After many years spent navigating a decidedly confusing educational journey, Helen Connell was able to develop a sense of self that was atypical of women in the 1970s.
Through many lessons learned throughout her educational and professional careers, Helen gained an appreciation for the difficulties facing women in her time, as well as a hunger to fundamentally change the position of women in Canadian society. That desire allowed for Helen—someone who had never enjoyed great success in her schooling—to become the first woman editor of the London Free Press.
In that position, Helen was able to help grow the band of women journalists who were making it their priority to show the people of London that women were much more than second-class citizens.
Helen’s ability to sympathize with, and to tell the stories of other people was an attribute she gained from her non-judgmental parents, and as an editor she was all the better for it.
Ms. Connell’s mantra “be slow to judge others” was a crucial belief to hold in her next position as Executive Director of the United Way in London. Much like her position at the newspaper, this new challenge put Helen in a position that helped those most disadvantaged in the community.
With special attention placed on the care of women and children in the London region, Helen Connell did well to continue a legacy of support and encouragement to those in society who did not possess a strong voice.