One Year Into COVID-19 It’s not every day that you start a new job and then immediately have to close down the office indefinitely and send everyone home amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. But that was my whirlwind experience when I joined YWCA Edmonton as our new CEO one year ago today. I hadn’t even met most of our staff yet before making that difficult decision after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mandated an historic stay-at-home order
Julia was born in 1896 and grew up on a homestead near Chipman, Alberta. She and her husband Nick moved to Edmonton in 1936.
Julia enrolled in the University of Alberta Extension Department and took courses related to psychology, philosophy and world affairs. She tried unsuccessfully to run for a seat 11 times before actually being elected in 1963.
Julia was regarded as an accomplished, though somewhat unconventional, speaker. As a politician, she was known and loved as a supporter of the common people; her success spurred renewed civic involvement. One of her biggest issues was to fight for household owners with basement suites.
While still in office, Julia suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away on October 11th, 1969 at age 70. Her seat on council was filled in a by-election won by her son Julian.
Portrait of a great-hearted woman (Maclean’s; September 19, 1964)
Sources: Edmonton Bulletin, September 25, 1945 Edmonton Journal, October 14, 1969; Naming Edmonton: From Ada to Zoie, 2004
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