A Montréal municipal Web site

Members of the Ordre

Regardless of their sphere of activity, members of the Ordre de Montréal share the same commitment to excellence. These exceptional men and women contribute to making our world a better place and inspire pride in all Montrealers.

Portrait de Mme Alphonsine Howlett

Alphonsine Howlett

Great Montrealer
1978, social category

Alphonsine Howlett was a tireless and creative community worker, dedicated wife and mother, a woman who has served the needs of the people of Montréal with sensitivity and diligence. Her life and involvement reflected the traditions and values of those two major linguistic and cultural communities.


orn into a traditional Quebec family, Alphonsine Howlett pursued her early studies in French. She married a distinguished medical man, Dr. John Howlett of the Royal Victoria Hospital. A mother of five children, she attended evening classes over 15 years at the Thomas More Institute for her university education. Her concern for the underprivileged in Montréal was rooted in her selfless love for her family.

In 1944, Alphonsine Howlett was foundress of the Ligue des parents de Montréal and, in 1948, co-foundress of The Priory School, a private grammar school. The community groups with which she served covered the entire gamut of social needs: the Fédération des femmes du Québec, the Centre de psycho-éducation du Québec, the Quebec Association for the Mentally Handicapped, the Family Life Education Association and the Westmount Municipal Association. She was the initiator of the Howlett Commission, a research study on the needs of the mentally handicapped in Montréal, undertaken by the Council on Social Development. She helped found Portage, a rehabilitation centre for addicts, and served as President of the Board of Directors of the Ville Marie Social Services Centre. She served on the Board of Advisors of Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs.

Her efforts have been widely recognized. In 1976, the Montréal Citizenship Council named Alphonsine Howlett a citoyenne d’honneur

Alphonsine Howlett died in 1992. She was inducted into the Academy of Great Montrealers in the Social category in 1978 and was named a Commander of the Ordre de Montréal in 2016.


Source: Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Concordia University

The picture and biographical information appearing on this page were current at the time this person was admitted to the Academy of Great Montrealers.