Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: Thora Gudrun Sigurdson Cooke (c1925-2012)

Historian, archivist.

Born at Winnipeg around 1925, she grew up in the city’s West End, speaking only Icelandic until she started school. She trained as a nurse, graduating in 1949, and worked at the Winnipeg General Hospital. After taking university classes in the 1960s, she became a member of the Social Planning Council, serving from 1967 to 1969 before founding her own company, Info Research, in 1969. She served on the Boards of the Contemporary Dancers, Actors’ Showcase, and Manitoba Historical Society. She is perhaps best known for her role in founding, with partner and journalist Eric Wells, the Western Canada Pictorial Index at the University of Winnipeg, a large collection of historical photographs. She was the first female member of the Winnipeg Press Club. She died at Toronto, Ontario on 11 February 2012 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

See also:

The Western Canada Pictorial Index by Laura McLaughlan
Manitoba History, Number 1, 1981


“Diplomas conferred on 78 nurses at General Hospital graduation,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 May 1949, page 10.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 February 2012.

“Force of nature unheralded, unforgettable” by Margo Goodhand, Winnipeg Free Press, 15 February 2012, page A11.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 December 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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