Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

October 2015 Posts:

26 October 2015

Counting Down to the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage: The Political Equality League Constitution, 1914

In our blog post of 23 February 2015, we featured the minute book of the Political Equality League. As we continue the countdown to the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Manitoba, we are presenting the League’s constitution from 1914.

The Political Equality League was founded in Winnipeg in 1912 to campaign for women’s suffrage in Manitoba. Prominent members included Lillian Beynon Thomas and Alfred Vernon Thomas, Dr. Mary Crawford, F. J. Dixon and Winona Dixon (nee Flett), E. Cora Hind, Nellie McClung, Francis Marion Beynon, Dr. Amelia Yeomans and Anne Anderson Perry.

The 1914 constitution sets out the League’s official name (“The Political Equality League of Manitoba”), its objectives, officers, committees, membership, dues, meetings and affiliation (the League recognized the importance of establishing branches).

The League’s constitution outlines four objectives:

  • “to unite all those in sympathy with the movement to gain political equality for the women of Manitoba”;
  • “to disseminate knowledge with regard to the legal status of women under present conditions”;
  • “to stimulate public opinion, by all lawful means, to the point of demanding political equality for women”; and
  • “to promote the organization of affiliated Leagues.”
cover of The Political Equality League of Manitoba Constitution 1914

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Page 2 and page 3 of The Political Equality League of Manitoba 1914 Constitution booklet. Page 3 outlines the objectives of the League.

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Archives of Manitoba, Political Equality League of Manitoba fonds, Constitution, P192/3.

The Political Equality League, and other organizations and individuals, worked hard throughout 1914 and 1915 to reach these goals and, in January 1916, Manitoba women were the first in Canada to get the vote.

See previous posts about “Counting Down to the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage” from 26 January 2015, 23 February 2015, 19 May 2015, 22 June 2015, 14 September 2015, and 13 October 2015.

Search Tip: Search “Political Equality League” in Keystone for more information.

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19 October 2015

Hudson's Bay Company’s General Court and the Victoria Cross

In Governor R.M. Kindersley’s speech to the general court of the directors of the Hudson’s Bay Company, dated August 2, 1916, he reported on all the areas of business for the Hudson’s Bay Company, including fur trade, land, and saleshops. Like all the reports given during the war years, he stressed the impact that war had on the company’s business in terms of finances and personnel. In this report, however, he deviates briefly from the business at hand to mention a Stores Department employee who enlisted.

Daniel Gardiner, age 20, had worked as an elevator operator at the Calgary store. He received the Victoria Cross before succumbing to wounds received while performing his act of bravery that earned him the decoration. As noted in the report, those in attendance at the general court took a moment to applaud the young man.

photo of a page in HBC minutes book

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Minutes of the annual general court of HBC directors and shareholders, 2 August 1916.
HBCA Library Call Number: FC 3207.1 R4/ra 1904-16

Search Tip: You can come to the Archives to read the minutes of the HBC’s annual general courts. To find them, search the HBCA Library Catalogue for “Report of the Governor and Committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company to the shareholders”.

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13 October 2015

Counting Down to the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage: “How the Vote Was Won”

Manitoba women and men worked for many years to get the vote for women. As discussed in earlier blog posts, the long campaign included holding meetings, collecting signatures for petitions and letter writing. In January 1914 members of the Political Equality League took a different tack and staged a satirical production called “How the Vote Was Won” at Winnipeg’s Walker Theatre (now the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts). It was very successful and was restaged in April 1914, also at the Walker. The April production included “A Women’s Parliament” featuring over fifty “prominent” Winnipeg women and the Assiniboine Male Quartette singing suffrage songs. Ticket prices ranged from 25 cents in the gallery to $1.00 in a box or the orchestra section.

The advertisement for the 16 April 1914 show (pictured below) is taken from a Walker Theatre program which is part of the Nathan Arkin collection at the Archives of Manitoba. Nathan Arkin was a Winnipeg businessman who worked to preserve and promote Canadian history. His collection also contains many other Walker Theatre programs as well as programs of events held by the Manitoba Music Teachers Association, the Winnipeg Orchestral Club, the Winnipeg Oratorio Society, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Society and the Celebrity Concert Series.

photo of cover of Walker Theatre program and advertisement for events at the Walker Theatre

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Archives of Manitoba, Nathan Arkin collection, Walker Theatre program 1914, P7543/1.

See previous posts about “Counting Down to the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage” from 26 January 2015, 23 February 2015, 19 May 2015, 22 June 2015, and 14 September 2015.

Search Tip: Search “Nathan Arkin” or “Walker Theatre” in Keystone for more information.

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5 October 2015

Manitoba's War Effort Takes Flight

On October 4, 1915, the Manitoba government issued an Order-in-Council authorizing the provincial treasurer to purchase a combat-ready “aeroplane” for supply to the Imperial Government’s Royal Air Corps. The government allotted a sum between twelve and fifteen thousand dollars to the project, and made a recommendation that the plane be flown by a Manitoba pilot, George C. Mills, who had received flight training at the Curtiss Aviation camp in San Diego, California.

Shown below is a copy of the official request made by the provincial treasurer to purchase the aircraft, and the original Order-in-Council authorizing the purchase.

typed letter from Edward Brown, Provincial Treasurer, to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council requesting the Government of Manitoba purchase an areoplane of the type required and recommending George Mills to be the Aviator in Charge

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handwritten Order-in-Council authorizing the purchase of the areoplane and recommendation of George Mills to be the Aviator in Charge, signed by T.C. Norris

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Archives of Manitoba, EC 0003A, Orders-in-Council, GR1530, Order-in-Council #24834, 1915, G881.

Search Tip: Search “Orders-in-Council” in Keystone for more information on these records.

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