Carbonear's Nell Finn 'tough as a gad'

Town's first female council member receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Terry Roberts
Published on December 19, 2012
Nell Finn of Carbonear.
Photo by Terry Roberts/The Compass

A Carbonear resident who has the distinction of being the town's first elected female municipal councillor, and overcame great adversity as a young mother, was recently presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Nell Finn was presented with the medal by town leaders and an official in the office of Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy during a ceremony in the council chambers on Dec. 3.

Nell served on council from 1973-1981, and has served in many other volunteer capacities over the decades, including with St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church and Girl Guides of Canada.

Nell's maiden name is Dunn, and she is originally from Harbour Grace. She moved to Carbonear more than 60 years ago. Her husband, Brendan Finn, was killed in a traffic accident in 1963, leaving Nell to raise five children. The youngest at the time was a one-year-old.

A few years later, she trained to become a hairdresser, and eventually opened her own business. She later became an instructor at the community college, and retired in 1989.

All five of her children became successful in their chosen careers, and many credit Nell's no-quit approach to life. A friend once quipped Nell is "as tough as a gad (a blunt stick)."

Nell is a very active 82 years-of-age, and hooks mats and quilts for pleasure. She has 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.