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Memorable Manitobans: Gertrude Mary A. Laing (1905-2005)

Community activist.

Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England in 1905, she came to Canada at an early age and received a degree in French from from the University of Manitoba. Following postgraduate studies at The Sorbonne, she taught French in private schools and at the University of Manitoba. During the Second World War, she was Executive Secretary to the Coordinating Board for War Services. She later held executive positions with the YWCA, Winnipeg Central Volunteer Bureau, and Calgary Social Planning Council. She served for seven years on the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and was a member of the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, a delegate to the UNESCO General Assembly, Western Regional Vice-President of the Canadian Welfare Council, and Chair of the Canada Council. In recognition of her community service, she was inducted into the Order of Canada (1972) and received honorary degrees from the University of Manitoba (1980), University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, and University of Ottawa. She also received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). On 16 June 1930, she married accountant Stanley Bradshaw Laing (1907-1989), son of George S. Laing, and they had two sons: Alan R. Laing and Colin Laing. In 1980, She died at Calgary, Alberta on 18 December 2005.


Comments by President D. R. Campbell, 23 May 1980.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 2006.

We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 October 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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