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  • Hilde Huus

Fern Blodgett Sunde

CNS Vice-president John Gilbert sent me an email a couple of months ago with “Fern Blodgett Sunde” in the Subject line. “What an unusual name” I thought. “Sunde” certainly sounds Nordic, but the rest of the name certainly doesn’t. It turns out that the name belonged to a Canadian woman who was herself very unusual for her time. Her accomplishments will be celebrated in a ceremony on October 17, to be attended by Ambassador-Designate of Norway, H.E. Jon Elvedal Frederiksen.

Fern Blodgett grew up in Cobourg, Ontario on the shores of Lake Ontario and dreamt of becoming a sailor. She came to realize that as a girl, this would not be possible for her, so when World War II broke out, she decided to see if she could qualify as a wireless radio operator. The first two schools she applied to turned her down because she was a woman, but a third school, the Radio College of Canada accepted her. As a result, she became the first Canadian female wireless operator, the first to serve at sea, and the first of 22 women to serve on the Norwegian merchant marine. To cap it all off, she was the first woman to receive the Norwegian War Medal.

Join Cobourg Media on Wednesday, October 21 at 1:30 PM at fernblodgettsunde/) for a special live presentation as Cobourg unveils a statue of Fern Blodgett Sunde.

To read more about Fern Blodgett Sunde’s remarkable life, please go to:

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