Memorable Manitobans: Susanna June Menzies (1925-2020)
Economist, community activist.
Born at Arcola, Saskatchewan on 5 May 1925, daughter of Harold “Hi” Green and Bertha “Bill” Green, she moved with her family to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Immediately after high school, she enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces, attended a Japanese language school in Vancouver, and worked as an intelligence officer at Fort Richie, Maryland. After the Second World War, she met her future husband Merril Warren Menzies (1920-1999) while studying economics at the University of Saskatchewan. They subsequently had three children, including Liana Leigh Menzies (1965-2007).
After a move to Winnipeg in 1962, she worked as a volunteer Chair of the Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women and was a Liberal candidate for the Crescentwood constituency in the 1973 provincial general election. She later had a lengthy career as a civil servant in Ottawa, including Chair of the Anti-inflation Board (1976-1979) and Chair of the National Farm Products Marketing Council (13 years). She returned to Winnipeg after retirement where she continued to work with homeless and AIDS sufferers. She moved to Terrace, British Columbia in 2020.
In recognition of her community service, she was inducted into the Order of Canada (1981) and Order of Manitoba (2007), received an honorary doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan (1983), and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
She died at Terrace, British Columbia on 10 August 2020. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Woman Trailblazer.
“Established parties favored for women,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1973, page 9.
Obituary [Merril Warren Menzies], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 July 1999, page 33.
Obituary [June Susanna Menzies], Terrace Standard, 10 August 2020.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 September 2023