Grace "Julia" Parker
aka  Lady Julia Drummond
1861-

From: "Types of Canadian Women Past and Present" Vol.I
Ed. by Henry James Morgan, Published by William Briggs, Toronto, 1903
(photo by Kellie & Co., Montreal)

Grace Julia Parker, third daughter of the late Alexander Davidson Parker, Esquire, of Montreal, and his wife, Grace Gibson, eldest daughter of John Gibson, Esquire, W. S., Edinburgh, was born and educated in Montreal. She married, first, in London, England, 1879, Rev. George Hamilton, M.A., eldest son of Robert Hamilton, Esquire, of " Hamwood," Quebec (who died at Cannes, France, May 6th, 1880) ; and secondly, 1884, Hon. George Alexander Drummond, Senator, of Montreal. 

Mrs. Drummond has throughout been closely connected with various benevolent undertakings, and has otherwise done much for the public good. Lady Aberdeen, in Upward and Onward, places her at the head of the Canadian sisterhood for activity in "promoting all that is true and just and beautiful among women, and for a consuming hatred for unrighteousness in every form." She also pays a tribute, in the same paper, to her " distinguished presence, great personal charm, gifts of rare eloquence, and the power of clothing her thoughts in most expressive language." 

The Home for Incurables, Montreal, founded by her husband in 1894, is indebted to her for much thought and care in the preparation of its interior. She is a director of the Woman's Historical Society, a member of the Executive Committee of the Aberdeen Association, a member of the Advisory Board of the Parks and Playgrounds Association of Montreal, and she was the first President of the Montreal branch of the National Council of Women, founded by the Countess of Aberdeen

One of the most able of the papers read by Mrs. Drummond before that body is one on "Purity of Speech and Accent," which "Lally Bernard" has pronounced "a remarkably clear and telling essay." Another subject which she has had much at heart, and respecting which she has had some correspondence with Archbishop Bruchesi, of Montreal, is systematized charity. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Drummond were presented to Queen Victoria, in 1900, and, on the occasion of the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Canada, in 1901, Mrs. Drummond had the honour of presenting to the Princess, on behalf of the Citizens' Reception Committee of Montreal, the beautiful jewel, of native Canadian gold and workmanship, subscribed for by that body, Senator Drummond presenting to the Prince, at the same' time, the citizens' commemorative medal. Mrs. Drummond also prepared the address presented to Queen Alexandra from the women of Canada. In the event of a Royal Order of Merit being established for the decoration of Colonial women, Mrs. Drummond would doubtless be one of the first to be selected as a representative from Canada in the order. 

Residence : 874 Sherbrooke Street, Montreal.


Lady Julia Drummond
By Elizabeth Kirkland
September, 2002

Julia Drummond, born Grace Julia Parker in Montreal in 1861, daughter of A. Davidson Parker, married Reverend George Hamilton at the age of eighteen.  Their marriage was brought to an early end when the Anglican clergyman died in 1880.  Widowed at the young age of nineteen, Julia chose to marry again in 1884 to widower George Alexander Drummond, who later became Sir George Drummond, K.C.M.G. (1829-1930.) 

While Drummond had several sons from a previous marriage, he and Lady Drummond also had two sons, one of whom died in infancy, the other son dying in France during WWI, leaving a widow and one son – Guy Melfort Drummond.  While her family was always of utmost importance, Lady Drummond’s list of public achievements is varied and extensive.  At the core of all her work was a devotion to help her fellow citizens and to enable them to help each other.  

She was the first President of the Local Council of Women from 1893-1899.  She helped to form the Montreal branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses in 1899, in that same year she became President of the Ward of Mercy.  In 1910, Lady Drummond and her husband formed the Charity Organization of which she was the president from 1911-1919, and before the war she was appointed Lady of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.  

During the First World War, Lady Drummond went to England to work at the headquarters of the Canadian Red Cross.  She established a department of information for the wounded and missing, which was funded primarily by her personal financial gifts.  She received the Médaille de Reconnaissance, the British Red Cross medal, and the Serbian Red Cross Medal during the war.  During her time in England, Lady Drummond helped to organize and open Hostels for men and women relocating there in the name of the war effort.  The hostels were to provide safety from the perils of the city.  

Perhaps her greatest reward was to receive an honourary degree from McGill University – an LLD for her philanthropic work – only the second woman ever in Canada to receive such an honour.

Religion:  Anglican – St. John the Evangelist
Politics:  Conservative – promoter of women’s suffrage


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