Helen Hunley

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The Honourable

W. Helen Hunley

12th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
In office
January 22, 1985 – March 11, 1991
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralJeanne Sauvé
Ray Hnatyshyn
PremierPeter Lougheed
Don Getty
Preceded byFrank Lynch-Staunton
Succeeded byGordon Towers
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
August 30, 1971 – March 14, 1979
Preceded byAlfred Hooke
Succeeded byJohn Murray Campbell
ConstituencyRocky Mountain House
Personal details
Wilma Helen Hunley

(1920-09-06)September 6, 1920
Acme, Alberta
DiedOctober 22, 2010(2010-10-22) (aged 90)
Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
Political partyProgressive Conservative
ResidenceRocky Mountain House
Occupationtelephone operator, insurance businesswoman

Wilma Helen Hunley, OC, AOE (September 6, 1920 – October 22, 2010) was a Canadian former politician and the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, the first woman to serve in that post.

Early life[edit]

She was born in Acme, Alberta, to James Edgar Hunley and Esta May Hunley. She first worked as an operator, served overseas in the Army Corp during World War II and eventually owned and operated an International Harvester franchise and an insurance business.[1]

Political career[edit]

Hunley served as a town councilor from 1960 to 1966 and then mayor of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta from 1966 to 1971. Hunley was elected to the province's legislative assembly as a Progressive Conservative. She was the province's cabinet minister serving as Minister Without Portfolio from 1971 to 1973, Solicitor-General from 1973 to 1975 and then Minister of Social Services and Community Health from 1975 until 1979 when she retired from politics.

In June, 1980, Hunley was appointed chair of the Alberta Mental Health Advisory Council. She also served on the Alberta 75th Anniversary Commission.

Hunley became president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta in 1984 and, in 1985, was appointed by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé, on the advice of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, to the position of lieutenant-governor. She served in the position until 1991. In 1992, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Coat of arms of Helen Hunley
A demi lion Or armed Gules wearing a coronet érablé Azure and gorged with a collar of wild roses leaved proper holding between the forepaws a torch Azure enflamed Or and Gules;
Azure a pile reversed of ears of wheat Or issuant from base and in chief two mullets also Or;
On a compartment of grassland proper dexter a horse Or langued Gules crined, queued and unguled Azure gorged with a collar Azure pendant therefrom a lozenge Azure charged with a key in pale its ward firred Or sinister a deer Or attired and unguled Azure gorged with a like collar and pendant;


  1. ^ Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 93.
  2. ^ http://reg.gg.ca/heraldry/pub-reg/project.asp?lang=e&ProjectID=1518&ShowAll=1


External links[edit]