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This list could be virtually unending, as the number of Maritime women who have changed the way things are done today or have positively represented the female population of Canada, could go on forever. Check out this list of inspiring, badass women who started their journeys on Maritime soil.
- •Rose Fortune (1764-1864)Annapolis Royal, N.S.: Born in the states during the American Revolution, Rose, a black Loyalist, emigrated with her family at the age of 10 to Annapolis Royal, N.S. Not only did she start two profitable businesses, moving baggage from ships to hotels or houses on her wheelbarrow and a wake-up service for travellers, she is considered Canada’s first policewoman, imposing curfews in the area and walking the wharves. She was recently announced the namesake of the Bay of Fundy ferry, MV Fundy Rose.
- •Ellen Page (1987- )Halifax, N.S: After growing up in Nova Scotia, Ellen has cultivated a successful acting career. She inspired many when she came out in her speech at the Human Right’s Campaign “Time to Thrive” conference in 2014.
- •Sara Corning (1872-1969)Cheggogin, N.S: Sara joined the American Red Cross as a nurse during the war in 1921 and travelled to the Ottoman Empire to help in the relief effort for those effected by the Turkish massacres. In 1922, Sara delivered to safety more than 5000 orphaned Armenian and Greek children from the looting of Turkish soldiers in Smyrna. Sara established an orphanage in Greece and was honoured soon after by King George II of Greece with the Silver Cross Order of the Saviour.
These inventions might not all sound revolutionary, but perhaps you've never thought of a world without them. I mean, a world without self cleaning toilets, chocolate bars and washing machines? No thanks!
- 1.Self-contained underwater apparatus, AKA Scuba tankn 1839, Saint John residents James Elliott and Alexander McAvity were granted the patent to a “self-contained underwater apparatus.” Now known as the modern scuba tank, an oxygen tank strapped to a diver’s back, it has helped lead divers to many beautiful sights and underwater discoveries.
- 2.Clothes washer with roller ringer, AKA Manual clothes washerBefore John E. Turnbull, of Saint John, patented the manual clothes washer on July 10, 1843, women were forced to do much more gruelling housework on the washboard. Turnbull’s invention included wringer rolls on the manually operated machine to more efficiently do a load of laundry.
- 3.Steam-saving apparatus, AKA Steam engineIn 1845, Fredericton man Benjamin E. Tibbets patented a new kind of engine to improve speed in boats that was first used in the steamer, Reindeer.
The number of ‘firsts’ that happened in Maritime Canada could fill an entire encyclopedia. From Canada’s first rum distillery in 1751, to the raw excitement of the first airplane flight in 1909, we can take pride (except maybe for the first divorce) in knowing that these important firsts happened here in the Maritimes.
- 1.First divorce in CanadaIn 1750, Canada’s first official divorce was granted in Halifax. Lieutenant William Williams was granted an annulment with permission to re-marry and his ex-wife, Amy Williams, was found guilty by the all-male court, banished from Nova Scotia, and forbidden to re-marry so long as her ex-husband was living.
- 2.First rum distillery in CanadaJoshua Mauger started the first rum distillery in Canada on the Halifax waterfront in 1751. Located near the naval dockyard, his operations produced 50,000 gallons of rum per year, shipping to large outposts near Amherst and Windsor.
- 3.First black NHL playerWillie O’Ree of Fredericton, N.B. became the first black NHL player when he made his debut with the Boston Bruins in 1958. He played 47 games in the NHL, though he was blind in one eye. In 2010, he received the Order of Canada.
P.E.I. is a unique place, to say the least. Growing up on the Island means something different for everyone, but most of us had a few of the following things in common.
- 1.Milk, cheese, ice cream – wherever we go, there will never be a dairy product quite like ADL to take its place.
- 2.No holiday season is complete without a detailed schedule of levees to hit on New Years.
- 3.If you’re lucky enough to be a red-headed Island girl, you’re no stranger to being asked if you’re related to (or even if you are) the fictional character, Anne of Green Gables.