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St. John’s first female mayor, Dorothy Wyatt, was legendary for her hair scarves, pro-taxpayer slogans and big spectacular glasses.

Wyatt died 15 years ago this coming September, while still a city councillor — she was even elected posthumously because of the mail-in ballot system.

Her daughter, Lorelei Woolridge, was devastated and while mourning also had a big challenge — sorting through her mother’s jammed St. John’s apartment, as Wyatt kept many artifacts of her life in politics.

In the whirlwind of grief, Woolridge thought all these years some treasures had long disappeared, until her husband, Tony, sorting through plastic tubs in their home storage area this week for old videos for an upcoming family wedding, made a discovery.

“‘Oh my God, Lorelei, you are going to be so excited,’ he said,” recalled Woolridge, who owns Optique Boutique, an independent eye care and eyeware store.

“I started crying. It was pretty awesome.”

Every eyeware show Woolridge has attended, she has thought of her mom and how she’d love the different designs, and always wished she had at least one pair of Wyatt’s signature flamboyant glasses. And now she has several.

One pair of large, white, square-framed glasses with an upside down mounted temple screams the 1970s. Among the collection are five of the more vintage huge-framed pairs in multicolour combinations such as orange with black and orange with blue.

Woolridge plans to mount them in shadowboxes to display in her store.

Wyatt broke the glass ceiling in a city council that had been run by the male business establishment. She was the first woman elected to St. John's city council, was the first female mayor and, at the time of her death, was the longest-serving member of city council.

Sporting colourful headbands, large glasses, miniskirts and one earring, she burst onto the St. John's political scene in 1969 with the campaign slogan, “Vote for Wyatt, she won’t be quiet.”

In 1973, she was elected mayor.

She was off council for just one term, when John Murphy defeated her in her third bid for the mayoralty, in 1981. She came back as councillor-at-large in 1985.

Frail due to ill health in later years, she used a wheelchair, but despite her struggles remained a champion for constituents to her last days. She died in 2001.

Wyatt died 15 years ago this coming September, while still a city councillor — she was even elected posthumously because of the mail-in ballot system.

Her daughter, Lorelei Woolridge, was devastated and while mourning also had a big challenge — sorting through her mother’s jammed St. John’s apartment, as Wyatt kept many artifacts of her life in politics.

In the whirlwind of grief, Woolridge thought all these years some treasures had long disappeared, until her husband, Tony, sorting through plastic tubs in their home storage area this week for old videos for an upcoming family wedding, made a discovery.

“‘Oh my God, Lorelei, you are going to be so excited,’ he said,” recalled Woolridge, who owns Optique Boutique, an independent eye care and eyeware store.

“I started crying. It was pretty awesome.”

Every eyeware show Woolridge has attended, she has thought of her mom and how she’d love the different designs, and always wished she had at least one pair of Wyatt’s signature flamboyant glasses. And now she has several.

One pair of large, white, square-framed glasses with an upside down mounted temple screams the 1970s. Among the collection are five of the more vintage huge-framed pairs in multicolour combinations such as orange with black and orange with blue.

Woolridge plans to mount them in shadowboxes to display in her store.

Wyatt broke the glass ceiling in a city council that had been run by the male business establishment. She was the first woman elected to St. John's city council, was the first female mayor and, at the time of her death, was the longest-serving member of city council.

Sporting colourful headbands, large glasses, miniskirts and one earring, she burst onto the St. John's political scene in 1969 with the campaign slogan, “Vote for Wyatt, she won’t be quiet.”

In 1973, she was elected mayor.

She was off council for just one term, when John Murphy defeated her in her third bid for the mayoralty, in 1981. She came back as councillor-at-large in 1985.

Frail due to ill health in later years, she used a wheelchair, but despite her struggles remained a champion for constituents to her last days. She died in 2001.

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