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Manitoba History No. 89
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No. 89

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Memorable Manitobans: Olive Ann Pitts MacPhail (1925-2015)

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Community activist.

Born at Winnipeg on 10 June 1925, daughter of Herman and Mary Louise Pitts, her childhood was spent in St. James. She attended St. Mary’s Academy and skipped two grades to graduate at the age of 16. She met her husband Donald “Mac” MacPhail while working at the Staff Records Office of CNR, marrying him on 29 December 1949. After living in Vancouver, British Columbia for a time, they returned to Winnipeg where she worked at CP Freight.

She became politically active during the 1957 federal election campaign where she worked for Gordon Churchill, eventually participating in 12 federal, 10 provincial, and numerous byelection campaigns. She worked for Duff Roblin and served on the executive of several Conservative Party riding associations. During the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership campaign, she was the Manitoba Campaign Manager for Joe Clark. She worked as the Office Manager at the Manitoba party headquarters for many years, was Executive Assistant to Sterling Lyon during his tenure as Premier of Manitoba and later Opposition Leader, and Special Assistant to federal minister Jake Epp. In 2002, her community service was recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.

She died at Winnipeg on 6 May 2015.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 May 2015

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 May 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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