Mrs. H. W. Porter


Berwick, Nova Scotia

Thursday, February 7, 1946

Kentville Elects Province’s First Woman Mayor

Mrs. H. W. Porter Wins Mayoralty Contest By Biggest Majority Ever Polled In Kentville – Daughter of Seven-Times Mayor of Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Kentville made Nova Scotia history on Tuesday of this week by electing Mrs. H. Wyman Porter as the first woman Mayor of a town in this province, adding emphasis to the fact by giving her the highest majority in he town’s history, and in the largest vote ever polled there, 970 citizens having marked ballots for the successful candidate, and 442 for her opponent, Ex-Councillor W. C. Vincent.

Mrs. Porter’s successful contest was the third in which she has engaged in recent years in the Kentville civic arena. She led the field in the 1942 campaign for election to Town Council, having then a majority of 240 votes, and was re-elected in 1945 with a 300 majority. She resigned as Councillor to run for the Mayoralty, as did her defeated opponent.

Gladys Muriel Porter, Kentville’s mayor-elect, who told the voters in her election message that she wanted nobody to vote either for or against her as a woman, but to consider her only as a human being, was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Walter S. Richardson. She removed to Kentville in 1912, when her father became editor of The Western Chronicle, after having suffered his first and only defeat in an election for Mayor of the Steel City. She found a position in the Dominion Atlantic Railway offices, as stenographer, and when her father returned in 1913 to successfully contest the Sydney mayoralty, she remained in Kentville, where she married and has since resided continuously. Her father was Mayor of Sydney for seven terms.

Her father’s only defeat is directly responsible for her becoming not only Kentville’s first woman mayor, but also along with it the honor of being the first woman chief magistrate in Eastern Canada, it is believed.

Incidentally the same year she came to Kentville, W. E. Porter, her father-in-law-to-be, was defeated for the Kentville mayoralty by twelve votes.

A tireless worker in the community, Mrs. Porter is credited with a fine record of service, particularly during the war years. She is the head of several organizations but politically has remained strictly an independent.

After working at the polls all of election day, Mrs. Porter, without waiting for the final returns, took over her duties as instructor of the cooking class at the Kentville Evening Technical Class.

On returning to her home she was greeted by scores of congratulatory telegrams and phone calls. The first telegram was from Mayor Ira B. Lohnes, of Windsor.