Memorable Manitobans: Margaret Laidlaw Hood [Wendy Warren] (1914-1967)
Radio personality, journalist, community activist.
Born at Winnipeg on 29 November 1914, daughter of Minnie Hislop (c1888-1969) and William James Laidlaw (1882-1934), she was raised in East Kildonan and attended East Kildonan Collegiate, where she edited the school’s official publication, the East Kildonan Collegians. She went on to attend Central Normal School and participate in Little Theatre.
She worked in advertising as well as supplying retail outlets for around 10 years. She was the Winnipeg advertising manager of Holt Renfrew and Company Limited before joining the staff of the CKY radio station, known by her air name as “Wendy Warren” from 1950 to 1955. She then joined the editorial staff of the Winnipeg Tribune, serving as Associate Women’s Editor (1955-1956) and Women’s Editor (1956-1967).
In 1944, she married John C. G. Hood (?-?) and they lived at 1212 Kildonan Drive in North Kildonan. They had no children. She was a member of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, a noted soprano soloist around Winnipeg, and a gifted public speaker, involving herself with the public relations, community youth ventures, women’s organizations, and charitable and cultural organizations. She was Vice-President of the Canadian Women’s Press Club of Winnipeg (?-1967) and a Director of the Good Neighbours Club (?-1967). She supported the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Winnipeg Ballet, and was a member of the Sales and Advertising Club of Winnipeg.
Following a length illness, she died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 6 April 1967. She was commemorated by a memorial gazebo and garden in the East Kildonan Centennial Park.
Birth registration [Margaret Hope Laidlaw], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1916 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“East Kildonan Collegians issue official publication,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 1932, page 3.
“William Laidlaw, well known war veteran, is dead,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 October 1934, page 4.
“Woman speaker,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 January 1957, page 14.
“Tribune writer dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 April 1967, page 7.
“Margaret Hood dies in hospital,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 April 1967.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 April 1967, page 34.
“Birthday on Sunday for Mrs. Laidlaw,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 December 1967, page 27.
“Margaret Hood Fund opened by friends,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 December 1967, page 22.
“Charify permits issued,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 May 1968, page 50.
Obituary [Minnie Hislop Laidlaw], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 August 1969, page 23.
We thank Gordon Goldsborough for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 27 January 2023