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Grading the Report Card

To the editor,

In the "City Council Report Card," (May 31, 2007), Mike Fleury stated, "Sue Uteck is not one to shy away from calling bullshit. That might be part of the reason she was named deputy mayor last year, the first woman to hold the position."

While Sue Uteck has proven to be a valuable member of our present city council, and may well become our mayor, I feel it's important to note there was another woman in our history who first held the position of deputy mayor in Halifax: Abbie J. Lane.

Abbie was appointed deputy mayor in the city of Halifax on May 3, 1954. She chaired her first city council meeting on June 9, 1954.

Abbie was also well-known at the time as a staunch supporter of people with mental-health issues. She took an active interest in public education, was an advocate for the status of women and was a radio drama personality with the CBC. Like Sue Uteck, Abbie Lane contributed greatly to the fabric of our city. Her contributions were recognized in a monument built in her honour in what is now called the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Wing of the QE II Health Sciences Centre.

Abbie J. Lane was a great lady who remained dedicated to improving the quality of life for the citizens of our city at a time when women were not encouraged to be political. She should not be erased from our memories so easily.

By Sheila Lane

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