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Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia in August, 1894.
Died in Kentville, Nova Scotia on April 30, 1967.
First woman elected to the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly.
First woman elected as Mayor in Kentville, Nova Scotia.
Political Affiliation: Progressive Conservative
Legislative Career: First elected to the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly in the 1960 provincial election as member for Kings North. Served until her death in 1967.
Honours and Awards: Member of the Order of the British Empire (1946); Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (Acadia University 1966).
Gladys Porter's contribution was as a tireless worker on behalf of her community and constituents. She was born into a political Nova Scotia family as her father was the first and longtime mayor of Sydney. She eventually left Sydney for Kentville where she married and settled.
She became an active member of several social service organizations and supporter of several charitable causes, taking on a leading role as executive member of many of them at the community, county and provincial level. Much of her work was with hospitals and health care organizations. She was active in her church (United Baptist) and a founding member and first president of the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Club and served also as provincial president.
In honour of her contribution to the civilian defence and war effort in both World Wars, she was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1946.
In 1943 she became a town councilor in Kentville and in 1946 won the election for mayor, making her the first woman in the Maritimes to do so. She was re-elected mayor for a total of 11 years and only resigned after running and winning in the provincial election of 1960. At her death in 1967 she was still a sitting member of the legislature.
Canadian Who's Who. — Vol. IX (1961-63) — Toronto : Trans-Canada Press, 1963. — P. 900.
"Cover Portrait: Mrs. Gladys M. Porter, M.B.E., M.L.A.". — The Atlantic Advocate. — Vol. 50, no. 11 (July 1960). — P. 86.
"Mrs. G.M. Porter, Former Kentville Mayor, MLA Dies". — Halifax Chronicle Herald. — May 1, 1967. — P. 1-2.
The Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia 1758-1983: a biographical directory. — Ed. Shirley B. Elliott. — Halifax : Province of Nova Scotia. — ISBN 088871050X. — P. 177-178.