Ethel (Watson) Taylor

Red Deer



Life and Work

Ethel Taylor, once hesitant to even talk on the phone, became Red Deer's first woman alderman in 1961 and served continuously for 14 years. Her interest in community affairs increased with experience in Canadian Girls In Training, Women's Institute, Local Council of Women, and the Alberta Federation of Home and School Associations.

Born in Southern Rhodesia, Ethel was the eldest of five children of a Canadian soldier who married overseas during the Boer War. The family stayed briefly in England before coming in 1912 to Fort Macleod to stay with Ethel's pioneering grandparents. Her parents died in Camrose when Ethel was young. Ethel married a teacher, L.H. Taylor, a member of a pioneering family in the Pincher Creek area.

A diligent community worker, Ethel was a founding member of the Alberta and Red Deer councils on aging, and strongly supported the arts, Red Deer College, the Social Planning Council, and many other organizations. She also served six years on the University of Alberta Senate. Among her many honours were the Centennial Award in 1967, an Alberta Achievement Award for Service in 1975, and Citizen of the Year for Red Deer in 1977.