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Memorable Manitobans: Leonore Marion Saunders (1925-2019)


Born at Whaley Bridge, Cheshire, England on 19 January 1925, daughter of Alice and Leonard Gladwell, she graduated from the Royal Infirmary School of Physiotheraphy at Manchester then came to Canada with her husband Michael Graham Saunders in 1949. She and three other physiotherapists convinced the provincial government to establish a school of medical rehabilitation at the University of Manitoba, opening it in 1960. She was also instrumental in establishing the Association of Physiotherapists in Manitoba, in 1957, and served as the Manitoba coordinator for the Physiotheraphy Foundation of Canada. In 1955, she was elected President of the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. For her work in promoting physiotherapy, she was Inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2002) and she received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). An award in her name recognizes inspiring physiotherapists in mid-career. She died at Winnipeg on 16 December 2019. She was survived by five children.


“Physiotherapy head,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 1955, page 6.

“Lending strength,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1989, page 83.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 January 2020.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 January 2020

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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