Collections of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly
Gladys Porter, portrait - first woman elected to the Assembly
A native of Sydney, Nova Scotia, Gladys Porter moved to Kentville on her marriage. She became an active member of several social services organizations and supporter of many charitable causes, while taking a leading role as an executive member of various organizations at the community, county and provincial levels. Much of her work was with hospitals and health care organizations. She was the first president of the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club and served also as provincial president. In honour of her contribution to the civilian defence and war effort in both World Wars, she was named a Member of the British Empire in 1946. In 1943 she became a town councillor in Kentville and three years later won the election for mayor, making her the first woman in the Maritime Provinces to do so. She was re-elected for a total of 11 years and only resigned after winning King’s Centre in the provincial election of 1960, becoming the first woman to be elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature. At her death in 1967 she was still a member.
Documents from 1960
Debates of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, Gladys Porter - initial speech in the House of the first woman elected to the Assembly