Given names: 
Mrs D.
Given address: 
Byron Street
Sheet No: 538

Biographical information provided by Canterbury Museum for the He Tohu exhibition:

Drusilla Wilson was the first secretary of the Canterbury Women's Institute, being elected to that position in November 1892. She remained as secretary of the Institute until February 1894, when she resigned 'through stress of work elsewhere.'

A well-educated woman, Drusilla Wilson had lectured at the Brighton Training College for Teachers before emigrating to New Zealand. Under the name of Cranmer House, she ran a school for girls while her husband William Wilson ran a preparatory school for boys. In 1893 she stood as a candidate for the North Canterbury Board of Education. She was described as well qualified for the job. As well as her experience as a teacher, she had attended Canterbury College for three years.

She supported the women's franchise movement, and at the thanksgiving meeting on 26 September 1893 moved a vote of  appreciation to some of the public figures who had helped the movement. She went on to speak about the duties of woman in ordinary life, and how these duties were underestimated. 'Through the low estimate of them misunderstandings arose which in time would now doubtless be cleared away, and women's work in the rearing and education of her family and in other ways fully and properly appreciated. She was quite convinced that women would exercise their right conscientiously for the advancement of all.'

She was a foundation member of the Canterbury Women's Club, which began in 1913, and was described in her obituary as a woman 'of arresting personality and of rare intellectual gifts, a brilliant scholar, and an accomplished musician.' She later moved to England to live, but then returned to Christchurch where she died in 1929.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

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