Mah Choon Hong

I was looking at some home insurance quote when i happen to think of Mah Choon Hong – I don’t even know if you all remember her – but I know her as one of the finalist of a Singapore Talent Contest.  And she does have a very powerful voice but at the time I got to know Choon – that’s what she likes ppl to call her – she was in the travel industry.  The next time I heard about her – was when she had already left for the States.

Like I said, Mah Choon Hong was a very talented woman but one who was not so lucky in love at that time.  She did have a companion when I met her – but that was all she was to him. She did inspire me because I was pretty young at that time – and saw someone who was colorful and full of charisma but kinda taken advantage of  love was concern – not on her part though – but by definition of the men she was with.  When I heard that she left for the States – I was hoping to find out more about her but still haven’t – either she is not internet savvy or very happily married now.  But she did touch my life at one point (i wanted to sing) – unfortunately we never crossed path again – might even be harder now that I’m in Canada and she is in USA.

Gladys Knight

I’m sure everyone wouldn’t find Gladys Knight a stranger at all ?  even my best seo software help who is in his early twenties knows who Gladys Knight is.  Born in 1944 – younger than my own mum – Gladys Knight is nothing less than a legend – she is also known as the Empress of Soul.   Well, of course she is more than that – she is a singer – songwriter, an actress, a businesswoman, a humanitarian and also an auto and best known for all the hits in the 60s and 70s.   So if you haven’t heard any of her songs – you better grab some while you can – i bet they will be worth a lot .. one day.

Gladys Reeves

Too bad I couldn’t find a picture of Gladys Reeves for you – because she looks like a really high class lady – born in 1890 – she was originally from Somerset, England.  I was in Edmonton for a vacation when i came across her history while looking at a magazine on how to  get rid of blackhead . She became a photographer and an entrepreneur but started as a receptionist and an assistant to Ernest Brown.  After Brown’s studio closed, he encouraged Gladys to open her own.

Gladys became the first woman west of Winnipeg to own and operate her own photography studio from 1920 to 1950.  Gladys cataloged all of Brown’s photographer and artifacts for the government after his death.  Gladys also became the first woman president of the Edmonton Horticultural and Vacant Lots Garden Association.  She was intrumental in forming the Edmonton Tree Planting Committee which was responsible for planting more than 12,000 trees in public areas throughout Edmonton.  Due to her legacy, mature trees now grace Edmonton’s boulevard and public squares.

Laura Wolstein

Laura Wolstein was from Romania and was born in 1908 – she is a remarkable entrepreneur who died in 1970.  Laura opened the first Laura store in Montreal, a very successful women’s wear boutique.  I bet she would have been successful if she was selling the best diet aid .  Her daughter and son in law were both actively involved in the business for many year.  Laura memained a one-store operation until 1973 when Kalman Fisher her grandson now the President of Laura Canada opened a second store in a small shopping centre in Montreal Suburb of St Laurent.  Today there are 144 retial outlets across Canada.

Beatrice Carmichael

Beatrice Carmicheal is a conductor and a performer who was born in South Bend, IN.  She made her vocal debut at the age of four i heard and learnt conducting by the age of 16 – amazing wasn’t she.  I wonder at that time if they had the best sleeping pills for over achievers like Beatrice Carmichael.   By 17, she was an accomplished violinist, while studying in Chicago, she composed an opertta which won her a gold medal.

While touring Canada, she landed in Edmonton in 1919.  It was here that she met her husband Dr James R. Carmichael, a local dentist whom she married in 1920.  The rest they said in Canada.. is history.  A park in dontown area of Edmonton is also named after her.

Agnes Macphail

Agnes Macphail is a reformer and a politician, born in Grey County – Ontario, she ran for the Progressive a farmer based party.  At the age of 31, Agnes Macphail became the first woman to sit in the House of Commons.  No easy feat and i’m sure it took a lot of guts to go into politics – I know i wouldn’t be able to do it because I get nervous talking to the public, i think i get  eczema if i had to .. hahah!!

Agnes Macphail also fought for old age pension, prison reform and farmers’ co-op and with success at that.  She also became the first Canadian woman to be sent as a delegate to the League of Nations in Geneva, where she was an active member of the World Disarmanment Committee.  During this time, she also championed legislation that mandated equal work for Ontario Women.  So Canadian women should be grateful for her.

Vera Parsons

Vera Parsons is a remarkable woman – I admired her more after reading about her.  She was handicapped from polio when she was a child but that didn’t stop her from graduating from Law School in 1924.  It was here that she received Osgoode Hall’s silver medal and became the first woman to win one of the medals.  She was called to bar and not those that does birth announcements but the very first criminal defence lawyer.

Being any lawyer at this time and age is not an easy feat – can you imagine what hurdles Vera Parsons had to go thru’ and with health problems – so tell me how can you not admire her.  She was also the first woman lawyer who faced a jury in Toronto.  She was also the first woman lawyer to defend an accused in a first degree murder case.  A lot of first eh?  yes!  What an outstanding woman!