“Hotel Refuses Negro Nurse”: Gloria Clarke Baylis and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
“Hotel Refuses Negro Nurse”: Gloria Clarke Baylis and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Abstract
On September 2, 1964, one day after the "Act Respecting Discrimination in Employment" was introduced in Quebec, Gloria Clarke Baylis (1929-2017) , a British-trained Caribbean-born nurse, inquired about a permanent part-time nursing position at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel (the Queen E), then operated by the Hilton of Canada hotel chain. The Queen E told her that the position had already been filled. However, when she called the hotel's personnel office the following day, she was told that the position in fact remained vacant and that the hotel was still accepting applications. Baylis filed a complaint under the new Act, initiating the first case in Canada to allege employment-related discrimination based on race. The case went to trial, which Baylis won on October 4, 1965. For the next eleven years Hilton of Canada appealed, arguing that the legislation was unconstitutional. The original decision was upheld by the Quebec Superior Court on January 19, 1977. The author investigates two interrelated concerns relating to the case: first, the connection between Baylis’ experience at the Queen E and Black women’s historical relationship to nursing; and second, how Baylis' subjectivity and identity influenced her decision to pursue the lawsuit.
Publication
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History / Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médecine
Volume
Vol. 35
Issue
no. 2
Pages
278-308
Date
Fall/automne 2018
Language
en
Citation
Flynn, Karen. “‘Hotel Refuses Negro Nurse’: Gloria Clarke Baylis and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History / Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médecine Vol. 35, no. 2 (Fall/automne 2018): 278–308.
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