Canadian Aviatrix #2 – Eileen Magill (1906-1964)

Born Susan Eileen Magill on 18 April 1906, Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Robert Magill (an Irish college professor who emigrated to Canada in 1903) and Susan Isabella Stairs.

Eileen was the eldest of four children and the family moved to Winnipeg in 1919 when her father became Secretary of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange.

 

1921

1926

 

Winnipeg, MB

Winnipeg, MB

Robert

49

54

Susan

42

46

Eileen

15

20

Edward

13

18

Isabelle

11

16

Helene

8

13

 

Eileen graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1928. After graduation, she started taking flying lessons with the Winnipeg Flying Club.

On 24 October 1928, Eileen passed her flying test and received PPL #142, making her the second female pilot in Canada and the first in Manitoba. She was 22 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #2 - Eileen Magill (1906-1964)

Photo: The Winnipeg Tribune (June 11, 1934)

She attended many events put on by the flying club – dances, galas, “goodwill trips” down to America – before moving to Toronto in 1932. There, she worked as a secretary and met Rene Cera – a French designer and decorator, working for Eaton’s Department Store as director of their Interior Design department. He was divorced and had two daughters in France.

On 25 July 1935, the couple were married – Eileen was 29 years old, Rene was 40. In 1937, they had a son, Robin.

In 1959, Rene was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Government for his services to French culture and art. He retired in 1960 and the couple moved to Lenox, Massachusetts.

Eileen died on 19 October 1964, aged 58.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Name .
.
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published