Dora Russell

(1913-86) Piano teacher and author. An active member of the St. John's Centre; received the Service Award in 1977.

DORA RUSSELL (1913-86) joined the Society as an unattached member in 1960 and became a founder and the first Secretary of the St. John's Centre five years later. For most of the next 20 years, she served in some official capacity, including a total of four years as Centre President. She contributed steadily to the Centre's newsletter and over a dozen of her delightful articles appeared in the National Newsletter. When Dora Russell received the Service Award in 1977, the citation spoke of "the many interesting, educational and thrilling moments ... [provided by her] lectures, planetarium shows, discussions and observing sessions." On account of this award, she was honoured at a civic reception.

Mrs. Russell was well-known outside the RASC too, as a piano teacher and author. She became the first woman's editor of the St. John's Evening Telegram in 1945 and many of her "Day by Day" columns were collected into book form and published in 1983. Later, she wrote a weekly column in the same newspaper entitled "All About Stars"; she worked with the Provincial Parks Department preparing a program and booklet Newfoundland Skies in Summer for park visitors and she was largely responsible for the creation of an astronomy badge for Girl Guides and drafting the criteria for awarding it. For her extensive work with the Girl Guides, Dora Russell received a Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.

Following her death, the St John's Centre renamed their newsletter All About Stars in her memory and also named their library to which she had donated over 80 books the Dora Russell Library.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

Russell, Dora