Charlotte Elizabeth Whitton, 1896 - 1975
As mayor of Ottawa, photo by Doug Bartlett (9 June 1954)
Born: 8 March 1896, Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
Died: 25 January 1975, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada
Whitton attended Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario where she was the star of the women's hockey team, reportedly the fastest skater in the league. She worked on the school paper, the Queen's Journal, and was the first female editor. She was the founding director of the Canadian Council on Child Welfare (now the Canadian Council on Social Development) from 1920 to 1941. She was elected to the Ottawa Board of Control in 1951 but the mayor died in August and she was appointed acting mayor. She served out that term, was elected to another three-year term in 1952 and was again elected in 1961. She was a strong advocate for children and a witty feminist but opposed easing divorce laws, hated the new Maple Leaf flag, and was accused of racism and anti-semitism in some areas. Whitton lived with a female partner for many years but the intensity of that relationship was not known until years after her death.
Charlotte Whitton quotes:
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- Action makes more fortune than caution. permalink
- Big words seldom accompany good deeds. permalink
- Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face. permalink
- Call me anything you like, but don't call me a lady. permalink
in The Book of Lists, David Wallechinsky et al., eds. (1977)
- It is a poor observance of our first century as a nation if we run up a flag of surrender with three dying maple leaves on it. permalink
Ottawa Citizen (21 May 1964)
- It's how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success. permalink
- Man cannot live by incompetence alone. permalink
- There are two categories of women. Those who are women and those who are men's wives. permalink
- We never reflect how pleasant it is to ask for nothing. permalink
- Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. permalink
quoted in Canada Month (1963)
- When one must, one can. permalink
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