Chilliwack mourns loss of activist and icon Jean Scott

Born in Brandon, Manitoba a week after the sinking of The Titanic in 1912, Jean Scott fought tirelessly for women's rights.

Jean Scott

Jean Scott

Jean Scott may have been Chilliwack’s most famous centenarian and community activist.

Scott passed away Wednesday in Chilliwack at the impressive age of 102, a resident of the Lynnwood Retirement Residence.

Born in Brandon, Manitoba a week after the sinking of The Titanic in 1912, Scott became known for her tireless fight for women’s rights and other progressive causes.

She was born on April 21, sharing a birthday with Queen Elizabeth.

“I’m a woman and I’m glad that I was born a woman because we have the greatest role in humanity,” she once told The Progress, as she prepared to attend a conference on women’s rights organized by the Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

Scott sat on the board of directors of local transition houses, and had a long history of lobbying for wage equality.

Scott earned an honourary doctorate from UFV at 90, and was presented the Governor General’s Persons Case Medal in 1990 for Canadians who made inroads to equality for women in Canada. The GG award commemorated October 18, 1929, the date that Canadian women won the legal right to be recognized as persons.

She adored singing, playing piano, and cats.

After decades of struggle, and dedication to social justice, Scott self-published a memoir, Brown Sugar and A Bone in the Throat. It chronicles her journey through poverty, the Depression, World War II, multiple romances and marriages, and several political movements.

In 1982 the Chilliwack Soroptimists chose Scott to receive the Soroptimist International Award in Saskatoon for the Western Canada Region for the Women Helping Women Award. The Memorial Society of BC made her a special award in 1968, and she received Honorary Life Membership in the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society.

Memorials services are being planned by friends and family for March.