Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Winifred A. Locke Copeland (c1878-1918)

Community activist.

Born at Quebec, Canada around 1878, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Locke, both of Lockeport, Nova Scotia, she had two brothers and four sisters. She attended McGill University and received her BA Honours degree in 1896. She married Louis Benjamin Copeland (?-?) who worked as an engineer for the Indian Claims Commission. They had a daughter who died from meningitis at an early age, reinforcing her passion for services to better conditions for children. She worked on behalf of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society, Social Welfare Association (being the first woman elected to its Board, in 1916), Red Cross, Local Council of Women, and Children’s Aid Society.

An active member of the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg, minutes of a meeting on 27 March 1916 record that she presented a paper on “Opportunities for volunteer social services work in Winnipeg.” She served as Club President briefly, from June to October 1917. She was on the executive board of the Women’s Council as well.

On 28 December 1917, she sustained serious burns in her home at 112 Walnut Street in Winnipeg when her garment caught fire as she passed by a gas grate. She died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 4 January 1918. A funeral service was held in the chapel of Thomson & Company at 501 Main Street. The next day, her husband left with her casket on a train headed for Montreal. Burial took place at Berthier, Quebec.

Sources:

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Alumni List of Graduates, McGill University.

Minutes of the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg, 1916-1917.

“A life of faithful service,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 January 1918, page 5.

“Big drop in sum used,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 February 1916, page 5.

“Mrs. L. B. Copeland seriously burned,” Manitoba Free Press, 31 December 1917, page 5.

“The death of Mrs. Copeland,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 January 1918, page 15.

“Over the tea cups – in memoriam,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 January 1918, page 10.

“Mrs. L. B. Copeland succumbs to burns: Tragic end of a life of faithful services to suffering humanity,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 January 1918, page 5.

This page was prepared by June Dutka and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 February 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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