Arlene Timmins (Hayward)

            Always a confident young woman, Arlene Timmins displayed an invaluable sense of charisma that helped guide her through a life that did not conform to the social norms of her time.

            Arlene’s is a life that can be roughly divided into two halves. In the first, she focused largely on the steps necessary to becoming a devoted wife and mother. Through working a job that helped to support the young family she headed, Ms. Timmins demonstrated a conformist attitude towards life as a woman that was typical of the 1960s.

However, after completing what was then considered the most important part of a woman’s life, Arlene undertook a concerted effort to broaden her horizons. In an attempt to become a contributory member of the London community, Arlene became involved in a number of social programs, which included participation in the London Psychiatric Hospital and the Western Ontario Therapeutic Community Hospital.

It was during this new sense of dedication to herself that Arlene realized she was not living the life that made her most happy. Divorcing her husband in order to begin a relationship with another woman was an incredibly courageous step to take, and was certainly not one that the younger Ms. Timmins would have made.

With her life finally in balance, Arlene returned to school and successfully completed a degree in Social Work at the University of Western Ontario, King’s College. Following a stint at the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital, in 1981 Arlene became the Director of the employment agency Womanpower.

Arlene’s message to young women is simple: you should never be ashamed of who you are. Her life story supports this belief to the fullest of extents, and an understanding of Arlene Timmins’ path shows just how important it is that no one ever feel the need to pretend to be something they are not.

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