Laura Bond was a Canadian Suffragette.
In 1871, Laura was living with her parents and five of her siblings in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her father was a hardware merchant. In 1876, when Laura was just 14 years old, she lost both of her parents. Her mother, Catherine, died in January 1876 in an accident. Four months later, in May 1876, her father Thomas died of a tumor. In 1881, Laura was living with her five older siblings in Halifax.
|Laura Borden in 1901|
Perhaps Laura Bond met Robert Borden, a barrister from Halifax, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, where she was an organist and he was a regular attendee. They courted about three years before marrying on Sept. 25, 1889. The couple shared an interest in the arts, she in music and theatre, he in literature. They enjoyed tennis, water sports and golf together.
Robert Borden had a successful law practice. He and Laura were able to spend several weeks during the summers of 1891 and 1893 touring Europe. They were still in Halifax in 1901.
After having lived in rented rooms for their early married years, in 1894, the Bordens bought "Pinehurst," a large home in a suburb of Halifax, off Quinpool Road.
The house was built around 1873, and is Late Victorian Eclectic including some Classical Revival and Italianate features.
Robert didn't like leaving his wife behind in Halifax when his political career began, and in 1905, when he made a firm commitment to national politics, he began the hunt for a house in Ottawa. In the summer of 1906, Robert and Laura moved to "Glensmere," along the Rideau River, at 201 Wurtemberg Street in Ottawa, Ontario. Both homes were known for their "brilliant" gatherings.
In 1915, Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada since October 1911, was knighted, Sir Robert Laird Borden. Laura (Bond) Borden, daughter of a hardware merchant, became Lady Laura Borden. Lord and Lady Borden can be seen here in full "Court" dress. They remained Canada's "first couple" all through World War I, until Sir Robert's retirement in 1920. Among its other achievements, the Borden administration campaigned for and won the right to vote for Canadian women in 1918. Always a champion of Canada, Sir Robert also succeeded in having Canada and the other British Dominions gain independent status in the post-war League of Nations.
|Lady Laura Borden in 1912|
Around 1878, when Laura had been a teenager, the women of Nova Scotia began forming groups such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which successfully lobbied for married women’s property rights.
In 1891, they turned to the topic of suffrage for women. After defeat of the first suffrage bill, in 1894, the Local Council of Women of Halifax, a local chapter of the National Council of Women of Canada, was formed. Laura Bond became a member of this group, and at one time served as it’s President.
It wasn’t until April 26, 1918 that the Nova Scotia Franchise Act was passed, giving the women of Nova Scotia the right to vote in provincial elections. A month later Sir Robert Borden, Laura’s husband, used his parliamentary majority to pass national suffrage for Canadian women.
Laura has been described as lively, attractive, active-minded, amiable, and talented. She contributed to her husband's success, and was actively involved in organizations and charities during her lifetime. Among the many occasions on which Lady Laura's efforts to make the world a better place received public notice, was an article in the October 1908 issue of "Canadian Life and Resources".
|Canadian Life and Resources, October 1908, Pages 22-23. (click here to see full size)|
|Sir Robert and Lady Laura Borden 1912|
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