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Frances Kathleen Montgomery
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Frances Kathleen Montgomery was a Canadian academic, writer and poet. She was born in Woodstock, Ont., on Feb. 19, 1903, the daughter of Robert D. and Genevieve Montgomery. She received her early education in Woodstock and graduated from Woodstock Collegiate Institute in 1923, winning an entrance scholarship to the University of Western Ontario for French, German and History. During her undergraduate years there, from 1923 to 1927, she continued to excel in her studies, winning several awards and scholarships. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927 and a Master of Arts degree, French and German, in 1928, after which she was awarded a provincial scholarship from the Ontario Dept. of Education for study in France. She studied for two years at the Sorbonne, and received a Doctorat de l'Université de Paris in 1930.
Upon her return to Canada, Montgomery was hired to teach at the University of Western Ontario, where she remained until retirement in 1963. During those years she continued to study, in Spain, Mexico and again in France. She interrupted her teaching career to join the Canadian Women's Army Corps and served from 1942-1945, rising in rank from private to captain. In 1963 Frances Montgomery was hired by the University of Waterloo to start a Department of French. She was appointed as a full professor in 1963, and was the first Chair of the Dept. of French. She retired to Victoria, B.C. in 1968.
Montgomery's interests and activities were many and varied. She was an accomplished musician from an early age, playing both piano and violin. She played tennis and golf and for many years engaged in camping and climbing holidays. As well, she had a reputation as an excellent cook and a witty conversationalist. Many articles and poems written by her were published in newspapers over the years. Her interest in discrimination against female academics led her to submit a brief to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada in 1968.
Montgomery died August 23, 1989 in Victoria, British Columbia and was interred at Hatley Memorial Gardens.
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Donated by Kay Rex, niece of Frances Kathleen Montgomery.