Memorable Manitobans: Hilda Hesson (1883-1968)
Author, poet, educator, community activist.
Born at Brandon on 14 August 1883, daughter of Frederick Henry Hesson and Edith Emma Wade (1860-1909), she was educated at Brandon and taught school there. After the family moved to Winnipeg in 1901, she worked as secretary and librarian at the Manitoba Normal School. For many years she conducted overseas tours for the Canadian Pacific Railway and was a hostess on CPR steamships. During the First World War, she served as President of the 78th Battalion’s Women’s Auxiliary. She also assisted in organizing the Central Voluntary Bureau in Winnipeg.
She served on the Winnipeg City Council from 1940 to 1947. She was a director of the Women’s Progressive Conservative Association of Canada, was a founding member and President of the Winnipeg Professional Women’s Club and later President of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women. She wrote for magazines under the name of Bobbie Burke and her poetry was included in several Canadian anthologies. She was a member of the Women’s Canadian Club, The Soroptimist Club, Victoria Business and Professional Women’s Club, and St. John’s Anglican Church.
She moved to Victoria, British Columbia around 1954 where she died unmarried on 22 March 1968. She donated a collection of photos to the S. J. McKee Archives at Brandon University.
Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary, Victoria Times, 23 March 1968.
“Ex-Winnipegger dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 March 1968.
We thank Linda Murtsell for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 March 2023