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Authority record

Wilson, Frank William, 1877–1941

  • Person
  • 1877–1941

Contractor. Frank was the son of Nathaniel Frank and Julia (McLeod) Wilson and was born in Truro, NS. His wife was Lucretia Ross and their two sons were George Willard and Earle Albert. His education was obtained in the Truro Public Schools. As president of Wilson Construction Company, he played a prominent part in rebuilding Halifax after the explosion of 1917. Some of the buildings in Truro which he built were the First United (Presbyterian) Church, Bank of Nova Scotia, the Fire Hall, the Intercolonial Railway Station and the Colchester County Court House on Church Street. He was the first President of the Maritime Amateur Hockey Association. He was a Methodist and was buried in the Robie St. Cemetery, Truro, NS.

Wilson, Dave

  • Person
  • 1930-2020

The Wilson Family owned several businesses including: Wilsons Heating, Propane, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Security, as well as Wilson's and ESSO Gas Stations. Dave Wilson started the Kerr Controls Ltd. at the age of 20 and developed what is now Ski Wentworth with his father. He co-founded the Truro Bearcat Rugby Team in the late 1950's and was involved in the creation of the Cobequid Spartans Gymnastics Club in the 1970's.

Wilson, Budge

  • Person
  • 1927-

Budge Marjorie (nee Archibald) Wilson was born in 1927 to Mr. Justice Maynard Brown and Helen MacGregor Archibald in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was educated in Halifax, graduated from Dalhousie University (B.A., Philosophy & Psychology) in 1949, completed a Diploma in Education in 1953; a Phys. Ed. certificate; and undertook graduate studies in English at the University of Toronto from 1949-1951. At Dalhousie Budge met fellow student Alan Wilson; they married in 1953 and had two daughters: Glynis Marie and Andrea Kathryn. For 33 years the couple resided in Peterborough, Ontario, where Alan was a professor at Trent University. When he retired in 1989 the Wilsons returned to Nova Scotia’s South Shore where they continue to reside.

Budge Wilson has had a multifaceted career. Although best known as a Nova Scotian children’s author, she has been a teacher, illustrator, photographer, and fitness instructor. From 1951 to 1952 she taught English and art at the Halifax Ladies’ College (now Armbrae Academy), from 1953 to 1957 she worked at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Child Study doing filing, then editing and art work. She also worked at the Toronto Public Library in 1954, and at the Acadia University nursery school from 1956 to 1957 in Wolfville, N.S. In 1968 she returned to teaching with the Peterborough County Board of Education and Young Women’s Association, in Peterborough Ontario, as a fitness instructor; a position she held until 1987.

Wilson began writing full time in 1978 and published her first book in 1984 when she was 56. Since then she has published 30 books and novels for readers of all ages which have been sold in 13 countries and translated into 10 languages. Her most recent book is Before Green Gables, which has been turned into an animated series in Japan. Her short stories have also been published in anthologies, Braille, and as audio books. CBC Radio and Television have aired readings and dramatizations of her works, as well as author profiles. She has also given readings, talks, and workshops in libraries, schools, and universities throughout Canada.

Wilson’s work has received much acclaim. The Leaving was featured on the American Library Association's 1994 list of "The 75 best children's books of the last 25 years. In 2004 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada and was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Halifax’s Armbrae Academy; in 2003 she was awarded the Municipality of Halifax Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature; she has also earned First Prize, CBC Literary Competition; 19 Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Our Choice” awards; the City of Dartmouth Book Award; the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award; the Marianna Dempster Award; the Ann Connor Brimer Award; the Lilla Stirling Award; and she was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Canada-Caribbean Region, for The Leaving. Wilson received the Dalhousie University Alumni Achievement Award in 2008. She received an honourary degree (L.L.D) from Dalhousie University in 2010 and Mount Saint Vincent University (D.Hum.L) in 2012. Wilson was made a member of the Order of Nova Scotia in 2011.

Wills, Dorothy

  • AR-006
  • Person
  • 1933-

Born in Dominica, Dr. Dorothy Abike Wills (Green), B.Sc., M.S.W., M.A., PhD., LL.D.,DHL (Honoris Causa), C.M., graduated from Mount Saint Vincent College in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science, later obtaining additional degrees at McGill University, Concordia University, and California's Pacific Western University. Dr. Wills went on to become a social worker and educator and spent much of her career dedicated to social justice for racial minorities.
In June 2000, she retired as the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Technologies at Vanier College, Quebec. She served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Convention Refugee Determination Division, for six years. An Educator in the areas of Business Education, Social Work, and Andragogy (the method by which adults learn), she has taught at the High School, CEGEP and University levels. She has been named to Federal, Provincial and Municipal Committees; and has had extensive involvement in various Black Community organizations. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Mount Saint Vincent University Alumni Jubilee Award of Distinction, an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from both Concordia University (1989) Dalhousie University (1996), an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University (2007), the Order of Canada (1989), the Martin Luther King Junior Award of Excellence, the Ministers Award for Excellence in Race Relations, and, has been named Woman of the Year by Salon de la Femme du Quebec.

Willmot, Percy

  • Person
  • 1887-1919

Lieut. Percy Charles Willmot was born in 1887 in Birmingham, England. He came to Canada as a young man and worked at Crowell's Ltd., Sydney until his enlistment in 1914. He served Overseas with the 25th Battalion until 1919 when he was invalided home. He died 27 December 1919.

Willis, John

  • Person
  • 1907 - 1997

John Willis taught at Dalhousie Law School during the 1930s and 1940s, one of a generation of young scholars who challenged established legal thought under such banners as sociological jurisprudence, the socialization of law, and realism. Born in England in 1907, Willis was educated at Winchester and Oxford, graduating with a double first in classics and jurisprudence. In 1933, after studying at Harvard, he arrived at Dalhousie Law School for a one-year teaching contract. With the exception of a few years in practice and working at the International Monetary Fund, his life was spent teaching law at Dalhousie, York University, University of British Columbia, and University of Toronto, where he helped to re-imagine and reconstruct its law school. Following his retirement in 1980, Willis lived in Annapolis Royal until his death on June 16, 1997.

Willis, James Frank, 1909-1969

  • Person
  • 1909-1969

James Frank Willis (known as "Frank"), the older brother of Austin Willis, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 15 May 1909 to Alexander and Emma Willis. He was educated at King's College School before taking up a four-year placement to study art in New Year. It was during his time that Frank begin to work as an actor and a radio announcer.

He returned to Halifax in 1929 and opened an art studio, and continued to work as an actor and broadcaster. In 1933 he was hired by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC, later the CBC) as the Maritime regional representative. It was around then that his radio program "Atlantic Nocturne" (later "Nocturne") debuted; the program would run on CBC radio for 30 years.

He came to national and international prominence as a broadcaster in April 1936, during the Moose River Mine disaster (where three men were trapped in a mine about 100 km outside of Halifax). Frank made half hour reports almost without break over a 95 hour period during the rescue effort. In the end he recorded 99 broadcasts, which were broadcast to 650 radio stations across Canada, and picked up internationally (e.g. by the BBC) as well. Frank's reporting is cited as the first example of around the clock 24 hour radio coverage of a breaking news story.

After this, Frank continued his career with the CBC, and participated in an exchange with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1938. Shortly after returning to Canada he was transferred to Toronto, where he continued to work for the CBC as a senior producer and broadcaster. During this time he was involved in many radio productions including: "The White Empire", "Comrades in Arms", "Carry on Canada", "The Quiet Victory", "The Johnny Home Show", and "Flanders' Fields".

In his later career, Frank moved onto television as well, and was the host (from 1958-1963) of the public affairs show, "Close-Up", as well as the host of "Question Mark" and "Horizon".

In his personal life, Frank was married to Gladys Winchcombe, and was an avid sailor. He died of a heart attack on 26 October 1969.

Willis, Austin, 1917-2004

  • Person
  • 1917-2004

Austin Willis (born Alexander Austin Willis) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 30 September 1917 to Alexander and Emma Willis, and was the younger brother of J. Frank Willis. He was educated at King's College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

After graduating, Willis worked as a newspaper reporter for the Halifax Herald, as well as a freelance actor in radio and local stock companies. In 1939, he started working with the CBC in Toronto as a radio announcer. He continued this work during the war years, hosting programs such as the "Victory Loan Hour", and "Music by Percy Faith". He also joined the Royal Canadian Navy, where he served as a Lieutenant in Naval Information, and worked as a war correspondent.

After the war he continued his work as an actor and broadcaster. During this time he starred in several Canadian films including: "Bush Pilot" (1947), "The Sins of the Fathers" (1949), "Hudson's Bay' (1952), "One Plus One" (1961), and "Ten Girls Ago" (1962). As well, Austin and his prematurely grey hair became a well-known presence on Canadian television, and during this period he starred in hundreds of comedies, dramas, variety shows, and adventure programmes during the 1950s and 1960s. Among them were "Space Command" (a CBC science-fiction show which also starred William Shatner and James Doohan), and "Seaway" (1965-1966).

During the 1960s, Austin was also featured in various theatrical productions, including "Man and Boy" (which ran on Broadway), various American television shows, and International films (including a memorable appearance in "Goldfinger" as the card player who, with help from James Bond, beats Goldfinger). In the 1970s, Austin returned to Canada and the CBC where he hosted a panel show, "This is the Law", which ran between 1971 and 1976.

In later years Austin was honoured as a Member of the Order of Canada (2002), and received an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Mary's University (2002). He also pursued a project of immense personal importance interviewing Canadian veterans as part of the "Comrades in Arms" project.

Austin was married twice, first to actress Kate Reid (between 1953 and 1962), with whom he had two children (Reid and Robin), and again in 1984 until his death to Gwen Laforty. He died on 4 April 2004.

Williamson, Samuel William

  • Person
  • 1869-1967

Samuel William Williamson was a physician and 1896 graduate of Dalhousie Medical School. Born in Loganville, Nova Scotia, on 13 January 1869 to Hugh Williamson and Jessie Ross, he was educated as a teacher before studying medicine. After spending one year as a resident at the Victoria General Hospital and two years in practice in Hebron, Yarmouth County, in 1899 he opened a general practice in Yarmouth. During World War One he worked as a medical examiner for both the Yarmouth recruiting centre and the artillery training centre. Dr. Williamson was a key figure in the founding of Yarmouth's first hospital and later served as its chief of medical staff. He was president of the Western Counties Medical Society and the medical officer for Western Nova Scotia. In 1960 he was made honorary president of the Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association. He died in 1967.

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