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Margaret (Dillon) Norquay (1920-2014), writer, teacher, broadcaster and pioneer in distance education, was born in Toronto to a well-educated family of modest means. She was educated at the University of Toronto where she earned her Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) in 1943, and her Master of Arts (Sociology) in 1950. During 1943-1944, Norquay served as Executive Secretary, Rural Adult Education Service, MacDonald College, Quebec which provided education services via radio for farm families. From 1944 to 1946, Norquay was a welfare officer with the Canadian Women's Army Corp (CWAC). In 1947-1949 she served as Recreation Director for the Dunnville Community Recreation Council and this work provided the basis for her M.A. thesis entitled "A Study of a Community Recreation Council as an Agent of Social Change", a sociological study of the economic and political changes which took place in the textile town of Dunville, Ontario. Norquay married a United Church minister in 1949 and began to raise her own family in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. Returning to Ontario, she was a researcher, writer and broadcaster between 1963 and 1967 for "Take 30", a CBC programme co-hosted by Adrienne Clarkson. Between 1967 and 1971, she worked as a professor of sociology for Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. She was the founding director of CJRT-FM's Open College program whose first course was offered over radio in January 1971. From 1972 to 1974, she was Director of Studies for Ryerson and Open College in addition to her teaching duties, and continued as director of Open College until 1987 at which time she became a consultant for the Ryerson International Development Centre. She was also program director for CJRT-FM from 1974 to 1985. Throughout her life, Norquay has remained interested and active in community involvement, chairing or volunteering on several committees and projects. From 1964 to 1972, she chaired the Community Committee on Immigrants of the Social Planning Council, and from 1963 to 1973 was the volunteer director of the Earl's Court Community project in Toronto. From 1987 onwards, she chaired the Committee for Intercultural/Interracial Education in Professional Schools (CIIEPS). She also played an active role in the Project for Development Supports Communications in Northern Thailand as well as many other community and interculturally based endeavours. In 2008, Norquay's work "Broad is the way : stories from Mayerthorpe" was published as part of the Wilfrid Laurier University Press life-writing series and provides interesting glimpses of the life of a young minister's unorthodox wife.
Norquay passed away 11 January 2014.
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2019/01/21 KCP. Added dates and VIAF record.