Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Kathleen Alice “Kay” Hamblin (1923-2004)

Farmer, community activist.

Born at Emerson on 27 June 1923, daughter of Jessie Katherine Peto (1889-1954) and Archibald Robert “Archie” Knowles (1883-1946), after attending Normal School, she taught at one-room schools in the Morden and Morris areas. On 1 July 1946, she married Thomas Harold “Tom” Hamblin (1916-2010) of St. Jean and they had four children and farmed in the St. Jean area until 1976.

Her main passion was the Morris Women’s Institute (WI)—Manitoba’s first, founded in 1910—and after serving for many years, became its first district president in 1972. After sitting as a representative in the Red River Valley District WI, she eventually served a three-year term as president. During that time she sat on the provincial board for three years, and in 1976 became president-elect of the Manitoba Women’s Institute, then in 1978 was provincial president for a term of two years. Besides carrying out her duties with the WI, she was a member of the Broadview Missionary Society, a charitable organization founded at Broadview near Morris.

She helped to plan the first national Farm Women's Conference at Ottawa in 1979, and in 1980 was appointed to Manitoba’s newly-formed, nine-member Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Labour and Manpower. She served on the planning committee for the Conference of Associated Countrywomen of the World at Vancouver in 1983, and was involved with the Red River Valley International Citizens Flood Control Coalition. In recognition of her community service, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).

She died at Morris on 9 February 2004 and was buried in the Morris Cemetery.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1926 Canada census, FamilySearch.

Furrows in the Valley: Rural Municipality of Morris by Morris History Book Committee, edited by Lenore Eidse, 1980.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 February 2004, page 30.

Obituary [Thomas Harold Ernest Hamblin], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 March 2010.

Kathleen Alice Knowles Hamblin, FindAGrave.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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