WOMAN of ACTION – June Callwood {Tribute}



A Celebration of Women

is excited to share with the Women of our World, a Canadian Woman, born today years ago that devoted her life to others so much so that she was considered Canada’s most famous social justice activists and often called

Canada’s Conscience”.

…. a Tribute to Celebrate the Life of this Woman that never stopped..


June Callwood

(June 2, 1924 – April 14, 2007)


June Callwood was born in Chatham, Ontario in 1924 and raised primarily in the village of Belle River. The elder of two daughters, she had a somewhat unstable family life that was greatly compensated for by her grandparents, especially her grandfather Callwood’s faith in her abilities.

His faith was so great that it was a long time before she realized that women are often discriminated against.

Callwood began her journalism career at high school where she was editor of the school paper. She dropped out of school to work for the Brantford Expositor. In 1942, she was offered a job with the The Globe and Mail and moved to Toronto.

She married journalist Trent Frayne two years later, but continued to use her own surname because The Globe and Mail at that time did not employ married women.

She ultimately left the Globe and Mail to raise a family, with four children, but later resumed her career by becoming a freelance journalist, writing books and magazine pieces, many for Maclean’s. Callwood ghost-wrote close to ten autobiographies for such prominent Americans as broadcaster Barbara Walters, film director Otto Preminger and Dr. Charles William Mayo.

Callwood entered television journalism, hosting the series In Touch on CBC Television from 1975 to 1978. She also hosted two series, National Treasure and Caregiving with June Callwood, for Vision TV.

Her first book, A Woman Doctor Looks at Life and Love, basically a ghostwritten effort was published in 1957.

A serious depression in the 1950s led her to the research that produced her first book under her own name, Love, Hate, Fear and Anger. The publishing contacts Callwood made for that work led to her ghostwriting books on the lives of several prominent Americans including Charles Mayo, Otto Preminger and Barbara Walters.

Callwood’s career was marked by a strong concern for social justice, especially on issues affecting children and women. She became one of Canada’s most famous social justice activists, founding or co-founding over 50 Canadian social action organizations including youth and women’s hostels. She founded Casey House (a Toronto hospice for people with AIDS), PEN Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and Feminists Against Censorship.

In 1978, she was made a member of the Order of Canada. She was promoted to Officer in 1985, and promoted again to Companion in 2000.In 1988, she was awarded the Order of Ontario. In 2004, the City of Toronto noted its intention to name a street in Callwood’s honour. Callwood requested that an existing street not be renamed for her, and specified that it be a new or currently unnamed street near a school or a playground.

The street is June Callwood Way and is in the neighbourhood of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue.

In 2004, Callwood went public about her battle with cancer.

She refused treatment and continued to be active, but ultimately succumbed to the disease in the morning of April 14, 2007.

Callwood was last seen on TV on April 2, 2007 in the CBC show The Hour, interviewed by George Stroumboulopoulos.

In July 2005, a Toronto park was named after Callwood. A professorship in social justice was also established at Victoria College, University of Toronto in her honour.

A biography, written by Anne Dublin, entitled

June Callwood: A Life of Action,

was published in March 2007.

Callwood and Frayne had four children together: two daughters and two sons. The daughters are noted authors Jesse and Jill Frayne, and the elder son is Brant Frayne. The second son and youngest child, Casey Frayne, was killed on April 19, 1982, when he was 20 years old, by a drunk driver on Highway 401 as he returned home from Queen’s University. Callwood’s death came only days before the 25th anniversary of her son’s death.

Callwood had one sister, Jane Labbe (née Callwood) who lives with her husband Marcel Labbe in Northern Ontario.

Callwood had five grandchildren: Marie, Emma, Lucy, and Jack Manchester (children of Jesse); and Bree Fitzgerald (daughter of Jill).

Callwood obtained her pilot’s licence in the late 1940sand maintained the licence throughout her life.

Callwood was an atheist throughout life. She stated in a very last interview that she still did not believe in God nor an afterlife, but instead believed in kindness.


Casey House, Toronto, Canada

She was instrumental in the creation of over 50 Canadian social action organizations such as Casey House, a hospice in Toronto for people with AIDS, youth hostel Yorkville Digger House, Nellie’s Hostel for women, Jessie’s House for teenagers, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and PEN Canada.

Her many honors include all three ranks of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, numerous humanitarian awards, as well as 17 honorary degrees from Canadian universities.


The June Callwood Centre for Women and Families was founded in 1982 as Jessie’s Centre for Teenagers.

We were one of North America’s first centres for teen parents and their children.

Today we offer 30 services for pregnant teenagers, teenage parents and their children. We are here to meet the needs and dreams of both generations. We offer health services, counselling, education, housing, prenatal classes and parenting groups and many types of practical support. June’s Centre is an empowering centre for teens and for young children.





~~over 30 Books to Choose from~~

BOOKS AVAILABLE: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=June%20Callwood&rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3AJune%20Callwood&page=1

VIDEO– June Callwoods’s

LAST INTERVIEW – The Hour: George Stroumboulopoulos.




A Celebration of Women


“It’s not what you leave ‘for’ others, it’s what one leaves ‘in‘others that counts.



June Callwood has left a Spirit of Courage, pioneering many Actions for Positive Change in the lives of teens and the sick., through her Foundings and Writing.



May You Rest in Peace, Brava June!

A Celebration of Women

June Callwood

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