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1958: Canada appoints first woman ambassador

The Story

Canada's first woman ambassador, Margaret Meagher, described her successful career as an "accident of war." On Oct. 22, 1958, the former junior high school teacher made history when she was named the ambassador to Israel. As heard in this clip, Meagher talks about joining the Department of External Affairs in 1942, when it opened its doors to women during the Second World War. Despite being one of the few females in the male-dominated world, Meagher quickly rose in rank, paving the way for other women in her field.

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Jan. 18, 1960
Guest(s): Margaret Meagher
Reporter: Lloyd Bochner
Duration: 4:48

Did You know?

• Blanche Margaret Meagher was born in Halifax, N.S., on Jan. 27, 1911. She died on Feb. 25, 1999.

• Meagher served as the Canadian ambassador to Israel (1958 to 1961), Austria (1962-66) and Sweden (1969-1973). She also served in Mexico and England. Meagher was also high commissioner to Cyprus, Kenya and Uganda, and chaired the International Atomic Energy Agency.

• Meagher was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974 "for her career in diplomacy and her contribution to international affairs."

• She was a trustee for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1984 to 1989.

• In this clip, Meagher is being interviewed by Lloyd Bochner, who would go on to have a long acting career in Canada and Hollywood.




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