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Bertha Wilson - Judge

Bertha Wilson was born in Kirkcaldy in 1923 but she is remembered as one of the most famous women in Canada's history. From her humble Fife beginnings, she rose to become Canada's first female Supreme Court judge and a leading figure in making changes to the country's laws regarding family and women.

Bertha trained to become a teacher and earned her masters degree in 1944. The following year, aged 21, she married Presbyterian minister Rev. John Wilson and in 1949 the couple emigrated to Canada. In 1954, Bertha decided to study Canadian law and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a Queens Counsel in 1972. Three years later she became the first woman justice on the Ontario Court of Appeal and in 1982 began her term on the Supreme Court.

When she retired in 1991, she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and became a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1992. She died in 2007, aged 83.

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