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Description found in Archives
Fonds consists of
Place of creation
462 photographs : 343 b&w and 119 col.
1 audio reel (ca. 30 min, 19 cm/s).
1 audio cassette (ca. 90 min).
Language of material
Scope and content
Fonds documents the life and career of Mary Macdonald through textual records, photographs and sound recordings with particular emphasis on her volunteer service with the Red Cross during World War II and her long career as executive assistant to Lester B. Pearson. The fonds also contains a series of files pertaining to The Overseas Club, an organization of former members of the Canadian Red Cross who served overseas.
Conditions of access
Textual records The finding aid is a file list. Prepared by J. Mueller, Political Archives Section, November 2004. MSS2378 90 (Electronic)
Creator / Provenance
Biography / Administrative history
Mary Elizabeth Macdonald was born April 30th 1918 in North Cobalt, Ontario, the daughter of A.A. Macdonald of Antigonish, N.S. and Mollie A. Harrington of Bathurst, N.B. She spent much of her childhood in northern Ontario. In 1938, Mary graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honours B.A. in philosophy. She later graduated with a Masters degree in Political Science in 1948. In 1941, Mary joined the Canadian Red Cross Corps and was sent to England in August 1943. She served at Canadian Red Cross headquarters in London until July 1944 when she was seconded to No. 12 Canadian General Hospital as a Welfare Officer and sent to France. Mary stayed with the Hospital in Belgium and France until it closed down in December 1945. She returned to Ottawa and joined the Department of External Affairs in February 1946.
The Department assigned Mary to work for Lester B. Pearson in 1947, and she remained with him as his private secretary and executive assistant until he retired from political life in 1968. She then worked as a Special Assistant to Pierre Elliott Trudeau until her retirement in 1979. Mary Macdonald was awarded the Order of Canada in 1980.
Related control no.
1. 2005-0204 VSA
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