Canadian Aviatrix #29 – Wanda Brodowich (1907-1986)
Born Stanisława Vanda Brodowicz around 1907 in Jarosław, Galicia, Austria (now in Poland). Her mother, Marja Woznjark, had Wanda when she was 20 years old, then a son, Tadeus (known as Ted), two years later.
In 1921, Marja moved to Canada to live with her sister in Winnipeg. Wanda joined her in 1924 (she was 17 and a tailoress) and Ted in 1926. Marja’s immigration form says she was married, but it appears that her husband never joined the family in Canada and, by 1940, Marja is listed as a widow. In 1931, Wanda was working in domestic service for a lawyer and his family.
On 5 July 1932, Wanda passed her flying test and received PPL #1029, making her the 29th female pilot in Canada. She was around 25 years old.
A newspaper article (and her obituary) state that Wanda was the first woman in Manitoba to get her commercial license, on 13 October 1933. However, she doesn’t appear on Shirley Render’s list.
Ted got married in 1934, but Wanda remained single and lived with her mother until her death. In 1953, she was a power machine operator, in 1957, a sewing operator, and in 1963, a factory worker. She was remembered for “her kindness and caring towards dogs”.
By 1974, Wanda had retired. She died in 1986 and was around 79 years old.
Note: Wanda was listed with an asterisk in No Place for a Lady – meaning the author hadn’t been able to find her. I just had her name and the date of her PPL.