Fonds M995.12 - Claire Coates fonds

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Claire Coates fonds

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CA ON00373 M995.12

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  • 1932-1993, predominant 1957-1993 (Creation)

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Physical description

3.4 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Claire Coates (1928-1994) was born in Ottawa, attending Glebe College. She graduated in Honours Biology from Queen's University in 1953 with the Tri-Colour Award of the Alma Mater Society. She secured employment as a technician with DRB Suffield, conducting research on pesticides; subsequently, she became a laboratory technician at AECL Chalk River, assisting in research on the effects of radiation on certain species of insects. In 1957 she married, moved to Peterborough, where she became a Children's Aid Social Worker; after various other moves, Ms Coates settled in Woodbridge in 1969. Here she would remain until her death in November of 1994. The contributions of this individual to Woodbridge and the Vaughan community were considerable: she was the founding president of Vaughan's University Women's Club; founder and chair (1972-1989) of Woodbridge Area Recycling (and as such helped to initiate recycling in Vaughan); archivist and officer of the Woodbridge Agricultural Society; director and contributor to HELP Community Information Service (the predecesssor of Vaughan Information Services); member of Heritage Vaughan and other municipal advisory committees; an advocate of educational reform; co-author, with Janet Berton, of two histories of the Canadian Federation of University Women; executive member of the CFUW; four-time vice president and director of the National Exhibition Association, etc.

Claire Coates was nominated as the Canadian Federation of University Women's representative to the Canadian National Exhibition Association in 1980. She served on several committees including the Women's Committee, Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Committee, Program Development and Review Committee, Feature Country Committee, Long-Range Planning and Development Committee, Horticulture Advisory Committee, and the Archives and Foundation Committee, which she chaired from 1991 to 1994. She held the positions of Associate Director, General and Liberal Arts Section (1985, 1986), Director, General and Liberal Arts Section (1987-1994), and Vice-President (1990-1994).

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Scope and content

Fonds constituted primarily of material reflecting the community involvement of the records' creator in Woodbridge and Vaughan. Broadly classed in terms of general activity, the material focuses on a number of issues/areas: education (York Region Board of Education, Woodbridge Highschool Advisory Council, Home and School Association, and local nursery schools); children's rights advocacy (Children's Aid Society-York Region, Family and Children's Services); HELP Community Information Services; Woodbridge Agricultural Society (Society administrative matters, Woodbridge Fall Fair); heritage matters; environmental issues (Woodbridge Aera Recycling, City of Vaughan Waste Management Committee). Documents within said areas of general activity include correspondence, minutes, by-laws, printed matter, newspaper clippings, notes, reports, photographs, postcards, maps, ephemera, etc.

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Fonds is comprised of the following series: Community, Elections, Environmental, Governmental, Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, Social Programs, Correspondence and Administration, Resource Material and Books, and Woodbridge Agricultural Society and Fall Fair.

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Preliminary inventory available; descriptive inventory pending.

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