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Hanway, Mabel (1893-1968)

Mabel Hanway (née Brigden) was a Regina-based activist and the first woman to run for mayor. Born in Manitoba in 1893 and educated there, she was the sister of socialist-feminist Beatrice Brigden. During World War I she began to teach in Saskatchewan, and subsequently married Thomas V. Hanway, a salesman; she had a stepson. In 1946, Hanway, a widow since 1940, began to work for the Department of Social Welfare, from which she retired in 1958. She sought to improve socio-economic conditions and advance women’s rights. Convenor of the Local Council of Women’s (LCW) Trades and Professions for Women Committee from 1926 to 1931, she also participated in the Trades and Labour Congress and the Women’s Labour League. After World War II, she was president of the Regina Housewives’ Association. Hanway engaged in pro-labour political activism, and helped organize the Independent-Labour party (later a CCF component). In 1932, she sought a city council seat—one of the first two women to do so—but lost. In the 1940s and 1950s she ran several times, never successfully, on labour-oriented slates as an aldermanic or school board candidate. In 1950 she ran for mayor, but was defeated. A lifelong peace activist, she supported the League of Nations Society and, later, the United Nations Association. At mid-century she became an organizer and leader in the Regina and provincial Peace Councils, and was a delegate to the World Peace Council (1959). In the 1960s she engaged in anti-Vietnam protests. Hanway died on July 6, 1968, in Regina.

Ann Leger-Anderson

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