Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Olive Lillian Irvine (1895-1969)

Educator, Senator.

Born at Holland on 21 June 1895, daughter of Caroline Stinson (1866-1959) and Robert John Mills (1863-1928), she attended public school at Portage la Prairie and the Winnipeg Normal School then taught at Fannystelle School (?-?), Cypress River School (1914-1917), and Treherne School (?-?). During the First World War, she ran the Cypress River Red Cross Society. She later moved to Winnipeg.

On 14 January 1920, she married James Conacher Irvine (1894-1981) at Holland and they had a son, Robert John “Jack” Irvine (1922-1995). During the Second World War, she was an active member of the Red Cross and chaired the Rooms Registry, a community service for servicemen in Winnipeg. She was President of the Women’s Conservative Association of Manitoba and was appointed Manitoba’s representative on the National Capital Commission (February 1959). In January 1960, she became the first woman from the prairies to be called to the Senate. She was a member of Senate committes on divorce, labour, public health, and welfare.

She died at Ottawa, Ontario on 1 November 1969 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Sources:

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.

“Senator Irvine dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 1969.

“Manitoba senator dies at 74,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 November 1969.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 November 1969, page 37.

Obituary [James C. Irvine], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 March 1981, page 40.

Obituary [Robert John Irvine], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 October 1995, page 47.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 December 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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