Saturday, December 12, 2009

On December 12

On this day in ...
... 1949 (60 years ago today), London-born Nancy Hodges (right), who'd moved from England to Canada on account of her husband's poor health, was named Speaker of the British Columbia Provincial Legislature. Hodges' initial run for office, in 1937, had been unsuccessful; when out of office, she was a journalist, "a well-known clubwoman," serving as president of many women's groups, as well as a "women's rights advocate and British Columbia's leading woman Liberal." Elected in 1941, she earned the Speakership in 1949 by a speech that won the day for her candidate in a battle for British Columbia's Premiership.
At five feet ten inches tall, wearing the traditional British black silk Speaker's robes and tricorn hat, Hodges struck a dramatic figure. A skillful orator with a resounding voice ideal for keeping rowdy MLAs in line she was the first woman Speaker of the House in British Columbia or anywhere in the British Commonwealth.

(photo credit) In 1953 Hodges was appointed to Canada's Senate, among only 5 women then serving in that chamber. She served till retirement in 1965, and died 4 years later.

(Prior December 12 posts are here and here.)

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