Fonds F3448 - Wilna Thomas fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Wilna Thomas fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00340 F3448

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

60 cm of textual records
54 photographs

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Wilna Gratia Thomas (1917-1993) was a United Church missionary to Japan and church administrator. She was born in Saskatchewan and educated there (BA Saskatchewan, 1938), the United Church Training School and Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University (MA, 1948). She joined the Woman's Missionary Society in 1939, and in 1940 was appointed to work in Hamilton All People's Church. In 1942 she was promoted to Secretary, Younger Groups, of the Dominion Board. In 1944 she became one of the first woman chaplains in the Canadian Forces, remaining until 1946, when she returned to her former position with the WMS. In 1949 Thomas became a missionary to Japan and taught at Shizouka Girls School and later at Tokyo Woman's Christian College. In 1957 she was named Associate Overseas Missions Executive Secretary, and became the Executive Secretary in 1960. In that year she undertook extensive travel to mission stations in Trinidad, India, the Far East and Africa, returning in 1961. In 1962 she was named Associate Secretary (East Asia) of the new Board of World Misssion, from which position she resigned in 1967. Thomas entered the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, 1967, and spent five years working in various municipal social service institutions in Vancouver. In 1974 she was invited to establish a social work study programme at Camosan College, Victoria, where she remained until her full retirement in 1982.

Custodial history

Accession 1994.053C was deposited by Jara Smith in April 1994. Smith had utilized material in writing, 'A tree planted by the water : the Wilna Thomas story,' Accession 94.129C was deposited by Mary Burgess in October, 1994.

This material forms part of the General Council program of the United Church of Canada Archive.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of four series: 1) Biographical Records, 1934-1993, 2) Records relating to the Women’s Missionary Society, 1939-1960, 3) Records relating to the Board of World Mission, 1963-1967, 4) Photographs, [ca.1917]-1984.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access


Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)





Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Updated April 2021, AZ

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres