Pauline Vanier

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Pauline Vanier
Social. Col & Mrs Vanier BAnQ P48S1P05925.jpg
Georges and Pauline Vanier in 1940
Born March 28, 1898
Montreal, Quebec
Died March 23, 1991
Relatives Georges Vanier, husband
Thérèse Vanier, daughter
Jean Vanier, son

The Honourable Pauline Vanier, PC, CC, DStJ (March 28, 1898 – March 23, 1991), born Pauline Archer in Montreal, married Georges Vanier on September 29, 1921. Georges would become one of Canada's first professional diplomats, Canada's first ambassador to France and Canada's first Canadian-born French-speaking Governor General of Canada from 1959 until his death in March 1967. With her extensive diplomatic experience, Pauline filled the role of vice-regal consort with as much distinction as her husband filled his. Georges and Pauline Vanier created the Vanier Institute of the Family in 1965.[1]

Madame Vanier was the first non-political woman to be appointed to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. She was sworn in on April 11, 1967 as a sign of honour from Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. In July that same year she was made one of the first Companions of the Order of Canada for her humanitarian work. She was appointed the Chancellor of the University of Ottawa in 1966.

The couple had five children. Their son Jean founded L'Arche and her daughter Thérèse was a medical doctor who specialized in haematology and palliative care. Both Madame Vanier and her husband Georges have been nominated for beatification in the Roman Catholic Church because of their piety and love for humanity.[2]


A Brampton, Ontario, Catholic elementary school is named in her honor as well as an Ottawa middle school. Madame Vanier Hall, a women's residence at St Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, also bears her name. In 1963, London Children's Aid, and Catholic Social Services groups got together, and created the "Madame Vanier Children's Services".


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Academic offices
Preceded by
Marie-Joseph Lemieux
Chancellor of the University of Ottawa
Succeeded by
Gérald Fauteux