Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Jeanne Mance May Join Old Boys' Club of Montreal's Founders

Pierre, Sieur de Maisonneuve, is usually credited with founding Montreal, but on the eve International Women's Day, the mayor of Montreal, Gérald Trembly attempted to spread the glory to a woman who helped build the city along side him.

She wasn't his wife, but a lay sister who started the first hospital and “was the equivalent of a minister of finance for Ville Marie...She participated in nearly all the important decisions that marked the history of the beginnings of Montreal,” noted historian Jacques Lacoursière is quoted in The Gazette. The city has given him the task of uncovering the truth about the role she played, with an eye to giving her more recognition.

“The first historians were usually (male members) of religious orders who didn’t feel the need to pay homage to a woman,” he told The Gazette. “I would say that the history of Quebec and the history of Canada are rather sexist.”

Like the history of most places, but better late than never, I guess.

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