Norris, Hannah Maria

Hannah Maria Norris, Baptist missionary (b at Canso, NS 30 Nov 1842; d at Toronto 14 Sept 1919). Though baptized a Congregationalist as a child, Norris was raised in a strong Baptist community and eventually received adult baptism in that church. In 1869 Norris determined to go to Burma as a missionary and appealed to the Baptist women of Nova Scotia to support her plans. On 18 June 1870 in Canso the first Canadian woman's missionary aid society was formed for this purpose. Other locals were set up, and in 1884 the Woman's Baptist Missionary Union of the Maritime provinces was organized, an example followed elsewhere in Canada and by many other denominations. Norris went to Burma and eventually married the Reverend W.F. Armstrong. She became committed to building a school for all nationalities in Rangoon, and travelled widely in search of funds for this project. She remained in Burma until 1919 when she returned to Canada.