Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Helen Kirkland Pollitt Smith (?-1987)

Community activist.

Born Helen Kirkland at Grimsby, Ontario, she was educated at Toronto before moving to Winnipeg then, in 1936, to The Pas where she met and married Hugh Pollitt Smith. In 1940, they moved to Lac du Bonnet where, for 15 years, she operated the community’s first travelling library from her home and campaigned for its first permanent library. In 1974, she became a founding member and first Vice-Chair of the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped. Two years later, she was successful at convincing the City of Winipeg to establish Handi-Transit as part of the Winnipeg Transit System. She was Chair of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. In retirement she lived in the Kiwanis Centre for the Deaf, in Winnipeg. She died at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital on 4 May 1987.

Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Dr. Charlotte W. Ross, Manitobas Pioneer Woman Doctor
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 21, Number 1, Autumn 1975

The Solomon of the Traplines
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 21, Number 2, Winter 1976

Old Pinawa
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 21, Number 3, Spring 1976

The Bridge That Was
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 22, Number 3, Spring 1977


“Helen Pollitt Smith,” Lac du Bonnet Leader, 22 July 1980, page 7.

Obituary, Lac du Bonnet Leader, 12 May 1987, page 16.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 January 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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