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MSS SC 35 (A.80-10)

Title: Mary Speechly fonds

Dates: 1934; predominant 1947-1969; 1980

Extent: 1 cm 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 Henry 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 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. Speechly was appointed the first female member of the board of governors of the University of Manitoba in 1933 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 this fonds to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 1980.

Scope and Content: The fonds consists of 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 Winnipeg Foundation requesting a grant for the Family Planning Association. Yearly reports prepared by Mrs. 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 CBC broadcast entitled "Woman of the Century Radio Letter" by Jessica Swail (1967) is included. 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, 6 February 1980, is 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.