to listen well, to bring people together on key issues, and to be creative in reconciling seemingly unbridgeable gaps between various interest groups, was integral to her success in these important roles. Her legacy to the Mount, the Faculty Association, and the Faculty of Education, lives on in these institutions and through her continued influence on those who knew her.
Marguerite MacDougall (nee McNeil) received the first Bachelor of Music degree every granted by Mount St. Vincent College in 1929. She subsequently married her beloved Alex, raised seven children, and embarked on a seventy-five year musical career as soloist, accompanist, arranger and teacher. She received many honours throughout her career, including an Honorary Doctorate from Cape Breton University, and most importantly, the respect and devotion of the dozens of students who, under her mentorship, moved into the world to enjoy distinguished musical careers of their own. Dedicated by her children and grandchildren, 2014.
Marial Mosher was nothing short of an extraordinary woman in her 91 years of living. She was recognized by those around her as an intelligent, independent woman who displayed exceptional perseverance in every aspect of her life. In her early years, Marial dedicated her life to the art of dance. She pursued this passion in New York, where she studied at the Albertina Rauch School of Ballet which eventually led her to make her debut in Broadway.
At the young age of 22, Marial put her Broadway dreams to rest and traded her ballet shoes for army boots. Responding to a call for volunteers, she became a member of the Nova Scotia Women’s Volunteer Corps, where she trained for military service and was later one of the first women to be recruited for service in WWII with The Canadian Women’s Army Corps.
After years of military service, Marial went on to pursue a career in academics. Teaching at multiple universities in Canada, she was always the professor who supported her students’ ambitions and motivated them to reach their goals. She introduced the Canadian Studies program at Mount Saint Vincent University, which has since become tremendously popular among students. To celebrate her exceptional service and leadership, a scholarship was established in honour of Marial at the Mount; awarded to students who show academic excellence in Canadian Studies. Marial passed away from natural causes in 2008 and through her estate, continues to support students pursuing Canadian Studies at the Mount with numerous scholarships and awards. She will always be remembered as an advocate for chasing dreams and being the one to say, “You can do it.”
We only wish we could celebrate all the women who have made a difference. But it makes sense to begin at the beginning, with our mothers who opened worlds of possibility to their children. Susan Drain & Patrick Donahoe
Marie was a woman of strong faith, strong character and very gentle hands. An Islander from Cardigan, she went to Montreal to train as a nurse. Back in PEI, she married a farmer, raised four children, and looked after her inlaws and innumerable visiting relatives who came back to the farm for a holiday. When times were hard, she went back to nursing, and for many years worked the late shift at the Montague Hospital emergency, immaculate in her whites, even after most of her coworkers abandoned them for colourful scrubs. Though Alzheimers made her forget her friends and family, she never forgot she was a nurse.
Blessings in life come to us in many ways, but none so precious as the gift of a loving wife, mother and friend. Marie has been a true treasure to those of us who have been so blessed. From the first smile and loving touch she shared with her beloved husband to the unconditional love and support she so readily bestowed upon all of her children, Marie has been a real inspiration to all of us.
Raised in Woodside, Nova Scotia, Marie was educated at our own Mount Saint Vincent University, the youngest member of the first college graduating class after surviving the historic Mount Saint Vincent fire decades ago. Marie has always sought to advance her own professional skills while giving unselfishly back to her family, church and community. She taught for many years in the Nova Scotia high school system while raising a family of five, proudly supporting her husband’s very active professional career and assuming a lead role on many volunteer boards and committees. Marie served as a member and President of the Catholic Women’s league of Nova Scotia and Vice President at the National level. She also served on the Board of Govenors of Mount Saint University, the University Alumni, as a Board chair and member at Northwood Manor and as a member of the Board at the Home of the Guardian Angel.
Once she retired from her career in education, Marie turned her attention to the broader needs of her community and became an elected representative in the Halifax Municipal Government. Serving as both alderman and Deputy Mayor, she listened with genuine interest to the thoughts and concerns of those she represented and worked tirelessly to address their issues.
As with her own family, Marie has always approached life’s challenges in a positive manner, seeing first the good in people and remembering the importance of a keen sense of humor. She has always taught her children to give generously of themselves and to live up to their true potential. Under the loving guidance of Marie and her husband Gerald, their children have successfully achieved their post secondary goals with their two daughters, Elizabeth-Ann and Carolyn, following in Marie’s footsteps and graduating from our own Mount Saint Vincent University. We continue to be blessed by Marie’s love and inspiration as our family expands and her love remains boundless.
A faculty member in the Department of Public Relations (now Communication Studies) at the Mount for 25 years, Marie taught a generation of students to become better writers. They credit her with helping them develop the skills they use every day as professional communicators.
Marjorie Adeline Lindsay
Born in 1925 into a loving family in Halifax, she was the eldest child and only daughter of Clifford B. and Rita A. Langin. She was part of the first graduating class at Queen Elizabeth High School in 1943, then attended the Maritime School of Social Work and worked for the Children's Aid Society upon graduation.
In 1946 she met a handsome young engineering student, John Lindsay, and decided he was the one. As she said, a trap does not chase the mouse -- but it catches it. They married in 1948 and had their son John Jr. in 1950. John graduated from Nova Scotia Tech in 1951 and his first jobs took them to new places - Lac St. Jean, New Jersey, and in 1953 to St. John's, N.L. Marjorie gave birth to daughter Deborah in 1954. Although Marjorie had not wanted to leave Halifax at all, she ended up loving the larger-than-life community she found in Newfoundland and cried when the family moved away. John's work next took the family to Warwick, R.I., in 1957, where she charmed a street full of coffee drinkers to become tea-lovers.
In 1959, the family returned home when John started his own construction company in Halifax. In 1961, they built a cottage in Seabright on French Village Harbour, the same waters Marjorie had summered by as a youth. Seabright was beloved by her for the rest of her life.
Happy to be home, she reunited with childhood friends and added new ones, forging a friendship circle that remained unbroken to the end. Her "Friday Lunch Girls" became famous over decades within the Halifax restaurant scene. She loved to travel: shopping trips to New England, heading down south, going across Canada and around the world. Marjorie formed ever more friendships with fellow travellers she met abroad, as well as those she met through John's business interests and board memberships.
Marjorie aided in many charitable efforts, but possibly her proudest achievement as a volunteer was establishing the original Northwood seniors home in Halifax. She was a founding board member - the only woman on that board - and in the beginning she reviewed every application sent in by those seeking a home there. The stories of those original residents stuck with her. She continued to support seniors through her many years as a board member for Victoria Hall, and volunteered for decades with the Junior League, First Baptist Church and other organizations.
With the loss of her John in May 2006 and the grief and sadness that followed, Marjorie saw the opportunity to contribute further to the community that had provided so much for her family. Her first gift was the foundational support for a new YMCA in Halifax, an organization her husband had been devoted to for decades. This gift was followed by support to an enormous breadth of projects: a new engineering school at Dal, a new mental health floor at the IWK, a summer camp for children with illnesses, the new Central Library, the Black Loyalist Centre, the women's studies centre at MSVU, new gardens and facilities at Northwood, girls' programming in Southern Africa and island conservation in St. Margaret's Bay. This is an incomplete list of the many causes she supported. What was key for many of these projects was that she gave early, often first, when it mattered the most.
Four years ago, she moved from her home of 40-plus years on Pryor Street to Parkland at the Gardens. She joined many friends who had been urging her to come, then befriended everyone she did not already know. The staff at Parkland and Care-at-Home have supported her fully over these past four years and she enjoyed every day of it. Her family thanks them all.
Marjorie had many gifts - for happiness, for lightness of spirit - but the greatest was her presence. It was her natural way to shine her light on one person and make that person feel like they shared a special relationship with her. It would be inaccurate to say that Marjorie loved people - she loved each person, individually. Marjorie lived to talk over a cup of tea, sitting close enough to squeeze the hand of the friend she was with. She was also an instinctive public speaker who dazzled crowds at events with her easy charm and emotional intimacy. She was a loving wife, devoted mother, caring aunt, generous friend, and the platonic ideal of a grandmother, and it would stretch the limits of this vignette to list every person who will miss her deeply.
Marjorie Adeline Lindsay passed away at the age of 94 on May 1, 2020 at her apartment in Parkland at the Gardens in Halifax. She will not be soon forgotten.
Marlene is a bright, clever, resourceful, giving young lady. I honour her because she is a daily reminder that the pursuit and sharing of knowledge is joyful, liberating and priceless.
Mama/Grandma/Nanny, wouldn’t you laugh to think of your name on a wall in a university? This wall honors women, and certainly you deserve to be honored. Throughout a lifetime of learning through reading and listening and just plain living, you majored in loving, and family was always the centre of your life. You were hard to beat at Wheel of Fortune or Scrabble - remember how amazed you were that people couldn’t spell? And you learned to laugh even when times weren’t easy and life was hard. Three generations of your family have been Mount students, but the lessons of love and laughter learned from you and passed down to and by all of us will remain the foundation of their education for life.
Born and brought up in Prince Edward Island, as a young adult Gerri joined the Congregation of Notre Dame, moved to Nova Scotia and began her teaching career. A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and later Mount Saint Vincent University with a Masters Degree in Education; Gerri was an amazing educator blessed with the natural ability to bring out the very best in everyone.
She spent twenty-three years at John Martin High School in Dartmouth devoting herself to her students and their diverse needs. A forward thinker and a zealous pursuer of knowledge, when computer technology reached the Dartmouth School System, Gerri took courses in nearly every program available and shared her expertise with fellow teachers. Raising funds herself, she set up a computer lab which students stood in line to attend. In 1990 Gerri received the Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teaching Award for her contribution to the educational excellence of Nova Scotia’s youth. It was a testament to the love and respect students and fellow teachers had for her.
Upon retirement, Gerri established and operated her own business, Getting You Started Computer Services. For five-years she also taught courses aimed at enabling clients to fulfill resume requirements and obtain more rewarding employment. Gerri’s other great interest was her dogs, Misty, Chloe and Teddy. Gerri trained Chloe entering her in many shows where she won prestigious awards.
Late in life Gerri married Raphael Walker. When Ray was diagnosed with cancer Gerri seldom left his bedside. Ray passed away in 1999. Buoyed by her faith, her beloved dogs and close friends Gerri continued on, savouring every moment of a fulfilling and rewarding life.
Multi-talented and tenacious, Gerri was a wonderful conversationalist, a story teller, a competitive bridge player, a music lover, a tap dancer and a fantastic party hostess. She was an amazing human being who countless friends are grateful to have had her in their lives. When diagnosed with cancer, she dealt with it by living everyday to its fullest. Upon her death on January 31, 2019 Gerri sought to give others a chance to live by leaving a significant contribution to cancer research.
Mary is a trusted friend, keeper of confidences, and a true partner in crime and merriment. She is the person you turn to for grounded advice and honest feedback and she’s also the one you look to for fun, laughter and adventure. Mary is a Mount PR grad and has applied her communications expertise across a range of roles and industries. There is nothing common about her application of common sense, it’s proven invaluable in the workplace, with her family, friends and in life. She has an uncanny ability to take everything in stride and with a smile. Mary is a woman of style and substance, of kindness and kinship. She’s like a sister to me and I always enjoy our conversations and time together, it’s never about the outings and always about the experiences.
'Mrs.G' was my teacher and friend. She developed in me a strong sense of self-worth and confidence, not only in music but which I have carried over to my business and other activities.
Her students took part in music festivals; the 1950's Nova Scotia Opera Association's productions, both in voice and piano, and many other musical activities in the city.
An inspiration to her students, many became teachers of music both in the public school system and privately. Mary Dee Girroir was a prominent member of the classical and popular music scene in Halifax for over forty years.
Nana was warm, kind, hard working, determined and generous – she loaned me her Mustang when I was 16! How cool is that? And, we always ate off the good dishes, no matter what day of the week. She worked in the insurance industry (family lore is that she was the first woman licensed as an insurance adjustor in NS), retiring at 65, only to go back to work after 6 months because she was bored. It’s easy to see where our work ethic comes from. We miss her always.
Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother is honoured for her devotion to family, friends and community.
Born in Glenholme, N.S., Mum began her adult life as a teacher in Lyon’s Brook and Princeport. She has always understood the importance of education and lifelong learning and has passed these on to all of us.
Her constant smile and kind words, even when facing adversity, have been an inspiration to all who know her.
“In every cloud there is a silver lining”
Our mother, Mary (Urquhart) Hudson has been an inspiration to her family and to other women who have followed her in the investment industry. Although she graduated with a Science degree in Chemistry, she always had an interest in investments and the stock market. In 1968, as a mother of four, she became Alberta’s first licensed female stock broker. She showed tremendous determination and perseverance in the face of a very masculine office culture and had a successful career over the next three decades. She paved the way for future generations of women, who have followed her into the investment world. Nova Scotia has always been near and dear to her heart and she has a fierce love of her hometown, Parrsboro. Since she retired, she has visited every summer right into her 90s! She is our matriarch and follows in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who were also strong, independent women. We are so fortunate to have her wisdom and guidance. She has stepped up for her children and grandchildren along the way – always believing in us and urging us on. We honour her today as a wonderful mother and grandmother whose love has shaped our family.
Mary Elizabeth Masterman Church is known to friends and family as Babs. We honour her for her spirit of adventure and energy. She hitchhiked through Europe for a year in her twenties, taught school in her thirties and forties, became a television producer and documentary maker in her fifties, trekked the Himalayas in her sixties, and paddled the Nahanni River for her seventieth birthday. Yet home has always been her centre. She gathers people together for splendid meals and lively conversations, and holds all close to her with an unwavering belief in her marriage and her family, friends and community.
With love from her children Andrew, Elizabeth, Erik, and Matthew Church
Mary Elizabeth Neilsen, war bride, arrived at Pier 21, in Halifax, mid March, 1946 to travel alone by train to reunite with her husband, Roy, in Winnipeg where she nurtured the hopes and supported the aspirations of her husband, son and daughter for many decades. Like so many women of her generation, Mary was selfless, courageous, and strong and devoted her considerable wit and intellect to the needs of her family and community. Above all, she was a lifelong friend. – Allan Neilsen
Born in Port-aux-Port, NF
A gentle woman who loved her family and was devoted to her Catholic faith.
In memory of Mary Margaret (MacDonald) Graham 1918-2003 This tribute honours our mother, Margaret Graham, who passed away on May 20, 2003. Mom was a wonderful woman who was a great inspiration to her five children. She and our father, John Daniel Graham, instilled in us a value of education. Mom was heard to say, “I am so proud that our two daughters are graduates of Mount Saint Vincent University.” At the time, the spring MSVU convocations were held on Mother’s Day and Mom said that she couldn’t have had a better Mother’s Day present than attending their daughter’s graduation at the Mount.
Anne-Marie (Graham) Ellis, BSc (Home Economics), 1972.
Dr. Janice Lynn Graham-Migel, BSA, 1978;
BEd, 1979; MA(Ed) 1983.
Mary Moore Uhl was born March 2, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York but lived most of her life in Halifax. Her mother was from Cape Breton and her father from Newfoundland.
Mary has had a long fulltime relationship with MSVU beginning as a student in 1945 and ending in 1988 as Assistant to the President and Chief Financial Officer. As a student, she was President of her Senior Class and elected Life President of the Class of 1948, the year she graduated with her Baccalaureate degree. From 1948 to 1974 Mary was a member of the Sisters of Charity. During this time Mary earned a Master of Arts degree, served on the Mount faculty from 1956 to 1968, the last four years as Head of the Business Department. Then from 1968 to 1974 she served as Treasurer-General of the Sisters of Charity and was appointed to the Board of Governors of the University. After leaving the Sisters of Charity she was asked to serve as Assistant to the President and Chief Financial Officer of the Mount. Related to this position at the Mount, Mary was appointed to the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission on which she served for several years.
During her career at the Mount she also served the Halifax community, most notably as a member of the Board of Governors of the Technical University of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Diocesan Liturgical Commission. In 1981 Mary married Dr. Norman Uhl, who is Professor Emeritus at MSVU. In 1988 she retired from the Mount but remains a loyal alumna.
Submitted by her loving husband, Norm Uhl
Mary is my wife of now 34 wonderful years. We met at a wedding in her St. John's home town. She has a beautiful smile. I was smitten. Our two children, Elizabeth and Henry Alexander, have a first-rate mom. Her BN, RN, MHA and FCCHL degrees/designations underlie the knowledge, commitment and true passion Mary brings daily to her healthcare work. The personal health records initiative she leads for Nova Scotia has won two national awards for patient care innovation. Mary enjoys her Saturday morning golf - good walks not spoiled! And, no one has a greener thumb! I will love her always. Bruce
My mother raised two children on her own, was a loving daughter herself, a kind sister and a treasured aunt. Her entire working life was in a male dominated industry and was known for her enthusiastic (albeit off-key) rendition of O Christmas Tree. She celebrated the big things, but also had great fun with the little things in life. Her laughter was loud, unique and you heard it often.
My mom faced her illness with courage, grace and good humour. I discovered this photo of her after she passed, and it has become a favourite of mine. A snapshot of her in action taken long before she faced the challenges of ALS. Here, she is young, carefree, healthy and living in the UK. Those of who love her remember her often saying that living in England 'were the best days _______' . You can almost hear her laughter now!
I learned from her everyday and miss her greatly.
Maureen Elizabeth Pitts was a BSc Alumna of the Class of ’65. She was born on April 28, 1943 in Saint John, N.B. , daughter of Arthur and Yvonne Pitts.
Maureen spent the first part of her professional life as a teacher in Dartmouth schools – John Martin School, Caledonia School and Eric Graves Memorial Junior High.
At this point, her life changed direction as she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity and took her final vows on January 4, 1984.
Her calling began a new phase in her life as she continued to study and her accomplishments grew as she obtained a M.T.S. from Atlantic School of Theology and then M.Bus. Admin. from Saint Mary’s University.
Maueen was a valued member of the Congregation. She was bright, practical and an astute business woman. She ministered in Catechist Formation and Youth Leadership Development in the Archdiocese of Halifax. She was Diocesan Administrator for seven years and then for six years was Councillor-Treasurer for the Congregation.
Maureen was a good friend who received and gave kindness in equal measure. She enjoyed playing bridge, playing the piano, travelling, shopping and gadgets.
Maureen accepted her illness with peacefulness. She was a friend, a teacher, administrator and congregational Treasurer... a woman who lived life to the fullest.
She died on July 8, 2004 at 61 years of age and is still remembered fondly by her Mount Alumnae, her friends and her Sisters of Charity.
Maureen Doris Mullane Cleary
March 7, 1941 - November 11, 2012
Maureen was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The beloved wife of Dr. James M. Cleary, she was the daughter of the late John W. and Doris (Hanrahan) Mullane.
Maureen was a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Secretarial Studies (Cum Laude) and a Bachelor of Education, as well as the Kappa Gamma Pi key, a symbol of election to the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society. She worked for many years as an executive assistant at Addison-Wesley Publishing.
A published poet, painter, figure skater and world traveler, among other things, she will be lovingly remembered by her many friends and relatives.
Michal Alexis Millar was born in Toronto and moved to England as a young girl after the war with her family where she started school, subsequently she went to school in Bermuda and Gander, Newfoundland. She started her studies at the Mount in 1974 as a mature student and graduated in 1977 with a B.A. Cum Laude in Anthropology and Sociology. That year she married her husband D. Vance Crowe, a research scientist with the federal government Department of a National Defence. Upon graduation Michal became the Alumnae Director at the Mount until 1984. During that time alumnae records were computerized and with modern computer methods many alumnae who had been out of touch were reintroduced to the Mount. Loyalty ties were strengthened with a newsletter, reunions provincially, nationally and internationally, and the establishment of new and significant scholarships.
Since leaving the Mount Michal operated a bed and breakfast for six years from her home on Robie Street, and then she moved to Italy with her husband where he was working for NATO. Living in Italy was a smorgasbord of intellectual and cultural stimulation and an opportunity to taste and delight in all that Europe had to offer.
Returning to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Vance and Michal have been enjoying retirement, attending Elderobics, two book clubs, spending time at their cottage in Pictou County, playing bridge, winters in Florida and travels to exotic places, as well as revisiting friends in Europe.
In her spare time Michal enjoys volunteering with the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Cole Harbour Heritage Museum, Canadian Federation of University Women, and Symphony Nova Scotia/Women for Music. Michal Crowe
Michelle Elizabeth Gray, my niece, was an adventurer, role model, entrepreneur, mentor, teacher, loving daughter and wife. Born in Halifax to Joyce and Paul Gray in 1971 her passion for life knew no bounds, her loyalty to her all those she loved was unwavering, and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge and new experiences carried her around the world . Michelle was educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Acadia University, Mount Saint Vincent University and the University of Maine.
From the time she could walk her “case suit” was packed and ready to go in a minute’s notice and Michelle travelled from Nova Scotia to Africa, France, Europe, Western Canada and finally settling in New York City, USA to pursue her passion for teaching.
Her New York students were gifted with five years of absolute devotion to making their lives bigger, brighter and better. The New York Memorial Service for Michelle in April 2010 was filled with her students who came to honour a woman who truly made a difference in their lives. It was wonderful to hear so many incredible stories of Michelle’s life with them, and how they were carrying forward in their lives to emulate her.
Michelle’s family and friends were gifted with a life filled with loyalty, unfettered honesty, laughter, adventures, storytelling, compassion, charity and above all love.
Michelle was not just my niece, she was my friend, a fellow risk taker , advisor and role model. I miss her with all my heart, and am so grateful for our special memories. Love Aunt Jean (Nicholson)
It is in the humble and loving dedication to family that women most truly impact the world. In this vein Mildred (Langille) Cody owns a place on the Wall of Honour.
Raised the daughter of a simple fisherman and housewife, Mom married Dad and selflessly raised a family of seven, all of whom were devoted to her. Instilled with a strong sense of self, fierce love of God, family and others, all were encouraged to achieve their dreams with Mom there for support should they slip. Nanny unconditionally adored her beloved grandchildren. Family and friends never left Mom’s home without the requisite physical or emotional sustenance.
Mom always epitomized everything that is good in family and community … in women. We are proud to call her Mom and to enshrine her forever on this Wall of Honor.
Beloved Wife, Cherished Mother and Prominent Nova Scotia Educator.
Mildred and Allison shared a lifetime love of family, horticulture, and their harness racing horses.
As an Educator, Mildred was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada, for Valuable Service to the Nation and an Honorary Diplomate of Philosophy in recognition of her Outstanding Efforts in the Field of Education from The Colorado Christian College.
Mildred believed her greatest achievement in life was her children and their happiness. Her influence on each of us reaches far beyond the colour of our eyes or the hand gestures or the expressions we use. She was our friend, our disciplinarian, our guide, our mentor, and often times our best co-conspirator. The talents and natural abilities Mom passed on to us, her daughters, granddaughters and great grandson will allow her to always be part of each of us. Her quiet intense resolve helped to instill a spirit of adventure in each of us, to reach beyond what is directly in front of us, to strive for more and to accept the fact that we might not always be successful with everything we attempt and to enjoy life.
She only expressed one regret in her life, and that was that because of her polio she couldn’t ice skate. Well now she can. We love and miss you. The Nicholson Family
Muriel Donahoe Duxbury, one of our earliest alumnae leaders was president in the late 1930’s. A graduate of the academy in 1924, Muriel went on to attain her Bachelor and Masters of Arts from Dalhousie. She taught English and French until her retirement.
“The Alumnae Association was like a large family. We had a literary group and a visiting group. We had a reunion every year with a lovely dinner party”. Although there were only 200 girls at the academy when she attended, Muriel feels the main objective of the Mount Alumnae Association is the same as in its founding years – to raise money for scholarships.
Muriel recalls tea parties and entertainment to raise money for student scholarships and believes it is a worthwhile effort.
Muriel has been honoured by friends and family through the establishment of a scholarship fund in her name.
I am indeed pleased to sponsor a tile on the Women's Wall of Honour in tribute to my sister, Myrtle Crispo. Now in her 86th year she is still a source of comfort to our family. She has devoted her life to the service of others. She was a caregiver to our parents in their declining years and a wonderful, loving Aunt to her many nieces and nephews. In her youth she overcame serious illnesses and was still able to retain her pleasant disposition. She is a respected family and community member in her home village of Harve Boucher, Nova Scotia.
Throughout her career, Nan has worked tirelessly to effect transformations in attitudes, beliefs and practices that contribute to gender inequalities. As a high school science teacher, Nan enacted progressive methodologies and later co-authored the Science Plus program, which was adopted across North America. She moved on to decades of leadership in addressing the significant under-representation of women in post-secondary education and workplaces in science, engineering, technology and trades. She served as Executive Director of the Hypatia Association and as President of CCWESTT, the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology. She was instrumental in establishing the Women Unlimited Program, which creates safe and respectful women-centered learning and work environments enabling women to gain access to traditionally male-dominated occupations.
Born in Halifax in 1925, Nan Wilkinson Hattie began her education at the Bloomfield School in 1930. In 1932, her family left for Glasgow, Scotland, returning to Nova Scotia in 1934 and settling in Dartmouth where Nan attended Park and Greenvale Schools, and studied piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Nan’s father wanted her to attend Acadia University, but the outbreak of war put an end to those plans. In 1943, she began working at the Dartmouth Shipyards, where she continued until she married in 1949. In her late 50s, Nan returned to work and learned how to use a computer. Soon after, Nan was diagnosed with ALS. Determined to live life to the fullest, Nan continued working until she was 70. Widowed in 2002, Nan continued living at home thanks to Home Care, the ALS Society, and family. When in 2012 Nan entered long term care, she did not sit around waiting for death: instead, with the help of a motorized wheelchair and social media, her life was busy. When the ALS Society loaned her an iPad, Nan learned how to use Skype, Facebook, YouTube, and Google, and loved to play internet Scrabble. Nan also participated in fundraising events for the ALS Society. Until her death in 2017 at 91, Nan’s positive approach to life, her caring demeanor, and her love of learning were an inspiration to all who knew her.
At the age of forty-five, Nancy embarked on a great new adventure in life, she enrolled in Mount Saint Vincent University as a part-time student.
She did so with great trepidation as she said University was for “smart kids”.
Four short years later Nancy graduated from MSVU with Distinction, specializing in Women’s Studies and Religious Studies.
This exemplifies what Nancy was truly like. She was very intelligent but modest, witty and humorous. Her many friends say she was always laughing.
Nancy was kind, compassionate and had unparalleled empathy for others. She always had time for others and would often spend hours on the phone solving the problems of the day. These conversations invariably continued long into the night.
Nancy was an avid reader, and an even better listener. She loved a good debate and talking politics, both Canadian and American. An avid traveler, she loved learning about other people, their countries and their cultures. Somehow she found time to visit 105 countries.
In addition, Nancy was intensely loyal to her family and friends.
...loving wife of Jim Stevenson for more than 45 years
...mother of Maggie Louise (Stevenson) Barnhill
...world’s best grandmother to Patrick, Christopher and Nicholas Barnhill
The world was a better place with Nancy in it.
“Gerry’s Daughter” is known as the host of ATV's Live at Five. When people ask Nancy what she’s doing these days, she’s almost speechless. That’s ironic, considering she carved her career from speaking....speaking to movie-stars, politicians, musicians, authors, and thousands of everyday people who have interesting stories of their own. But 10 years after concluding her long-time stint on daily TV, Nancy is revelling in the multi-dimensional nature of her current professional life. And no wonder! A specialist in effective communication, Nancy engages audiences with her enthusiasm and humour. Capitalizing on her many years of experience on live TV, she can handle any situation with ease and grace. Her delivery is right on target - whether she’s on stage alone at the microphone, or sitting down for a one-on-one executive interview with a CEO.
Along with being a sought-after MC, Nancy delivers keynotes and seminars, and offers communication coaching - bringing her broad combination of talents to the boardroom to help professionals shine when THEY are in the spotlight.
Mum was ahead of her time. A woman taking engineering was quite a novelty in those days. She was an appointed member of the school board and it was assumed, of course, that as a female member of the board, she would be the one to make the coffee. She said to the board members, “I’ll take my turn making the coffee, but so will each one of you!” The story about the “no trousers for female students” was a big news item in Fredericton at the time (in the early ‘70s). Well, Mum was not willing to toe the party line, and her sole dissenting vote might not have won girls the right to wear trousers in the freezing cold of a January in Fredericton, but it made all the headlines, and not long after, the restriction was overturned.
We miss her terribly, but I am proud to know that her name will be among the many names of wonderful women on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
Dr Tamara Franz-Odendaal
The NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) for Atlantic Canada was awarded to the Mount in 2011. The goal of the CWSE program is to increase the participation of women in science and engineering, and to provide role models for women active in, and considering, careers in these fields. The CWSE program is regional with five chair holders across Canada. All chair holders are women active in research and funded by NSERC (The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada). The Atlantic Chair is currently held by Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal of the Biology Department. In 2013, Tamara was one of the grand prize winners of the Dove Unstoppable Moms for Unstoppable Girls Award as well as the recipient of one of the Discovery Centre’s Science Champion awards. Tamara is also the Mount’s 2015 Research Excellence Award recipient. She lives in Halifax with her daughter and husband. She is passionate about improving the path for other women in science and about inspiring girls to consider a career in science.
Pat Baker (1955 – 2007). An extraordinary teacher, scholar, colleague and leader. They say that a university teacher’s legacy is with their students—the relationships created and the influence they have on changing lives. This is certainly true of Dr. Baker, who was awarded a MSVU teaching award, but there’s much more to her story. For those of us who worked with Pat, she had a profound influence on how we treat each other. Her many years’ involvement with the MSVU Faculty Association (FA) and The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) had a profound positive impact on the individuals she touched and the local and national labour movements. For example, she initiated the MSVU FA membership in with the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour through our membership with the National Union of CAUT (NUCAUT) and the Canadian Labour Council. In 2006 Pat was awarded CAUT’s Sarah Shorten Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in promoting the advancement of women in Canadian universities and colleges. With this brick, we are reminded of her far-reaching legacy.
Pat is a devoted daughter, caring sister, proud mother, loving wife and friend for life. She’s thoughtful, kind, insightful, witty and bright. She has a wonderful sense of humor that is matched only by her kindness and compassion toward others. In the workplace she’s a true professional, always on top or ahead of things, quietly making things happen and adding tremendous value to any organization, office or team. Don’t let that quiet exterior fool you, she’s spirited, determined and fiercely protective of those she loves, including, or maybe especially, her four-legged companions.
Pat Burt-Gerrans was a mother, nurse, business owner, and teacher. She was also a cancer survivor for the last seven years of her life, until she finally succumbed to it in her 44th year. She was an innovative thinker who embraced life with a sense of purpose. Although it has been twenty years since her passing, the impact of both her life and her death are tangible for me on an almost daily basis. She taught me to be strong, ask questions, dream big, and never accept anything less than my best. For her two grandchildren, who have never been able to meet her, to hug her, or to benefit from her presence, this is an opportunity to help us celebrate the memory of her.
My mother never got to see me graduate from high school or from university (which I have now done twice). She never experienced graduating from university herself, although she started a program via distance during her years of cancer remission. To honour her on the walls of a University dedicated to teaching and learning and to recognizing the accomplishments of women, is fitting and appropriate. She would have been proud of what the Mount stands for and to be associated with its legacy.
The Mount played a special role in the life of our Tricia. She completed her BA in 1978 and received her MA in Early Childhood Studies in 2011. In 2011, Tricia was honoured with the MSVU Senate Award of Distinction, as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Enriching the Lives of Youth.
Enriching lives is what Tricia did best. Professionally, she dedicated 30 years to working with families of young children with developmental delays, first as Program Director with the Progress Centre for Early Intervention, and later as its Executive Director.
She pioneered and championed the development and implementation of programs for early intervention in Nova Scotia, and was a tireless advocate for families and their children. Tricia loved sharing all that she had studied, learned and experienced, and did so with anyone who asked, as well as through seminars at the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education.
Beyond her work, Tricia enriched the lives of her family and friends as well. She was kind, determined, courageous and a joyous spirit who radiated positive energy and creativity. She was devoted to her family and to her friendships, as well as to her chosen profession. Trisha inspired us all.
Tricia’s dream was to join the faculty and lecture here at the Mount – to continue enriching lives through sharing her wisdom. Instead, the bright light that was Tricia shines through the hundreds of lives she touched.
Pat Woods was a curler, gardener, bird watcher, skier and loving family member. Her constant sense of humour and steadfast nature is missed. Pat did things her way and always dug in to help when needed.
Known as Pat to those close to her, Patricia was born in Tredegar, South Wales in 1936. At the age of 30, she immigrated to Canada with her husband and four young sons in 1966. In her youth, she was an accomplished netball and track and field athlete. Later, she became a competitive lawn bowler. She was renowned internationally as a much-loved and talented Scottish country dance teacher, and in 2002, she was awarded the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Scroll of Honour. She was Matron at the Halifax School for the Blind, where she had an impact on the lives of many students, including singer Terry Kelly. Throughout her life, she was well-known for her artistic talents, including ceramics, quilling and the most intricate of needlework. She left us in 2014, after 78 years of wonderful life. Her legacy will not soon be forgotten.
She had piercing blue eyes and a mischievous side that showed itself in the many practical jokes she loved to play. While proper and ladylike in her style and presentation, she was fierce in the protection of and love for her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed watching the Montreal Canadians, reading and great conversation. She showed courage in the face of adversity, kindness towards others and she was a quick study of character. Good smells and wonderful food were the products of her apron-wearing efforts in the kitchen. As a teacher, mother and nanny, she valued the importance of education and would be proud to be part of this university tribute.
There were few female Political Science professors in Canada, when Dr. Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon began her career; hence, she recognized the need to be a positive role model for women and to advocate on their behalf. In teaching international relations, she encouraged students to be good citizens (i.e., well-informed individuals who not only analyze events and the actions of others but who also evaluate their own perceptions and biases, who demonstrate concern for those less privileged and work to make this world a better place). Her concern for social justice is evident in her publications, briefs to government, and leadership on local, national and international boards and workshops.
Our mother, Rae (Briggs) Rowan always dreamed of attending University. After high school she went to Business School, started to work, married and had a family. In 1979, with three of her seven children in university and the two youngest in elementary school, she made her dream a reality, and registered at MSVU. Balancing the demands of home and schoolwork, she loved having the opportunity to learn, using her electives to explore her interests – particularly in English literature. In 1982, Mum received her diploma when she and I graduated from the Mount together on Mother’s Day! Her mother, Jo Briggs, a school teacher from rural New Brunswick and our Dad were there to celebrate! Mum received her degree in 1983. We were so proud and inspired by her accomplishment – all seven children went on to receive degrees and diplomas in education, the arts and business. Shelley Rowan, BPR’82
A life of fierce intellectualism inspires new generations of scholars.
Since 1849 the Religious of the Sacred Heart have provided education in Halifax - on Spring Garden Road across from the Public Gardens. Convent of the Sacred Heart became Sacred Heart School of Halifax, an now educates boys and girls through Grade 12. Historically, College Street School was also run by the RSCJ. No longer athletic rivals, The Mount and Sacred Heart collaborate on the placement of education students as practice teachers. Since 2014, retired Religious of the Sacred Heart live alongside Sisters of Charity at Caritas Residence - distinct in charism, united in service to the Church of Halifax.
Honoured By Her Loving Son Leslie David Holloway
Rita passed away in July 2015 at 67 years young, and we can’t think of a more fitting way to pay tribute to her for her remarkable friendship than through the Women’s Wall of Honour. We’ve known each other since we were young kids, growing up together, having many laughs and finding just a little bit of trouble on Elm Street Extension (now Nova Drive) in Truro, NS. We were there for each other when we got married, had babies, experienced divorce or the loss of a spouse, pursued careers, built new homes and many other significant moments in each other’s lives. Rita was a lifelong friend who was there for each of us in understated ways – to lift you up when you needed it most, to enjoy a cup of tea which she loved so much, to take on fights for which you didn’t have the fight left in you and to be there for you when the world had come crashing down around you. She had the uncanny way of seeing the bright side and making things better. She was taken from us too soon but she will be forever remembered for her easy laugh, her unique wit, her ‘elephant’ memory about everything that happened in our younger years, her beautiful handwriting, her gentle kindness and eternal optimism, and especially her love for her family and friends. We miss you.
With love from the Elm Street gang – Gary Jollymore, Marilyn MacLean, Deanna Rath, Janis Stuckless, Sandi Swan.
Rosemarie’s life, one way or another, has been connected with the Mount. She came from Boston to the Mount in 1958 as an undergraduate. While in graduate school in the late 1960s, Catherine Wallace, then President of Mount Saint Vincent University, recruited her to be a member of the new Department of Psychology. From 1973 to 2007, Rosemarie taught in the Psychology Department, served as its chair, and then was Dean of Professional Studies for 11 years. In her last years at MSVU, she was Senior Associate responsible for Gift Planning in the Office of Advancement. She has a phenomenal institutional memory! Following mandatory retirement, Rosemarie continues a very active volunteer life not only with MSVU, but also with the Sisters of Charity, Bedford Waterfront Development, Capital District Health Authority Board, and chairs her Parish Council. I, her husband, say that “she is not retired, but unwaged.” Now, in addition to these activities, she enjoys travel, gardening and keeping fit by spinning.
My father and I have decided to recognize my mother Ruby Blois for the Women’s Wall for many reasons and we could write a book on why she deserves this recognition, but in simple words, it is our love for her. Ruby Blois is a kind, caring woman who has spent her life in service to others. Leadership is at the core of her nature and from her beginnings as a brownie leader to her years at the IWK as a Nurse leader, she has always shown both of us, that you always dig deep for those in need. Ruby is a focused volunteer, and has been involved in helping countless organizations, most recently raising money to build Brigadoon, a camp for chronically ill children. Now, she is chairing the Leading Women committee for Project 2012. Outside of this, she never turns down a call for help from friends, family and strangers. She will fully jump in if someone is in trouble and needs a helping hand. She is kindness and love in action and deserves to be honored, thanked and recognized for all the good she brings to each and every life she touches. That’s why Dad and I wanted to do this in her honour.
Serving on the National Board of the Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded and as President of the Nova Scotian Association, Ruth’s decades of volunteer service with mentally challenged persons and their families has gone a long way to define our community as caring and loving. She has instilled in many the passion to care for and understand a very neglected, vulnerable population that had been isolated and marginalized from the mainstream.
Ruth Oland was a pioneer and an effective advocate who brought a level of productive dignity to all she did. She has left a legacy of community service to those most vulnerable and a voice to their families.
Samantha had just completed her second year of business studies at the Mount. She had decided to add Marketing as a double major along with Accounting, which she had already declared. Sammy, as she was known to her family and close friends, was an artist who loved to paint and sketch, and a dancer who particularly excelled in ballet. She liked to knit and sew, even making some of her own clothes. Samantha was an environmentalist and an animal lover. She was beautiful on the inside and out.
But what she was more than all of these things; she was aware of others, she was sensitive, and she was kind hearted. Samantha went out of her way to make sure that people were ok, that everyone was included and celebrated for all of their differences. She brought people together, she drew them in. She made time for people and made everyone she came in contact with feel special.
Samantha left this world too soon and took a piece of many hearts with her. She left her footprint though, in the lives of the people who knew her. She lived her life by example and we are richer for it.
Judge Sandra E. Oxner is a retired judge of the Nova Scotia Provincial Court where she served for 25 years. A passionate advocate for ongoing judicial education, she holds the distinction of being Nova Scotia’s first female judge. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she graduated from the University of King’s College in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1965, and a Master of Laws degree in 2001. She practiced law in Halifax from 1965 -1971, and was appointed to the Bench on May 28, 1971. She was married to the late Donald Percy Keddy of Halifax.
Judge Oxner is a past president of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. She chaired the education committee of the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association, and is the founding president of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute. She has organized or taught in judicial education programs in Canada, the United States, England, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Yemen, China and Russia. She has also held positions as adviser to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, UNDP, CIDA, USAID and the Ford Foundation. As both editor and author Judge Oxner has published several books and articles on judicial education, as well as on other legal and legal-historical subjects. Judge Oxner is an Officer of the Order of Canada and amongst many honours and recognitions holds honorary degrees from the University of King’s College (Halifax, N.S.), and St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, N.S.), and The Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.
To Judge Oxner the law is a special profession, one that empowers all who practice it to pursue change in social justice through legal means.
I am honored to nominate my daughter, Sara, for the Women’s Wall of Honour. Although Sara’s beautiful light was extinguished far too soon, at the age of 26, she made a lasting impact on everyone she met.
In her early years, Sara enjoyed ballet, running and playing. And then at around the age of seven, her body stopped doing what her brain told it to do; our creative, intelligent and loving girl, was like a prisoner in her own body.
Yet, Sara did not give up. Hope became her strength and her courage; she never allowed her physical disability to define her. She met life with a smile. And if you saw past her wheelchair, you were truly blessed. You will always carry precious memories of Sara.
Sara attended the Mount and truly enjoyed her time there. She felt that she belonged. Therefore, I thought it fitting to nominate Sara for the Wall of Honor. Perhaps it will also bring some measure of comfort and healing. My dear Sara, until the day I put my arms around you once again, every beat of my aching heart will beat for you. I love you, my Angel Girl. Forever and always, Mom.
Selma Doucet can be described as a loving, supportive, entrepreneurial parent. She successfully raised seven children in rural Cape Breton with her husband, Gordie while running their family’s multi-million dollar mechanical contracting firm. Her loving nature, strength, solid principles, dedication and ability to get things done was instilled in each of her children. They are eternally grateful for her guidance and attribute much of their own success to their parents.
Our Dearest Friend, Shanda,
“Thank you for being our friend. We travelled down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.”
You will forever be with us and on this special occasion, we stand in unison to honor and salute you. Throughout the years that we spent at MSVU, you helped us create a book of memories where the pages are full of love, laughter, tears and events that only you had the power to create. We remember you for your beautiful smile and how you took hours to comb your hair (making us late for functions) ensuring every strand was in place. We remember the many nights we sat in the kitchen on campus, laughing and talking until early hours in the morning; having all the answers to make the world a better place. We remember you as we sat at the donut shop on the Bedford highway; staying there all night in an attempt to study for exams. We remember you, the woman that you were; possessing a strength of purpose and unwavering dedication.
Friends Forever: (Bermuda) Jill, Karen, Mitzi, Rochelle, Gina, Brenda-Jean Gladnora, (Bahamas) Daphne, Ingrid, Margo, (Barbados) Grace, (Tobago) Delnora, (Aruba) Lillian
Gifted Teacher. Inspirational Colleague. True and Dear Friend. To me and so many others - our Shiny Person
During her time in the Public Relations Dept. at MSVU, Shani Pearson became a leader in Cooperative Education in Canada, a mentor to students and a valued colleague. In 1991, she faced some daunting challenges: moving coop from voluntary participation to a department wide initiative; managing the transition to a new curriculum; and tripling the number of employers. By the time she took on a new role at MSVU in 2005, her professional expertise had led to coop placements with leading firms across Canada.
– Judith Scrimger, former Department Chair.
With this tribute, we proudly honour Sharon (Meagher) MacDonald (BEd., MSVU, 1992) who passed away in 2006 at age 58. Sharon was a true inspiration to her family and all who knew her.
She brought to our lives a lightness, a joy of being; a passion for motherhood; a faithful love; and a generous spirit. She was highly valued for her love of learning and teaching, and her infinite respect for her students.
We honour her for being the golden example of the importance of faith, family, and friendship in living well.
We honour her for her courage in suffering, and her strong presence to us despite living with brain cancer for three years.
“Loyalty, trust, and forgiveness” (her words) were her mottos.
Making us better people is her legacy.
Sharon will always be in our hearts!
Her husband Frank, her children-Craig, Alana, Laura, Jenny, and her sisters and brothers-Kay, Donna, Lauchie, Eileen, Mary, Doug, Bruce, Patsy
Sharon is a loving, caring,generous lady who eagerly shares her insights on world politics and sports. She is truly a beautiful woman inside and out.
Sharon (y.o.b - 1946) has an ongoing curiosity about the natural world. She is an avid gardener, plant collector and animal lover. She attended the Halifax Infirmary School of Nursing, worked for a few years, married and stayed home with her only son. When he entered school she decided to take a course at MSVU in ecology. During that time, at the age of 37, she became a single parent. With the wonderful support of family and faculty, particularly Dr. M.A. Flinn, she continued on to receive a BSc degree in biology/chemistry. She received an NSERC grant to do research in ecology and published a paper on the results. Two more summer grants followed for supervising several students in the same lab. She continued on to a MSc degree at Dalhousie University in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. She worked at various clinics and hospitals in Bridgewater and Halifax until retirement. She served on many committees, was treasurer of her professional provincial association and served as a board member and chair of the Dartmouth Developmental Centre. Currently, she, spends most of her free time enjoying her family and friends and her many hobbies. She has been an inspiration to family and friends due to her tenacity to maintain a good life for herself and her son and, her courage and strength during many major medical challenges over the years.
Sheelagh Nolan grew up in St. John’s NL and Halifax NS. She was a gifted athlete, a natural friend and a breathtaking beauty. Her best friends were her parents, her siblings and her husband and children. She passed away far too soon at age 43 from thyroid cancer – and is deeply missed by her friends and family. As a dietician in Halifax she left a long list of patients who remember her warm personality and direct advice. Sheelagh always cut through the noise of general discussion and put her finger on what was authentic and true. She was her own person – never overly impressed or intimidated – but always warm and open-minded. She remains the “apple of the eye” of her family. Her instinctive devotion to her son, Patrick, who had special needs, set her apart from the crowd. She exemplified independence, warmth and courage in the face of all adversity she faced.
Our family wishes to honour our mother, Sheila Barkhouse. She was the backbone of our family. Mom was born in Port Dufferin, Halifax County, in 1920. She raised 12 children and, when our father died in 1967, she went to work at the Mount to help support our family. Mom also worked at the IWK hospital where she provided support to other families in their time of need.
Our mother taught us to work hard, to be kind, to help others and see the good in any situation and in everyone. Mom left us in 1994, but she enjoyed life to the fullest and she especially loved a good game of 45’s, day or night. Mom is our Queen of Hearts and we miss her inspirational sayings every day. Whenever any one of us is at a crossroad in our life, we look at our mother’s life and we ask ourselves, “What would Mom say, or do?”
Our family is proud to know that our mom’s name will be among the many names of wonderful women on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
We recognize Shirley for her love and generosity with family, friends and community.
Shirley spreads joy and excitement. She is timeless. She makes each day exciting and interesting for all near her.
Shirley’s greatest experience has always . . . just happened.
Shirley’s career with the Federal Public Service earned a National Award of Excellence in Human Resources, a testimony to her skill and judgment. Her many volunteer leadership roles with such organizations as Pier 21, Arthritis Society, Laing House, Kids Help Phone and others are filled with dedication, success and fun.
She makes every room she enters, a better place.
With much love from Steve, Rob, Judy, Michael, Jason.
Sister Agnes William was the college mistress and my first sociology professor. As I was new in Canada, she taught me the terms of melting pot and multi-culturism and their implications. Even though we only had contacts for just a few months, she impressed me as a caring, friendly and sympathetic person, most suitable qualities for being a college mistress which lasted from 1953- 1958. After my graduation in 1961, and before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia, I visited her at Seton Hall in Patchogue, New York. We corresponded until her untimely death in 1966, at age fifty.
Sister Anna Gertrude was the Registrar when I first applied to the Mount from Hong Kong. We corresponded for about a year before we finally met at the Mount in January, 1958. For one semester, she was also my mathematics teacher. Small in stature, meticulous and soft spoken, she commanded respect from all who knew her. After my graduation, we continued to correspond regularly and there were a few visits over the years as she took interest and gave encouragement to everything I did. She died in 1998 at age 94. I value her friendship to this day.
The Color of the Dance
this is the robe
this seamless hole of time
a piece of cloth
transparent to my touch
when cloth could not cover
sins blood-red shame
robes to reveal gender
are still a part of
this one robe
worn by the crucified
ripped from man
crowned with a ring of thorns
dwells in my mind
a riddle to master
Why do I dream
of this seamless robe
a clear clean spacious place
circled in robes
beginning with the ends
I step inside
the center of the rings
my robe is red
with sky-blue threads entwined
steps dance to colors
the robes of circles
merge into my red
blue to purple
the moment of the dance
and I are One
robed seamless time
Jacque Harris 2000
Mi’kmaq Elder, Sister Dorothy Moore
My dear friends, let us walk in peace, in harmony, and in balance on mother earth and let us soar like an eagle, filled with pride and gratitude that each one of us is sacred in the eyes of our Creator.
-Sister Dorothy Moore
Sister Dorothy Moore was born in 1933 in Membertou, a Mi’kmaw community on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Sister Dorothy, as she is affectionately known, was a student of the Indian Day School and a survivor of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School System. With a strong sense of purpose, she became one of the first Mi’kmaw students to study in the public schools of NS. In 1956, she became the first Mi’kmaw woman to become a Sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha. Driven by her determination and courage, she carries on her father's legacy of promoting the Mi'kmaq culture, language and traditions. In a forward thinking, unassuming manner, she questions her oppressors, leaving them stunned by the wisdom of her words. As a well-known educator with a life affirming approach, she has broken down systemic barriers, leading her People to access education in many different directions.
With a love of education, she went on to receive a teaching certificate, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degree from Saint Francis Xavier University, and a Masters of Education in Educational Psychology from Mount Saint Vincent University. Her time and devotion to preserving and reclaiming Mi’kmaw culture and language has brought a new discipline to the world. She led the path to many foundational changes in our educational system, integrating Mi’kmaq history and language into education programs in Nova Scotia. Over the years, Sister Dorothy has accumulated many awards and accolades including Atlantic Innovator of the year (1990); the Governor General’s citation for Citizenship (1991), Mount Saint Vincent University, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (2002), Cape Breton University, Honorary Degree in Presidents Installation - Laws (2004), and Saint Mary’s University, Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (2009); the Order of Nova Scotia (2003); and the Order of Canada (2005). Each year on Treaty Day, The Government of Nova Scotia awards the Sister Dorothy Moore Educational Scholarship to a Mi’kmaw woman studying full time in a recognized teacher certification program, in recognition of their hard work and determination.
*Photo Credit to Lane Photography
My great aunt, Sister Germaine taught Muslim and Christian girls at a convent school in Tunisia for about sixty years. Born in Lebanon, Germaine Wakim joined the Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de l’Apparition, a nursing and teaching order, in Marseilles about 1900. After her training she was posted to convent school in Sousse, a town in Tunisia. She remained at the mission there for the rest of her life.
There Sister Germaine and the other sisters taught subjects such as Arab literature and home economics (cours menager) to daughters of the local merchants. The government had shut down most of the Christian religious orders in the mid-1960s. But the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de l’Apparition were allowed to remain because of their work in teaching locals and not attempting to convert people to Christianity.
Sister Germaine was loved and highly respected in the local community. In her later years she had former students visiting her almost every day. The other Sisters even had a nickname for her, Germo, because of her determination. One nun said she was a dynamo. A little woman with a big presence. When Sister Germaine wanted something she was determined to get it, whether it was for the convent, for a student or for a person in need.
She could be so gentle. There was nothing harsh about her. She was not a judgemental or critical person; she found the best in people. Sister Germaine was a positive person, which I considered to be a virtue. She lived such a simple pure life teaching, caring and nurturing others. That is what I’ll remember most. Lorraine P. Saab
Sister Margaret Flahiff spent many years at MSVU teaching history. Later she became the librarian at the Atlantic School of Theology. During her time at the Mount she truly inspired a love of history in all of her classes. She was notorious for the vastness of notes and number of readings that her course entailed. Yet what seemed like overwhelming amounts became treasure troves of understanding. The wealth of knowledge gleaned from time in her classes was absolutely worth every minute. It has influenced world views and broadened horizons over a lifetime.
Suzanne M. Reynolds
Sr. Blanche is worthy of honour because, as head of the Mount Saint Vincent School of Music with its numerous convent branches, she was a positive influence upon the musical life of Eastern Canada. She encouraged her many piano pupils to aim at a very high standard of performance and enabled us, by her skill as a teacher, to achieve that. We have always been grateful to her for the excellent musical education we received from this dedicated mentor with her impish sense of humour and great love of dogs.
Sr. Romaine Bates was the embodiment of the spirit of the Sisters of Charity, and the values of Vatican II, for her junior sisters and many others whom she inspired to "hazard yet forward". A strong, courageous, wise and compassionate woman, her example and the breadth and depth of her understanding brought us to life. We thank her for helping us become the dedicated women we are today.
The Cenacle Band, 1965-67
Sister of Charity (formerly, Sr. Joseph Cecilia)
Our big sister Rose attended Mount Saint Vincent Academy for her grade school education. She joined the Sisters of Charity upon completion. She then completed her BA /B.ED at MSVU followed by a MSW at St. Pat’s School of Social Work in Ottawa. Rose’s early career included teaching at St Mary’s school in Halifax, Counsellor at The Home of the Guardian Angel, where she helped many young girls and new families which resulted in many lifelong friends. She served as “Provincial” for the Antigonish and Cape Breton Province of the Sisters of Charity for two terms in North Sydney. Rose then returned to individual, and family counselling at The Pax Centre in Halifax. Rose has been involved with assessment for International Adoptions for Nova Scotia for many years of her career. In recent years she has worked in assessment for the Dept. of Health Continuing Care Program and continues to make a difference in the lives of many elderly citizens. Rose will celebrate her 50th anniversary as a Sister of Charity in 2013. We are so proud of her commitment to help others and her steadfast spirituality. We love you Rose! The McNeil Family.
Every now and then you meet someone and marvel at their endless talents, their generous heart and their smarts. Stacey is just that person. She’s wise beyond her years and generous of heart. She’s a devoted daughter and sister, a kind friend, a dedicated professional, tireless community volunteer and all around great person.
Self-proclaimed country born and city made, she is a gifted home cook, creative talent, and patio gardener and makes her living as a communications professional. She’s a two-time Mount grad, former Fellow in university advancement, and born entrepreneur. Stacey exemplifies the best of the Mount in her caring for others, generosity of her time and talent, and her commitment to making the world a better place.
She brings insight and compassion to everything she does and everyone she meets. She’s a beautiful woman, inside and out, and this world is a better place because Stacey is part of it.
Stacey Lewis Pineau
Stacey is a wife, mother, daughter, aunt and friend. She has a wonderful knack of knowing when to reach out and push and when to lean back and observe, always wanting only the best for everyone she meets.
She treats everyone and everything with respect and she is passionate about ensuring others are treated fairly. She’s kind and generous with her time and talents. Stacey has a smile that lights up a room and an infectious laugh.
Stacey is a proud MSVU BPR grad. She is the consummate professional – calm, cool, collected, strategic and effective on every occasion and especially under pressure. She’s empathetic, thoughtful and full of wise advice.
She is great at maintaining relationships – both personally and professionally, probably because she cares so much about people and is so genuine. While she is quiet and unassuming, she draws you in – you want to know more about her and be her friend.
Mom’s greatest joy came from caring for her family. She took great pride in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, and there was never a conversation that didn’t include her bragging about a family member. Most of her working days were spent caring for others and she had a way with seniors that was warm and compassionate. Mom had a great sense of humour, which she especially loved to share with the seniors.
Mom spent many hours worrying about us and couldn’t settle unless she knew everyone was safe and sound. She always stressed the importance of family and was the first one there whenever tragedy or hardship struck. Mom handled her own illness with strength, courage and grace.
Her grandchildren have fond memories of their Nanny, who spoiled them rotten, and slipped them the odd ‘forbidden treat’. Her hand-knitted sweater sets for all the babies in the family are still cherished, and there are still remnants of her beautiful flower gardens that she tended to with much love and pride.
It is a great honour to remember Mom by having her name placed on the Women’s Wall of Honour.
“But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you” (Yeats)
Susan "Susie" Brigham is an incredible mother, daughter, educator, and person in general. She is very well-read, well-travelled, and well-spoken. As a full professor Susie is always busy and in high demand, but she loves to take on new projects to help out the people around her. She does so much, from serving as a board member of the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute with excellence in Afrocentric education and research, to the chair of the Alexa MacDonough Institute for women, gender, and social justice. Through these committees, and in so many other ways, she is an inspiration to everyone fortunate enough to know her. Susie has travelled far and wide, experiencing different cultures, making connections, and sharing her work. Susie lives with her husband, Richard, and their two teenage daughters, Lily and Helena, who are sometimes lucky enough to go on adventures with her. In 2010 they travelled to the remote island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean to visit relatives and, of course, do some research. Susie has also lived in Kuwait, Ireland, Nepal, and Egypt, to name a few; mostly working as a school teacher, before returning to Canada to further her education. Everyone who knows her feels so proud and lucky to be able to say they know Dr. Susie Brigham.
Theresa Helen McNeil, and her husband Burt, had 17 children. Widowed at age 45, Theresa was left with 13 still at home. She then obtained her driver’s license and found a job to support her family. Theresa became Canada’s first female High Sheriff when she was appointed to the position for Annapolis County, Nova Scotia at age 50. In 2005, Theresa received the Order of Nova Scotia.
A wonderful mother, Theresa taught everyone by her example - through a lifetime of love and service to family, church, community, co-workers, the prisoners in her care, and most fundamentally her “love of neighbour”.
“A good example has twice the value of good advice” – author unknown.
"In memory of our mother whose extreme love for education has inspired and persuaded us to achieve our intellectual potentials against all odds."
Virginia Gray will be remembered by many as a strong academic and business leader with exceptional skills, drive and character. Virginia was a visionary, a respected colleague, a supportive mentor and trusted friend. Virginia was a woman with immense class, style, humility and grace. She had very high standards and people worked hard to emulate her.
Virginia Gray was a force to be reckoned with and never backed down from a challenge. At a young age, Virginia was inflicted with Polio and the illness would leave her with a permanent walking disability. But Virginia never let it get in her way and never wanted sympathy. Virginia graduated as a chiropractor but was drawn to education and in 1969, embarked on her career in Continuing Education at the University of Guelph where she served with an entrepreneurial spirit and vision for 38 years until her retirement from her position of Director, Office of Open Learning.
Under Virginia’s exemplary service and leadership, the Office of Open Learning extended the University’s long tradition of outreach through the development and delivery of distance education and continuing education programs. She was a pioneer in the field of online learning and her vision for using technology in a way that allowed the student to interact with the content and allowed the instructor’s voice to permeate through the course put the University of Guelph on the map as a leader in this field. As an advocate of eliminating barriers to education, she worked tirelessly to transform the University of Guelph into an internationally recognized, award-winning provider of educational opportunities for those interested in pursuing personal and professional development in degree and non-degree studies. Virginia also made significant contributions to the University of Guelph community, serving as a member of the Board of Governors, Senate, the Board of Undergraduate Studies, the Senate International Committee, the Senate Committee on Open Learning and the Access for Persons with Disabilities Advisory committee. In community life, Virginia was a member of the Guelph General Hospital Foundation, led the University’s United Way Campaign and was the President of the Zonta Club of Guelph. She was also a member of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Partnership for Advanced Skills (OPAS), Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) and Rotary. Virginia was named a Woman of Distinction by the Guelph YM-YWCA in 2006 and in 2008 was named an Honorary Fellow of the University of Guelph.
In 1997, she faced another personal challenge with the diagnosis of breast cancer. Once again, she faced the challenge head on, continuing to work as she did so and defeated it. Unfortunately, the cancer returned 2007 more aggressively and Virginia was forced into retirement. During the last three years of her life, she enjoyed spending time with her Portuguese water dogs and her husband, Chris, until her untimely death on May 17th, 2010.
Virginia had a strong love for her family, especially her sister, Susan, and her nieces and nephews. She enjoyed good books and sharing time with friends enjoying great food and fine wine. Virginia was an inspiration to all who had the true privilege and honour of knowing her and her work touched the lives of so many. Our world is a better place because of this beautiful woman.
Since coming to Nova Scotia over 45 years ago, Wendy has been an advocate for many different community needs. Professionally, as a Community Nutritionist in Sydney and Halifax County, and then as an active volunteer with the NS Nutrition Council, healthy eating and ‘how can the poor afford to eat’ was always a theme for families, students and professional development alongside peers including MSVU Nutrition students. Then, after raising sons Chris and Andrew, she found part-time employment as a library technician in elementary and junior high schools; the environment and nature education were popular themes to engage readers!
Currently, as an advocate for green spaces and trails, Wendy and husband Dr. Bob, Emeritus Chemistry Professor, can be seen guiding nature trail walks, maintaining trails or speaking at community and Regional Council meetings in an attempt to win support for the new Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park promised back in 2006!
A graduate of McGill University (Nutrition) and U of Toronto (Public Health Nutrition), Wendy values a healthy approach to active living. Recent travels have taken them around the world exploring and enjoying nature. In summer, they are busy with their Mount garden plot!
Wendy MacLeod, educated in Dartmouth NS and Orillia Ont. she graduated from the NS hospital school of nursing in 1965 and practiced clinical nursing at the Halifax Infirmary and the Victoria General Hospitals. After moving to Amherst NS she obtained her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick while working at Highland View hospital in Amherst. She ended her career working for the NS department of health. During all this time she was a wonderful mother to her three children. Wendy was a board member of the Cumberland Co. United Way and Autumn and the hospital auxiliary as well as president of the local branch of the NS Lung association. She continues to be a m ember of several community organizations.
Willie Mae Braswell Lumpkin has lived her life exemplifying selfless service to others. She is a person who always finds a way to help others, caring for those who need her assistance, whether it’s a ride to the doctor or managing their household when they have no family nearby. She has a limitless capacity for love, doesn’t know a stranger and has been relied on by family, friends, church and workplaces through a long and productive life. She stood by her husband of 50+ years, following his career across the globe when needed. She encouraged her three children to pursue the formal education that she was denied, having gone to work to help her family without finishing high school. Undaunted, she learned on her own through extensive reading. As an adult, she returned to school to earn her G.E.D. and later took college courses. Her boundless spirit is both an inspiration and a comfort to all who are fortunate enough to know her.
Winifred, Nurse Gallant, Mom, Aunt Winnie, Winnie the Pooh, Fitz – she’s all these things and so much more. She’s known for her thoughtful gestures, compassionate hugs, caring heart and great sense of humour. With a twinkle in her Irish eyes, a spirit of determination and a skip in her step, she is a positive force in this world. She’s been a devoted daughter, loving sister, caring wife and partner, and a friend and confidante. She is always willing to take the time to put a smile on someone’s face, offer a word of advice, provide professional counsel, share a laugh, deliver a homemade soup or bread, or offer comfort to a friend or stranger when needed. She’s an incredible woman and she’s taught me the value of kindness, giving, acceptance, reading, learning and laughing. I am proud and grateful to call her my mom and friend. ~ Kelly Gallant, BPR Grad
Yvonne Marion Aqui, older sister of Shirley (Aqui) Forde, Mount Alumna, was an accountant by profession but a true artiste at heart. She loved music, dance and painting and possessed an eye for beauty. She was a dreamer but not academic. However Yvonne held great affirmation for those who excelled in their specific fields of endeavour.
Yvonne enjoyed nature and the simple way of life. This was the reason for the choice of retirement in Prince Edward Island. She passed away February 21, 2010 at age 81.