N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 20, 1976
Discipline / contribution: nutrition ; community service
Citation / biographical information:
On behalf of the Council and Senate I present to you, Mrs. W. A. Thomson, nee Euphie Douglas.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Mrs. Thomson was born at Tantallon, Sask. on the homestead proved up by her father, Robert Moffat Douglas.
Primary training was the one-roomed Holar school, next Tantallon village school, then Moosomin Collegiate. Mrs. Thomson received her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Manitoba in 1924. She taught for one season at the School of Agriculture, Olds, Alberta before taking Dietician training at a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In 1926 Mrs. Thomson directed a pilot project in Winnipeg as the Visiting Nutritionist with the children from the Out-Patient Department of the Children's Hospital.
Wallace A. Thomson graduated from the College of Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan in 1919; taught Physics at the University of Saskatchewan from 1920 to 1924. He was an instructor in Physics at the University of Manitoba when they were married in 1927.
As well as teaching Physics, Wallace Thomson operated a farm at Pense, Sask. In 1933 the farm became a full-time occupation. The Thomsons established themselves in the livestock industry - Holsteins, Shorthorns and sheep. The family - Margaret, Mrs. Leith Crowie, Saskatoon; Jean, Mrs. William Strath, Souris, Manitoba and Douglas, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their daughters are graduates of the University of Manitoba, Hone Economics, and married Agriculture graduates; their son Douglas, a University of Saskatchewan, College of Agriculture graduate, married a Home Economist, University of Manitoba.
When the Thomsons decided to leave their city occupations and become rural residents, they did not discard their interests in the intellectual life. As a team, they transferred the focus to their own community.
Adult education has been Mrs. Thomson's life work and she has always been receptive to new ideas; she pioneered the selection of varieties of vegetables suitable for home freezing; new techniques in sewing and needlework were studied in both formal and informal classes. As a Home Economist she answered many letters and many phone calls. She has always clung to the old virtues of thrift, making the most of what you have at hand, neighborliness and honesty. Her generosity of spirit showed itself in many ways, the sharing of a new recipe, a lesson in needlework to anyone who showed interest in learning. It can be said that her motto has been "Excellence." Her needlework has won prizes in New York and Perth, Australia. The University of Saskatchewan College of Home Economics has some samples on display.
Mrs. Thomson has served the Homemakers Club of Pense (now Women's Institute) since 1927 and held the office of President for ten of those years. Her activities in provincial affairs have gone far beyond the community of Pense. Mrs. Thomson organized numerous 4-H clubs. Over the years, she judged the Saskatoon and Regina "A" fairs, all of the "B" fairs and many of the "C" fairs in Saskatchewan. She also demonstrated rug hooking, crewel embroidery, macrame and freezing foods.
Mrs. Thomson is the Past President of the Saskatchewan Home Economics Association and an Honorary Life Member of the Regina Branch. She was a member of the Committee for Revision of the High-school Home Economics Curriculum 1946-48. During the war she was a member of the Regina Regional Wartime Price and Trade Board which monitored prices and rationings.
Mrs. Thomson and Mrs. Hill of Davidson drafted the original resolution for the organization of a Canadian Association of Consumers now known as the Consumers Association of Canada. She became President of the Saskatchewan Consumers Association.
The people in the community of Pense, the Province of Saskatchewan and the Dominion of Canada have and will continue to enjoy the leadership and teachings of Mrs. Wallace Thomson and her concern for others.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Mrs. W. A. Thomson and ask that you will confer on her the degree of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Oliver Symes
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