Little Known Black History Fact: Daurene Lewis

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  • Daurene Lewis is the first black woman to serve as mayor in Canada. A major figure in the African Nova Scotian community, 68 year-old Lewis passed away last weekend. She was elected to serve as mayor in 1984.

    Lewis, a PHD, was the first black woman to run in a provincial Canadian election. She unsuccessfully ran in 1988 to represent Annapolis West in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for the Liberal Party.

    Lewis served as a nurse and was a member of the Order of Canada. The politician is a descendant of freed Loyalist blacks who settled in Annapolis Royal in 1783. From a family line of leaders, Lewis was a seventh-generation descendant of Rose Fortune, who became the first female police officer in Canada.

    Lewis was also the former Director of the Centre for Women in Business at Mount Saint Vincent University.

    She has been recognized by national and international organizations for her political work and focus. In 1994, she was added to the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre Wall of Honor. Then in 1995, she received the United Nations Global Citizenship Award. Lewis received the Progress Club of Halifax Woman of Excellence Award for Public Affairs and Communication in 1998. In 2002, Lewis received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for a significant contribution to fellow citizens and community.

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