Susan Thompson, Mayor of the City of Winnipeg,1992-1995;1995- 1998, launched her autobiography in front of a standing room only crowd on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. Over 200 people attended the event, which featured Susan Thompson sharing several stories from her time as Mayor. She recounted the beginnings of her campaign for Mayor, that she was an outsider to the political process and had no ties to any political party. She also related the story of how Winnipeg won the Canadian bid to host the 1999 Pan American games. Her engaging storytelling manner and the nail biting closeness of this vote had attendees gasping at the surprisingly close result.
After the reading and a short question and answer period, Susan Thompson began signing books. The lineup stretched out through McNally Robinson and into the Grant Park Mall. Susan stayed at the signing table for almost two hours, writing personalized messages to each and every person who bought her book.
The event inspired many in the crowd to continue fighting for gender equality. Susan Thompson’s story is one of triumph for women in politics but she is still the only woman mayor of the City of Winnipeg in its 142 year history. While celebrating her accomplishments during her remarkable life, Susan also took time to celebrate other women’s accomplishments. Devi Sharma, who was in attendance at the event, is the first women speaker of City Council. Susan also recognized the efforts of the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to have his cabinet be equally represented by women.
The title of her autobiography is His Her Worship. Not long after Susan Thompson became Mayor of Winnipeg in 1992, she was given official documents to sign. She immediately noticed “His Worship” printed on all the documents, to the left of where she was to sign her name… not “Her/His” Worship, just “His” Worship. Susan was taken aback that in this day and age, the document was printed in this manner. It was clear that absolutely no thought or consideration had been given to the fact that, at some point, the City of Winnipeg might have a woman as Mayor. She realized that if she requested a reprint of the documents, it would be perceived as an unnecessary expense… plus it would create “chatter.” So Mayor Thompson settled the matter by simply crossing out HIS with a red marker and adding HER instead… hence the title of the book!
Media enquiries can be made at Susan’s website susanannthompson.ca or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos provided by Nadine Kampen