Nellie McClung is a historical figure who resisted the previous Canadian national identity in which women were not classified as persons. McClung along with four other Canadian women whom shared common interests represented all Canadian women as they showed their objections toward the Canadian government. Nellie McClung participated in several elections in hopes of having her voice heard across the nation. Before 1929, British Common Law considered women as “persons in the matter of pains and penalties, but not in the matter of rights and privileges”. Eventually, the famous five were able to improve the conditions of Canadian women through their success of the “Person’s Case”. In the recent Canadian national identity, we are publicly recognized for the equal rights of Canadian women which is ensured by the 1982 Constitution Act. If it wasn’t for Nellie McClung and the Famous Five’s contribution to Canada’s development, women would remain under the title “non-person”.
“Loved & Remembered”
Nellie Mooney was the sixth child of mother Letitia McCurdy Mooney and father John Mooney who was born on October 20, 1873. She was given the nicknames of Windy Nellie and Calamitous Nell. She was then recognized as Nellie McClung after marrying to Robert McClung on August 25, 1893. The couple had a blissful marriage and gave birth to five children. Prior to her marriage, Nellie McClung was a very influential young teacher. She was then inspired by her mother-in-law to begin writing novels. In 1908, her “Sowing Seeds in Danny” became a national best seller. McClung soon set aside her novels and participated in the politics as she campaigned for Alberta’s Liberal party in 1917. In 1921, she was finally elected into the Liberal party and served in the Alberta Legislature for Edmonton for five years from 1921 to 1926. Nellie McClung became the first female member of the CBC Board of Governors in 1936 and was later appointed to the Canadian delegation of the League of Nations in 1939. Nellie McClung’s greatest accomplishment is none other than the success of the “Person’s Case” in 1929 with the Famous Five. On September 1, 1951 in Victoria B.C, Nellie McClung passed away.
A heroic figure who dedicated her life seeking for rights and recognition for Canadian women, Nellie McClung, will be loved & remembered.
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Heritage Community Foundation. (2004). The Famous Five: Nellie McClung. Retrieved June 2, 2011, from http://www.abheritage.ca/famous5/achievements/nellie_mcclung.html