Cape Breton Island’s First Lady
She was known as Cape Breton’s “First Lady,” an enthusiastic supporter of all things Cape Breton. As a student, Terry MacLellan began a radio and television career that would span two decades, and allow Cape Bretoners to become familiar with the personality behind the words. When she died on June 15, 1985, Cape Breton Island felt the loss of Terry MacLellan.
Terry MacLellan was one of two children born to Bridget and Charles MacLellan. Although her mother was a trained singer, Ms. MacLellan chose to study speech training with Olive Guthrie MacDonald while at Holy Angels High School where she graduated in 1941. She was extensively involved in school drama groups, usually playing a male role due to her height, and was given the outstanding individual trophy the first time it was awarded in the Cape Breton Festival of Speech and Drama.
While attending St. Francis Xavier University, studying for her Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and Speech, she began her broadcasting career at CJFX with Terry Tales. She moved on to CBC as a radio reporter where she adapted the name “Ann Terry,” by which she was known for the remainder of her career. Though originally considered too young to conduct a program for homemakers, Terry MacLellan returned to the Island in 1954 to replace the retired Betty Brown on CJCB’s Women’s Morning Program.