Jane Wink signature

Signature of J. Wink from the 1909 Port Arthur Public Library Board Meeting Minutes. Courtesy of Thunder Bay Public Library

Jane "Jeanie" Smart Wink (née Herald)

  • Date of birth: Alyth, Scotland, May 20, 1849 
  • Date of death: Port Arthur, Ontario, August 26, 1923 
  • Accomplishments related to: Education, Community Development, Government
  • Major affiliations: Thunder Bay Library; Girl Guides; Western Library Institute; St. John's Anglican Church; Women's Auxiliary; St. John's Women's Guild

The daughter of Reverend James Herald and Jane Barclay, Jeanie S. Wink immigrated to Canada in 1858, married Alexander Stronach Wink in 1873 and had three children. Jeanie brought many years of experience to her new career upon receiving the position of librarian for the Port Arthur Library (now the Waverley branch of the Thunder Bay Public Library) in 1903.

Following the transition of the Port Arthur Library to a free public library in 1911, Jeanie worked to move the library to the Ruttan Block (1913) due to its previous premises being deemed unsafe and a potential fire trap. By this time the library board was debating the idea of and available options for a dedicated library building.

Jeanie became President of the Western Library Institute in 1917, which covered the areas of Port Arthur, Fort William, Kenora, Rainy River, Sault Ste Marie, Schreiber, Fort Frances, and Emo. She delivered a welcome address during the July 1917 Library Institute Session held at the Fort William Public Library (now the Brodie Resource Library) in which she "outlined needs of small libraries in selection...[and how] local condition determined the choice of such, also that there should be a variety for all classes in the community."

Jeanie Wink retired from the library in September 1921. She was a regular member of the St. John's Anglican Church and at the time of her death was the Honorary President of the Women's Auxiliary. She was also a member of the St. John's Women's Guild and sat on the executive of the St. John's Girl Guides. During the 25 plus years she lived in Port Arthur she became one of its best known residents and professionals.

Submitted by Thunder Bay Public Library

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