Maida Torrance Duncan

Maida Torrance Duncan

Maida Torrance Duncan 1919-2017


Maida McKenzie was born and raised in Winnipeg. She attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a degree in Home Economics.  Her first job was a teaching position in the Crowsnest Pass in Natal BC, where she met and married another teacher, Morris Duncan.  After the birth of their three children, the family moved to Kamloops, and then to Vancouver in 1957.


Here, Maida became a very active volunteer, most notably with the Elizabeth Fry Society. It was the beginning of over 50 years of volunteerism and leadership for the Society.  In addition to regular support visits to the women’s prison, she was instrumental in purchasing the first E. Fry homes for women and adolescent girls recently released from prison, and in professionalizing the Society.  She served as President of the Society in the 1960s, in 1986, and in 1997.


In 1986, she received the Canada Volunteer Award for her work with the E. Fry, as well as with the United Way and the University Women’s Club. Her legacy lives on through the “Maida Duncan Centre”, a drop-in centre for resourceless women and children at the E. Fry main site in New Westminster. Maida was strongly supported in her volunteerism by her husband Morris.


Maida was known for her pastels, her pearls, and her pussycats. She inspired everyone she met, young and old.


Maida had three sons: James, who passed away in 2008, John (Donna) of Qualicum Beach BC, and Ian (Dianne) of Saint Louis, Missouri. She has nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.


A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at CELEBRATION HALL - MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY, 5455 Fraser Street, Vancouver. Maida will be laid to rest in a private family service at the Burnaby Heritage Cemetery.


Donations in Maida’s memory may be made to the Elizabeth Fry Society,

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