MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Hortense Grandbois Noble Wood (1902-1987)

Community activist.

Born on a farm in South Dakota, of British and American ancestry, her large family moved back and forth across the Canada-US border as economic conditions determined. As an adult, she taught school in Saskatchewan. On 5 April 1923, she married fellow teacher W. A. Wood at Regina and moved with him to Brandon where they lived at 324 Thirteenth Street.

In Brandon, she served as President of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), first President of the Brandon Council of Women, President of the Manitoba Council of Women (1961-1962), and ultimately Vice-President of the National Council of Women. During the Second World War, on behalf of the YWCA, she set up Hostess Houses at Shilo, Rivers, and Carberry to provide accommodation for wives and mothers of men in military service. She was President of the Brandon Art Club (1949-1951). In July 1957, the Manitoba government appointed her to a Royal Commission on Education, chaired by R. O. MacFarlane. In the early 1960s, she served for six years on the Brandon School Division Board, including two years as its Chair.

Around 1966, she moved with her husband to Toronto, Ontario to be closer to family. She died there on 26 August 1987.

Sources:

“Events honor Brandon couple,” Brandon Sun, 24 March 1966, page 10.

“Hortense Wood an outstanding personality,” Brandon Sun, 6 August 1982, page 13.

Obituary, Brandon Sun, 9 September 1987, page 38.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 February 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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