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Very Important Members

One of the most outstanding things about the Toronto BPW Club is the high calibre of members it has attracted. The tradition of excellence and of service to the club and to women all over the world lives on and at present we are proud that our membership includes Margaret Jackson, National President; Liz Neville, Provincial 1st Vice President; Sheila Haslam, District No. 4 Assistant Director; and Carolyn Hamilton, Metro Toronto Council Chairman.

The Toronto Club is the only club in Canada to produce six national presidents, five of whom are still alive. Their names bear repeating: Margaret Hyndman, Maudie Baylay, Elsie Gregory MacGill, Nazla Dane, Margaret Ashdown and Margaret Jackson. Toronto is the only club in the world to provide two International presidents, Margaret Hyndman and Nazla Dane. Two years in our history really stand out.


Provincial President Elsie Gregory MacGill
National President Maudie Baylay
International President Margaret Hyndman


Provincial President Margaret Ashdown
National 1st Vice-President Nazla Dane
National President Elsie Gregory MacGill

Then 1967 – the year of Canada's Centenary and the Centennial Medal. The Toronto Club was delighted that four of our members received this medal: Margaret Hyndman, Elsie Gregory MacGill, Maudie Baylay and Isabel Ross.

Maudie Baylay, on behalf of the IFBPWC, made a trip to the Caribbean to help start BPW Clubs in Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad.

The Club commenced sending letters of congratulation to various women in business who were appointed to outstanding positions. This was being done by Nazla Dane, until she passed the responsibility along as more and more women received top-flight appointments.

Eve Stojanovich, a past president of the Club, was appointed President of the Women's Section of the United Nations, Association of Canada, Toronto Branch; Chris Fairley, club member and co-ordinator of The Arts of Management, was the first woman to be appointed to the National Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Canada.

Pauline McGibbon

The Club took great pleasure in the appointment of their own member Elizabeth Tipping as assistant inspector of the Bank of Nova Scotia.

In 1974 Nazla Dane finished her term as International President at the Congress opened by Sra Peron. In the same year Alice Rutledge was awarded the UN Fellowship and the following year went to the UN as delegate representing the IFBPW. Margaret Jackson was elected provincial president, and a silk rose in a silver vase was presented to her by the club at the hospitality night during the conference in Sault Ste Marie in 1975.

In February 1978, the Hon. Pauline McGibbon, an honorary life member since 1975, was present when her aide-de-camp, our current president Dr. Doris Guyatt, was pinned.

Pauline McGibbon, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario

Others have put hundreds, even thousands, of hours of work into club activities in very quiet, unassuming ways. Kay Smith has been looking after emblems as chairman of that ad hoc committee since 1975. The Bulletin has been in existence since 1952 and Janet Follett, having edited it prior to her terms of executive office, took it over again in 1958 and has edited it continuously ever since. When Ethel Smith retired after 20 years as club pianist in 1965, Janet Watson took over and has been performing for the past 20 years with a style noted publicly from the podium by no less than the Honourable Pauline McGibbon.

What follows is a mere glimpse from the minutes of meetings held over a period of 75 years, and of our connections with noteworthy women of the day. Just check our roster for more. Our contribution as a club continues.

From the very first meeting, honorary members were appointed including Lady Falconer whose husband, Sir Robert, was president of the University of Toronto. Because he considered the club an educational organization he allowed the use of a hall at the university for many of the monthly lectures and reading circle meetings.

Early in 1931, it was announced with regret that True Davidson had resigned from her position as a board member of the Toronto BPW Club.

To our delight and pride, in 1936, Margaret Hyndman was granted the coveted honour in the legal profession of Q.C. – the first Toronto woman to be so honoured, and the second woman in the British Empire.

In 1949, Miss Hyndman gave a delightful talk on the International Conference she attended in Finland. She had the great honour of meeting the famous Finnish composer Sibelius in his own home.

Margaret Hyndman

In 1951 Mrs. May Robinson, standing for Alderman in Ward VI, was tangibly supported by a contribution, as was Mrs. Nellie Tennant running in Ward V.

In 1958, Margaret Ashdown represented the Club on a prestigious East-West Cultural Mission to Japan, sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada. To raise funds, over 800 attended gala garden parties at the home of Margaret Hyndman.

In the ’60s Jean Milne was appointed to the Carter Commission on Taxation. Her name was suggested to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker by Elsie Gregory MacGill. Elsie asked us to forward her names of other qualified women to be held in reserve in case further commissioners were required.

Most Recent Achievers

Doris Elsie (Woolcott) Guyatt Ph.D.
April 29, 1929 to March 14, 2012

Dr. Guyatt was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She attended the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto and holds a BA in General Science and a BSW, MSW, and PhD in Social Work.

After completing her doctorate, she was employed by the Government of Ontario in a number of research, policy and planning positions for the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health. At retirement, she was Acting Manager of the Advocacy and Guardianship Unit of the Ministry of Health.

She has served in voluntary positions on the Boards of many communities, provincial and national organizations including President of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs from 1990 to 1992 and President of the Toronto Business and Professional Women’s Club from 1983-84, President of the Canadian Intelligence and Security Association and President of the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She was a director of the Atlantic Council of Canada, of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Social Work, of the Canadian Legion branch 165 and a member of the Board of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Doris was a Woman of Distinction (Y.W.C.A.), a champion for the advancement of women. She always found time to mentor and coach Business and Professional Women leaders in drafting and submitting resolutions to various governments. Doris always found time to attend meetings, make friendly amendments, and develop strategy and educating the club members on the government policy process.

Prior to her appointment as Honorary Colonel of the 25 (Toronto) Field Ambulance, Colonel Guyatt served in the Canadian Forces Reserve for seventeen years and for 27 years as a Military Aide de Camp to five Lieutenant Governors of Ontario. She is the recipient of the CD, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal, and the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires Long Service Medal. She was awarded the Women of Distinction Award by the YWCA of Metro Toronto and the Arbor Award by the University of Toronto. More recently, she received a Vice-Regal Commendation, the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Medal, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

Doris was married to Glenn Guyatt for 61 years and they have four children and four grandchildren.

So many members had the privilege and honour of partnering with Doris. She will be missed by so many BPW members worldwide.

Dormer Ellis

Dormer Ellis

     Woman of Distinction Award–YWCA of Metropolitan Toronto
      First WOMAN to receive the Ontario Professional Engineers Citizenship Award
     First WOMAN to be made a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada
     The Elsie Gregory McGill Award (BPW Canada)
     First WOMAN to be awarded the U. of Toronto Engineering alumni gold medal
     Named a Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto
     Only CANADIAN among pioneers honoured by the International Congress of Women Engineers and Scientists