Feminist, theatre director, Advocate for women’s rights.
Born November 11, 1930, Pat Noonan was raised in the midst of the Depression by a mother widowed one year later (with four kids). Pat was a rebellious young lady, skipping school and dating; finally, at age 17, her strict mother sent her to The Pines, a boarding school for girls run by Ursuline nuns in Chatham. Pat decided to enter the convent. It was there she found her passion as the leader and supporter of women she is now known for in the Windsor community. Her progressive ideas conflicted with church teachings, so after twenty years Pat left the convent.
In 1970, Pat placed a small ad in the Windsor Star for a, “Women’s Liberation Meeting.” At the first meeting only one woman came, but at the second meeting 25 women came. They started a drop-in centre called “Women’s Place,” where battered wives slept on the floor. This was the early 1970’s and Windsor had been recognized as a city with strong feminist advocacy for women. Ten years later she helped found Windsor Feminist Theatre, which became a bold theatre group in the city and now is the longest-running feminist theatre in Canada.
Pat and other local activists are recognized for their contributions as organizers for peace, social justice, women’s rights, and as advocates for environmental change. Her efforts opened up gateways for generations of Windsor men and women who wanted to change environmental problems and social justice.
At 86 years young, Pat Noonan is still full of energy and ideas. Her efforts have helped Windsor and Canada change the lives of women and the local environment. In 2015, the Council for Canadians bestowed upon Pat Noonan the honour of Activist of the Year. To learn more about Noonan examine the documentary “This is What a Feminist Sounds Like”.