Pauline Mills McGibbon

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The Honourable
Pauline Mills McGibbon
CC OOnt
22nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
In office
April 10, 1974 – September 15, 1980
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Jules Léger
Edward Schreyer
Premier Bill Davis
Preceded by William Ross Macdonald
Succeeded by John Black Aird
Personal details
Born (1910-10-21)October 21, 1910
Sarnia, Ontario
Died December 14, 2001(2001-12-14) (aged 91)
Toronto, Ontario
Spouse(s) Donald McGibbon
Profession Director, community organizer

The Hon. Pauline Mills McGibbon, CC OOnt (October 21, 1910, Sarnia, Ontario – December 14, 2001, Toronto), served as the 22nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1974 to 1980. In addition to being the first woman to occupy that position, she was also the first woman to serve as a viceregal representative in Canadian history.

Pauline Mills studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto and later worked with community and national organizations such as the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, for which she served as National President. A lifelong volunteer and supporter of the arts, Mrs. McGibbon also became president of the Dominion Drama Festival in 1948. She was the first woman to lead such organizations as the Canadian Conference of the Arts (1972) and the National Arts Centre (1980). In 1935 she married Donald McGibbon. Mrs. McGibbon served as Chancellor of the universities of Toronto and Guelph, Chairman of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, honorary colonel of 25 (Toronto) Service Battalion and was a Director of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967.

Mrs. McGibbon was installed as the first female Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on January 17, 1974, and thus became the first female Governor in Canada. (The first female Governor in the Commonwealth was Dame Hilda Bynoe, Governor of Grenada 1968-1974.) She held the Office until 1980.

Once described as “Ontario’s Eve” for all her ‘first woman’ achievements, the Honourable Pauline McGibbon dedicated her life to the betterment of her community, province and nation.

A particular focus of her mandate was the arts in Ontario. After leaving Office, Mrs. McGibbon was promoted to be a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1980, and was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1988. She died in Toronto in 2001, aged 91. She was buried in the family plot in the Lakeview Cemetery in Sarnia, Ontario.

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Government offices
Preceded by
William Ross Macdonald
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
1974–1980
Succeeded by
John Black Aird
Academic offices
Preceded by
Omond Solandt
Chancellor of the University of Toronto
1971–1974
Succeeded by
Eva Waddell Mader Macdonald
Preceded by
Emmett Hall
Chancellor of the University of Guelph
1977–1983
Succeeded by
William Stewart