Florence Gooderham Huestis

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Tributes |


A Community Project to honour women who have enriched our lives

The Ban Righ Centre supports mature women who are starting or returning to education at Queen’s University. In taking this significant step, these women found role models, advocates and inspiration in other women. Then, as they engage in their studies and in their activities beyond Queen’s with friends, family, peers and colleagues, these students effect continual and positive change, extending the reach of their mentors and the Ban Righ Centre. Through “Who Is She?” we honour women who make a difference.

Florence Gooderham Huestis

Honoured by: Kathy Weekes Southee

Florence Gooderham Huestis, my great grandmother, is the first “Florence” in a matriarchal line of five generations named after her. Her story is remarkable- a tale of adversity translated into action. She was adopted by Henry Gooderham and his wife Mary Hamilton. We do not know who Florence’s birth parents were. While there was gossip around her origins in Toronto, she was able to turn this adversity into empathy and action for less fortunate people. Florence Huestis is described in “Women of Canada” as a vital figure in the social welfare work of Toronto. As President of the Local Council of Women for eight years, she worked tirelessly for the welfare of children and single mothers. Projects included an early form of Mother’s Pension, Big Sisters, pasteurizing milk, ensuring clean water and sewer system. Florence V is my amazing daughter Meg who will receive her MSC at Queen’s in early December 2010. She too has the work ethic and proud spirit of Florence.