Isabelle Dawson 1917-1982

So willing to find another hour to help any community undertaking that she is often referred to as Everybody’s Secretary.

Isabel, we need some help. Sure thing, what can I do? Well, it’s a pretty big job, and it’ll take a bit of time. Okay, if I can, I’ll do it for you. Aren’t you booked up now? Well, I am kind of busy, but that’s alright. What can I do for you? We’d like you to be Good Citizen this year. You’re kidding----me? I haven’t done that much. I’m breathless with excitement I don’t deserve it.

Reverend R.S. Leitch, a former Kelowna Good Citizen Committee member upon reading the highlights of Isabel’s service to the community commented: I have never seen anything like this before.

In 1966, Isabel Dawson ran for election in the B.C. riding of Mackenzie under the Social Credit banner of W.A.C. Bennett.

Starting out at daybreak, Isabel Dawson visited every major poll in the Mackenzie riding. Bella Coola, Hagensbor,g Ocean Falls, Gibsons, Minstrel Island, Texada Polls, Powell River And the central peninsula.

Isabel recalls with a smile “They blinked when I walked into Ocean Falls”.

Isabel Dawson-Social Credit defeats incumbent Tony Hargrave of the NDP with over 52% of the popular vote.

In a clear and comprehensive manner, Isabel Dawson is a woman of proven ability and is untiring in her dedication to the betterment or conditions in general and peoples in particular, especially our senior citizens and others in need of assistance.

Premier Bennett announces the appointment of Mrs. Dawson as Minister without Portfolio.

The three ladies (Isabel Dawson, Patricia Jordan, Grace McCarthy) who have been appointed to the cabinet have been referred to as the kitchen cabinet. But you all know, especially you men, that many good things come out of a kitchen cabinet. Isabel Dawson, PRN, Jan. 12/67.

On December 11, 1972 Isabel Dawson’s political career ended when she was defeated by Don Lockstead of the NDP.

Isabel then enrolled as a student in the business division at Camosun College in Victoria.

Following her death in 1982 at the age of 64, the Camosun College Board of governors renamed the former home of the Greater Victoria school board. Previously known as the Paul Building; the building which is part of Camosun College’s Lansdowne campus was renamed the Isabel Dawson Building.

At a Glance-Isabel Dawson

  • Born Isabel Pearl Saunders October 13, 1917 in Camrose, Alberta
  • Parents-John David and Ruth Minnie Saunders
  • Elementary School-Camrose, Alberta
  • Secondary School-Princeton, B.C. and Vancouver, B. C.
  • Canadian Women’s Army Corp.
  • Retired with a commission from Royal Canadian Engineers Transport Division.
  • Married Charles John Dawson (Jack)
  • One son, Johnnie.