Alphonsine Howlett


Alphonsine Howlett 1913-1992

1978 Social Social

Alphonsine Howlett was a tireless and creative community worker, dedicated wife and mother, a woman who has served the needs of the people of Montréal with sensitivity and diligence. Her life and involvement reflected the traditions and values of those two major linguistic and cultural communities.

Born into a traditional Quebec family, Alphonsine Howlett pursued her early studies in French. She married a distinguished medical man, Dr. John Howlett of the Royal Victoria Hospital. A mother of five children, she attended evening classes at the Thomas More Institute during fifteen years for her university education. Her concern for the underprivileged in Montréal was rooted in her selfless love for her family.

In 1944, Mrs. Howlett was foundress of the Ligue des parents de Montréal and in 1948, co-foundress of the Priory, a private grammar school. The community groups with which she has served covered the entire gamut of social needs: the Fédération des femmes du Québec, the Centre de psycho-éducation du Québec, the Quebec Association for the Mentally Handicapped, the Family Life Education Association and the Westmount Municipal Association. She was the initiator of the Howlett Commission, a research study on the needs of the mentally handicapped in Montréal, undertaken by the Council on Social Development. She helped found Portage, a rehabilitation centre for addicts, and served as President of the Board of Directors of the Ville Marie Social Services Centre. She served on the Board of Advisors of Concordia University's School of Community and Public Affairs.

Her efforts have been widely recognized. In 1976, the Montréal Citizenship Council named Mrs. Howlett citoyenne d'honneur and in 1978, she was named Great Montrealer by a jury composed of representatives of the Francophone and Anglophone communities.

Source: Concordia University

Honorary Degree Citation – Alphonsine Howlett, by Russell Breen, June 1981

Photo Credit : Archives Université Concordia