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Memorable Manitobans: Guðrún H. Finnsdóttir (1884-1946)

Writer, social activist.

Born in Iceland on 6 February 1884, she emigrated from Iceland to Winnipeg in 1904 with her husband Gisli Jonsson, a printer and poet. She began writing short stories and essays, which were published in various newspapers and periodicals, including Brautin (the Path), the monthly magazine of the United Conference of Icelandic Unitarian and Liberal Christian churches, Timarit and Heimskringla. Most of her writings concern the struggles of immigrants to make a new home in a new land. Several of her short stories were collected together in later in her life, while a collection of her essays was published posthumously in 1950. She was an active member of the Ladies' Aid Society of the Unitarian Church, and was president of the society from 1927 to 1928. In 1916, she was one of the founding members of the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire - unusual in that otherwise, the organization was almost entirely composed of women of British descent. Finnsdottir also served on the editorial committee and contributed enormously to Minningarrit Islenzkra hermanna, a memorial book published by the IODE to honor the Icelandic-Canadian contribution to the First World War.

She died at Winnipeg on 25 March 1946.


Icelandic Unitarians,

This profile was prepared by Kris Keen.

Page revised: 23 July 2011

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