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Thu, 09.09.1943

Daurene Lewis, Politician, and Teacher born

Daurene Lewis

*Daurene Lewis was born on this date in 1943. She was a Black Canadian nurse, politician, and educator.

Born in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Daurene Elaine Lewis was a descendant of freed Loyalist Blacks who settled in Annapolis Royal in 1783. She was also a descendant of Rose Fortune, a Virginian who became the first female police officer in North America. Trained as a registered nurse, Lewis held a diploma in teaching in nursing schools from Dalhousie University, a Master of Business Administration from Saint Mary's University, and in 1993 was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Mount Saint Vincent University.

Political career:

Lewis' first formal political involvement was in 1979, running for town council in Annapolis Royal. Her issues included increasing awareness of the area's history and attempts at community revitalization. She was deputy mayor in 1982. In 1984, Lewis was elected mayor of Annapolis Royal, making her the first female black mayor in Canada. Lewis attempted to enter provincial politics in the 1988 election, unsuccessfully trying to represent Annapolis West in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for the Liberal Party.

After politics:

Lewis was the former executive director of the Centre for Women in Business at Mount Saint Vincent University. She was the principal of both the Institute of Technology and Akerley Campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College. In 2001, Lewis became the first Black Canadian senior administrator in the history of the college. She completed an extended term on the board of directors of Canada Post and the Governor General's Order of Canada Advisory Council. Lewis was the executive of the Vanier Institute of the Family and the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. She was a member of the International Women's Foundation.

Honors, decorations, awards, and distinctions:

1994 Lewis was added to the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre Wall of Honor. In 1995, she received the United Nations Global Citizenship Award. 1998 she received the Progress Club of Halifax Woman of Excellence award for Public Affairs and Communication. In 2002, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada and received the YWCA volunteer award. She received the Queen's Jubilee Medal and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Daurene Lewis died on January 26, 2013. In 2018, the Annapolis Royal town hall plaza was named after Lewis in a ceremony in which a bronze bust by a sculptor was unveiled.

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