From the Archives: Donna Haley

On January 23, 2023 the archives lost its “patron Saint”, The Rt. Hon. Donna Haley, whose generosity has transformed its physical space and ability to serve researchers and the Trinity community. A member of the class of 5T1, Donna had a great time while she was here, participating in a full range of extramural activities. The highlight must have been undertaking the role of Chloe McFiggin, a rough-and-tumble young woman from northern Ontario who enters the sedate halls of ‘St. Gilda’s’ in Keith MacMillan and Ron Bryden’s musical Saints Alive, first performed in 1949. A Gilbert & Sullivan-ish spoof of life at Trinity College, the play was remounted in 1952 and again in 2009 for the 30th anniversary of the GIT (with Donna in attendance).


Donna Haley as Chloe McFiggin in the original 1949 performance of Saints Alive.

The archives contains quite a quite complete record of these productions, including long-playing records, programmes, scripts, and photographs. Above is an image of Donna as Chloe and below an appreciation sent to her from Keith MacMillan and Ron Bryden with a bouquet of flowers. The verse note reads as follows: 

                Excuse us if we join in the general


                Of humble admiration, too emphatic to


                From Ron and Keith, accept these blooms,

                                                                with many thanks again

                To a rough and tough tomato from a

                                                                rough and tough terrain!

A poem given in thanks to Donna Haley for her work on Saints Alive, signed by writers and directors Keith MacMillan and Ron Bryden.

In real life Donna had the kind of well-rounded life that we all aspire to. She was a much-admired judge, a community leader who supported many causes and institutions, a musician, a friend. We remember her with great admiration and affection.

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