Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Bessie May Cameron Lancaster (1892-1978)

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Bessie May Cameron Lancaster
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Educator, community activist.

Born at Winnipeg on 1 May 1892, eldest daughter of Flora Campbell (1863-1930) and John Alexander Cameron (1854-1937), during the First World War she was President (1918-1920) of the Girls’ Auxiliary of the Canadian Army Service Corps. She taught at Polson School (1916-1917) and was both a teacher (1917-1923) and Principal (1921-1923) of Lord Wolseley School in East Kildonan.

On 2 September 1924, she married Oscar Mason Lancaster (1882-1975) at Winnipeg. They moved to Swift Current, Saskatchewan and had three children: Clifford Lancaster (1925-?) and twin boys, born at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 28 September 1927, one of whom was Oscar Cameron Lancaster (1927-2010). At Swift Current, she involved herself with the National Council of Women and was head of the Standing Committee on Housing and Town Planning Committee (1940).

She appears to have moved to Toronto in 1941, after which she relocated to Edmonton, Alberta. She died there in 1978.


“To aid Canadian Army Service Corps dance,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 2 March 1918, page 21.

“To preside over C.A.S.C. auxiliary dance,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 4 February 1920, page 6.

“Cameron - Lancaster,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 September 1924, page 9.

“Social and personal,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 October 1924, page 8.

“Births,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 September 1927, page 24.

“Social and personal,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 August 1929, page 9.

Obituary [John A. Cameron], Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 19 November 1937, page 6.

“Mrs. G. O. Spencer against heads National Council,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 June 1940, page 10.

“War tax problem,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1941, page 7.

Braman family tree in Canada, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 9 June 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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