Nova Scotia

Canada's 1st black female mayor honoured in Annapolis Royal

Daurene Lewis was elected mayor of the Nova Scotia town in 1984. The plaza next to town hall was dedicated to her Sunday afternoon. Lewis died in 2013 and was also an Order of Canada recipient.

Daurene Lewis was elected mayor of the Nova Scotia town in 1984 and was honoured posthumously Sunday

Lewis’ nephew Peter Nkansah, sharing a moment with Mayor William MacDonald and sculptor Ruth Abernethy. (Submitted by Andrew Tolson)

Canada's first black female mayor was honoured with a town hall dedication and the unveiling of a bronze bust in Annapolis Royal, N.S., Sunday afternoon.

Daurene Lewis was elected mayor of the small Nova Scotia town in 1984. She died in 2013, but would have been 75 this year.

Bill MacDonald, who is the current mayor, said people who lived in the area at the time Lewis was in power always speak highly of her.

Sculptor Ruth Abernethy and relatives of Lewis gathered around the bronze bust of Lewis, while Annapolis Royal town crier Peter Davies reads the proclamation of Mayor William MacDonald dedicating the Daurene E. Lewis Memorial Plaza. (Submitted by Andrew Tolson)
Ceremony to unveil a bust of Daurene Lewis in Annapolis Royal, N.S. Premier Stephen McNeil at the podium. (Submitted by Andrew Tolson)

"She raised the bar, she brought an attitude and polish to town hall that's probably been unmatched since then and I think that she deserves a due regard the town is going to pay her today," said MacDonald.

The plaza by town hall is now called the Daurene E. Lewis Memorial Plaza.

Lewis was a major figure in Nova Scotia and the African Nova Scotian community.

A file photo of Daurene Lewis in Annapolis Royal from 1984. (CBC)
Daurene Lewis pictured in a file photo from the Order of Canada ceremony in 2003. (CBC)

She was an Order of Canada recipient and was also the first black woman to run in a provincial election.

She was a nurse and held a PhD. She was also principal at the Leeds Street campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.

Lewis also chaired the Africville Heritage Trust when it was establishing the rebuilt Seaview United Baptist Church.

Dr. Daurene Lewis

14 years ago
Duration 22:22
Elected the first Black woman Mayor in Canada in 1984, Dr. Lewis shares her insights, excitement and guarded optimism on living in the new world with President Obama.