Jean Hewitt (Townsend)

Born during a Luftwaffe airstrike in the Battle of Britain, the brutal scenes surrounding the moment Jean Hewitt came into this world may well have been foreshadow for the many battles she would have to fight in her life.

The first came at the age of seven, when Jean developed a serious eye infection. Despite nearly losing her vision at such a young age, this battle would harden Jean for future fights, ones that would affect not only her.

After her father abandoned the Townsend family when Jean was just eleven, her involvement in academics, sports, and the arts at the Mary Datchelor School served as distractions from Jean’s difficult home life. It was during these trying times that Jean developed an appreciation of the significance of social services.

When Jean met and married Gerry Hewitt and moved to Toronto, she fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a teacher when she accepted a position at the Bishop Strachan School. After a final move to London, Jean became heavily involved in the Federation of Women Teachers, with the goal of increasing awareness of gender inequalities in the workplace.

Jean Hewitt’s tireless work to change deeply ingrained societal views towards women that, at schools were being taught and held onto from such an early age, has allowed for the ‘old’ ways to make way for the ‘new’. Both boys and girls attending schools all over North America are better for that work, and Jean’s legacy is one that has affected change that enables better citizens to emerge from our educational institutions.

3 comments

  1. sine herold says:

    COULD JEAN HEWITT GET IN TOUCH WITH ME. I HEARD A PRESENTATION THAT WAS INSPIRING TO PROBUS GROUP a WOMENS GROUP TO WHICH I BELONG ARE VERY INTERESTED IN HAVING HER GROUP APPEAR SH

    • Don Coates says:

      I would like to make contact with Dr. Jean Hewitt. I am the charter President of the Forest Combined Probus Club in Forest Ontario. We are going to celebrate our tenth anniversary of receiving our charter on 2019-Oct-9th. Upon contacting London North Probus Club about ideas for a speaker, Dr Hewitt came highly recommended based on the presentation she and her four colleagues made to the London North Club.

      Would you kindly contact Dr. Hewitt and in turn, ask her to contact me at the email address above or 519-786-6451. On behalf of our celebration committee, I would like to know the availability of Dr. Hewitt and her “Suffragettes” for Oct 9th, and at what cost.

      Thank you very much. Sincerely Don Coates

  2. Glen says:

    looking how to get ahold of my aunt Mary

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