Dr. Mayann Elizabeth Francis (b. 1946 in Sydney) became the thirty-first lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia. She was the first black person to hold the vice-regal position, and the second woman to serve in this role. The daughter of an Archpriest of the African Orthodox Church, her parents were both born in the Caribbean, relocating to Sydney in the early 1940s from New York City. She grew up in Whitney
Pier. Before her appointment as lieutenant governor she was the CEO of the NS Human Rights Commission (1999–2006) and the first woman provincial ombudsman (2000–2003). In 2010, Francis invoked a royal prerogative and granted Canada’s first posthumous pardon to Viola Desmond, an African Nova Scotian who, in 1946, insisted on sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. (Also see Viola Desmond, February 7, 1965.). (Photo: Mayann E. Francis. Communications Nova Scotia).