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Women's History Month

October is Women’s History Month in Canada! This year’s theme is, Through Her Lens: Celebrating the Diversity of Women, emphasizes the importance of recognizing the achievements and contributions of women from diverse backgrounds.

 We are going to share with you four amazing local women during the month. Some may be familiar to you, while others may be new. This group is united by their inspiring commitment to community building and their passions for life-long service and learning in diverse fields.

What women have made a difference in your life? To learn more about the featured female community-builders in Clarington and women throughout history, check out our Digital Collection of Newspapers!

Join us on October 17 for Tea and Talk featuring a Women's History Talk exploring remarkable women from Clarington's past!

Learn more about Women's History Month from the Government of Canada website.

Dr. Dahlia E. Moody Campbell (unknown-1999)

Dahlia Eleanor Moody Campbell was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada in the 1960s. Pursuing a career as Registered Nurse, Dahlia worked for over 20 years in various roles at the then-Oshawa General hospital.

With a passion for higher education, Dahlia achieved her BA degree at the University of Toronto and MA from Niagara University (New York) while working full time. She went on to complete a Landscape Ontario Diploma at the University of Guelph, and PhD, Health Services, at Walden University (Minneapolis) in 1994. Her dissertation concerned the health and quality of life of elderly females residing in rural Ontario.

Dahlia also had a passion for writing poetry. Her poem “Adversity" was published in anthology ‘After the Storm’ and won editor’s choice. When asked why she writes, Dahlia explained: "when something effects me, I draw inspiration from it. It is usually such topics as disasters or disturbing world issues that inspire me to write" (The Orono Weekly Times, May 24, 1995, p. 5).

In 1997 when she heard a library appeal for funding for children’s books, Dr. Campbell generously donated a $10,000 trust fund to Oshawa Children's Library. In addition to this philanthropy, Dahlia’s professional service included: serving on the Board of Directors of the Victorian Order of Nurses and as the Vice President of the Brain Injury Association of Durham; and she was the 1994 Recipient of the YMCA Women of Distinction Award, Community Service.

Residing in Oshawa and later in Orono, Dahlia and her husband Charles (Charlie) managed the Orono Garden Centre. She was an active participant at Orono United Church and Orono Heather Rebekah Lodge. Dahlia passed away in 1999 and is buried in the Orono cemetery. As described in her obituary, Dr. Campbell will be remembered as "… a motivated person who used her ability to motivate others" (The Orono Weekly Times, November 1, 2000, p.17).

Nellie Lyle Pattinson (1879- 1953)

Nellie Lyle Pattinson may not be a household name today, but chances are, you or your relatives may have made a recipe from Nellie’s best-selling cookbook that is simply named “The Canadian Cookbook” (first edition 1923).

As one of the distinguished women featured in the Bowmanville Mural by Allan Bender (26 King Street East), Nellie was born and raised in Bowmanville and she went on to be known as an innovative professional in “Domestic Science,” or Home Economics.

Educated at Bowmanville High School, Nellie pursued education at the University of Toronto (U of T) at a time when many women were not afforded the opportunity of university. She went on to become director of Domestic Science at Toronto’s Central Technical School (U of T): a position which she held until retiring in 1942.

Taking an innovative and modern approach to nutrition, Nellie compiled a cookbook of Canadian cuisine that was first published by Ryerson Press in 1923. Pattison’s approach is what is known as the rational school of cookery, which involves detailed measurements and instructions. Nellie also created recipes geared toward certain conditions, such as diabetic foods, which underscores her interest in healthful eating.

The “Canadian Cookbook” was popular even after Pattison’s death and was released in 1953 as an edited and revised edition with regional Canadian dishes. Subsequent editions continued to be published until 1991.

As the daughter of Joseph Pattinson of Bowmanville, Nellie and her family were active members in the community. Many of the family’s celebrations and occasions are noted in the social columns of the Canadian Statesman.  In addition, Nellie was fond of gardening and was a member of the Garden Club of Ontario and The Rose Society of Ontario. Nellie passed away in 1953 and is buried in the Bowmanville cemetery.

Elizabeth “Betty” King Marti (1931-2011)

Elizabeth “Betty” King was born in 1931 in St. Andrews, Jamaica. She attended high school in St. Andrews, and one of her teachers was Mrs. Jury of Bowmanville. As an additional connection to this area, Betty had relatives in Bowmanville, and she vacationed with them in 1954.

Betty and her husband, Fritz Marti, married in July 1955 in St. Andrews. Fritz was also new to Ontario, as he immigrated from Switzerland in 1950. Fritz and Betty Marti owned the F. Marti Nursery in Bowmanville. Fritz was known for his innovative horticultural techniques with dwarf apple trees, and his cultivation of rose bushes at the Forbes Heyland farm.

As a newcomer to Bowmanville, Betty was engaged by the local Rotary Club to deliver a talk on her homeland, Jamaica. This discussion was so popular that in February 1955, The Canadian Statesman engaged Betty to contribute as a correspondent. A letter written by Betty is featured in this edition on p. 12, describing how Christmas is celebrated in Jamaica.  Betty was next engaged as a special correspondent for Princess Margaret’s visit to the then-British West Indies (Jamaica) in March. She regaled readers of the Statesman with details of the royal visit to her hometown.

In addition to running the local nursery, Betty and Fritz Marti were members of the Bowmanville Baptist Church. Betty continued her contributions to the Canadian Statesman with several popular interest pieces in the 1970s and 1980s. She passed away in 2011 and is buried in the Bowmanville Cemetery.

Marie Nickerson Hubbard (1934 – 2022)

Marie Nickerson was born in Bowmanville in December 1934. She went to Central Public School and then attended Bowmanville High School. Marie went on to graduate from the University of Toronto school of Nursing, and she married Edward Derry Hubbard in 1971.

Marie Hubbard was one of Bowmanville’s most influential female politicians. She was the first female mayor of Bowmanville (then named the Town of Newcastle) and was inaugurated in 1988. In her inaugural address, Hubbard expressed her vision to develop Newcastle, stating: “we must…ask ourselves what sort of community do we wish to become”? (Orono Weekly Times, December 7, 1988, p.1).

Marie was a councillor for the Town of Newcastle from 1980 to 1982, a councillor for Durham Region from 1982 to 1992, and then served as Mayor from 1988 to 1992. She then was appointed to the Ontario Municipal Board in 1997 and was appointed Interim Chair in 2003. Marie is depicted in the Allan Bender mural in Bowmanville at 26 King Street East, along with other influential local women.

Marie sat on numerous boards and committees during her political career, including the Heritage Committee, Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committees (LACAC), the Bowmanville Museum board (Now Clarington Museums and Archives), the Ontario Municipal Board and the Assessment Review Board, the Durham District Health Council, the Durham Children’s Aid Society, the Durham Non-Profit Housing Corporation, the Newcastle Public Utilities Commission, and the Ontario Land Tribunals.

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Clarington Library,
Museums & Archives
163 Church Street
Bowmanville, ON,
L1C 1T7


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