National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

History was made on this date in 1943 when Agnes McClosky was appointed Canada’s Vice-Consul in New York City. This made her the very first Canadian woman posted to a foreign country on the nation’s behalf.

Before her New York posting, McClosky was perhaps the most feared person in the Department of External Affairs. She was the one who had to sign off on all personal expenses. Once, she famously docked future Governor General Jules Leger pay when he showed up for work late on his very first day!

McClosky, who had joined the Department of External Affairs in 1909, signed her letters and memos “K.A. McClosky.” She did so in hopes her correspondents would not know she was a woman, therefore taking her communications less seriously.

She retired from Canada’s foreign service in 1949.

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist.  He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy.  A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.
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