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Topic: The Women of Aspenland
Article: Marjorie (Montgomery) Bowker
Date Posted: October 9/2012
Main District: Wetaskiwin
Decades: 1910's to 2000's
Though born in Prince Edward Island, Marjorie was raised in Wetaskiwin from age four. She obtained all her schooling there, finishing in 1934. She won medals in grades eight and eleven.
Marjorie graduated in 1939 from the University of Alberta with degrees in Arts and Law, and practised with an Edmonton law firm. During the War, she carried on her husband's practise in that firm.
In 1966, she was appointed Judge of the Family and Juvenile courts of Alberta, the first woman to hold that position. Marjorie served in that capacity for seventeen years, retiring in 1983. Throughout most of her time as Judge, she conducted circuit court in Wetaskiwin once a month.
After her retirement, Marjorie wrote several books on public issues, all of which were national best sellers. All were of current concern at the time: "On Guard for Thee", (free trade) 1988; "The Meech Lake Accord", 1990; "Canada's Constitutional Crisis: Making Sense of it All", 1991; as well as a booklet on "Canada's National Referendum: What is it All About?", 1992.
She has received many awards, including the Order of Canada in 1990 (the highest civilian honor to be accorded to a Canadian) and three honorary doctorate degrees, including one from a Women's University in Korea. On November 18, 1995, she was honored at a ceremony in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa as one of Canada's pioneer women judges.
Her husband, now retired, was Dean of Law at the University of Alberta for twenty years. They recently celebrated their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. Their three adult children are all in the healthcare field; two are in Ontario, one in Edmonton. They have seven grandchildren.
Information compiled in 1996.
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