Mary Speechly fonds
Call Number: Mss Sc 35 (A.80-10)

Title: Mary Speechly fonds.

Dates: 1934, 1947-1969, 1980.

Extent: 0.01 m of textual records. -- 1 photograph.

Biographical sketch: Mary Barrett was born in London, England in 1873. She received a B.A. from University College, Liverpool in 1892 and then studied at Cambridge. In 1895, she married Dr. Henry Speechly. She joined her husband in Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Within the next year, she began work as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Anglican Church. In 1912, she became president of the Pilot Mound Home Economics Society and was an advocate of home economics and domestic science. In 1916, she moved to Winnipeg with her children while her husband served overseas. She was a member of the Agricultural Women's Association, the Women's Institute of Manitoba, the University Women's Club, and the head of the Women's Canadian Club. As the Treasurer and then President of the Winnipeg Red Cross, she later acted as the first Director of the Manitoba Junior Red Cross. In 1924, she was appointed to the council of the Manitoba Agricultural College. She helped found the Family Planning Association of Manitoba and became the first president of the Winnipeg Birth Control Society in 1934. In 1933, Speechly was appointed the first female member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba where she served until her retirement in 1946. In 1947, she received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) from the University of Manitoba. She died in Winnipeg in 1968.

Custodial history: Margaret Speechly Stansfield, Mary Speechly's daughter, donated the fonds to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 1980.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of Mary Speechly's notes on her life activities and achievements, a paper presented by her on social conditions (1954), a paper on the formation of the Winnipeg Birth Control Society (1934), and a letter to the Winnipeg Foundation requesting a grant for the Family Planning Association. Yearly reports prepared by Speechly for the Family Planning Association of Winnipeg for 1948, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1964 and 1965 as well as the rough drafts of yearly reports for 1957 and 1958 are included. The script for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast entitled Woman of the Century Radio Letter by Jessica Swail (1967) is included. The fonds also contains Mrs. P.H.T. Thorlakson's presentation on the occasion of awarding Speechly the degree of Doctor of Laws, items and testimonials relating to Speechly's retirement party and 90th birthday party, clippings regarding the opening of Mary Speechly Hall at the University of Manitoba in 1964, copies of Institute News for March 1960 and 1964, and a black and white photograph of Mary Speechly. Finally, a letter from Eileen Mestery to Ms. Bishop regarding the history of the Winnipeg Family Planning Association, dated February 6, 1980, is also included.

Source of supplied title: Title is based on provenance of fonds.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Finding aid: An on-line finding aid is available at the link below.

MSS SC 35 (A.80-10).

We greatly acknowledge the financial support of the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the Heritage Grants Advisory Council in the creation of this finding aid.

 

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