Dorothy Wyatt

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Dorothy Wyatt
Mayor of St. John's, Newfoundland
In office
November 13, 1973 – November 3, 1981
Preceded byWilliam G. Adams
Succeeded byJohn Joseph Murphy
Personal details
BornDorothy Mary Fanning
December 17, 1925
St. John's, Newfoundland
DiedSeptember 23, 2001(2001-09-23) (aged 75)
ResidenceSt. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Dorothy Mary Wyatt, née Fanning[1] (1925 - 2001) was a Canadian politician, who served as mayor of St. John's, Newfoundland from 1973 to 1981.[2] She was the city's first female mayor.[3]

Wyatt first worked as a secretary, meeting her husband Donald Wyatt while working for American Overseas Airlines in Gander.[3] She later returned to Memorial University of Newfoundland to study nursing.[3]

Wyatt first won election to St. John's City Council in 1969 as the city's first female councilor.[2] She ran for the mayoralty in 1973, winning the election and serving two terms in office.[2] Her term as mayor was marked by accomplishments including the city's hosting of the Canada Summer Games in 1977,[3] a shift from rental-value to capital-value municipal tax assessment,[2] the adoption of a ward system for city council elections,[2] and the construction of many of the city's modern office buildings.[2]

Wyatt was defeated by John Joseph Murphy in the 1981 election.[2] She was later reelected as a councillor at large in 1985, and remained a sitting member of city council until her death;[4] she died just two days before the city's 2001 municipal election, and was posthumously reelected to her seat on September 25.[4] A by-election was held on November 27 of that year, and was won by Sandy Hickman.[4]

She was a candidate for provincial office twice, running as an independent candidate in St. John's Centre[3] and later for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in the party's 1979 leadership convention.[3] In the PC race, she garnered no votes (she didn't even vote for herself, admitting that she had run more "to shake things up" than out of a serious desire to actually lead the party)[3] and was eliminated on the first ballot.[3]

Wyatt revelled in a quirky and offbeat public image, once telling a reporter that she hoped to be classified "as a freak, I suppose".[3]


  1. ^ "Obituaries: Wyatt, Dorothy Mary (nee Fanning)". The Telegram, September 24, 2001.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Melvin Baker, "St. John's Municipal Chairmen and Mayors, 1888-1988". Newfoundland Quarterly, Vol. LXXX1V, No. 1, Summer 1988, pp. 5-11.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i J. M. Sullivan, Newfoundland Portfolio: A History in Portraits. Breakwater Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1894377225.
  4. ^ a b c "1990-2009 City Councils". City of St. John's.