Gloria Borden

picCirca 2008

October 6, 1938 - February 25, 2024

An early member of and longtime door-person for GaeGala.

Gloria was born and grew up in New Glasgow, number 5 of 9 boys and 9 girls; among her surviving siblings is WalterBorden.

Gloria moved to Halifax in 1958 and became one of the first Black Laboratory Technologist in Nova Scotia and one of the first Black women to have her name associated with a paper for the New England Journal of Medicine in 1987, on early detection of lymphoma. The paper was presented at the Canadian Congress of Laboratory Medicine.

In 1970 Gloria founded the Halifax Recreational Amateur Boxing Club which she managed for 8 years; she was the first Black female manager, promoter, trainer and judge in amateur boxing, becoming licensed in 1971. She helped prepare young boxers for the 1976 Olympics and was named one of the top black women in Canada.

She planned and executed the International Gospel Festival in Halifax in 1992 and founde dthe Nova Scotia Mass Choir, and produced the play God's Trombones with her brother WalterBorden.

As of 2008, Gloria was the manager Of Palooka's Boxing Club, at 2112 Gottingen Street.1

On September 23, 2019 Gloria was awarded an honorary degree by Saint Mary’s University which recognized her as an outstanding Canadian. There is a very good biography of her achievements on that page.

RandyKennedy writes: I met her the 1st night she came to The Turret and we remained best friends ever since. She played a big part in our community and will be truly missed by all who knew her. RIP Dear Gloria .

WendyBurns writes: I will choose to remember her based on our first meeting..... I too met her when I was 18. She ran across the bar towards me....I was scared shitless, as I was not sure why she was running towards me. I braced myself and she said, "You have the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen. They called me from across the room so I just had to say something. Oh hi, I'm Gloria by the way." After that we became friends and then I ended up working at the bar for a short time. We would often chat, joke and carry on. She was larger than life, full of love, compassion, kindness and had the warmest hugs 🫂. I lost touch with her over the years, but I thought of her often and always remembered her as the person who gave me one of the best and most positive experiences I had as a newbie in the gay community in the 80's / 90's. She was a legend. 💖

George Barnhill writes: The first time we met, I was a naïve 20 year old just coming to terms with my sexuality. I went to The Turret so terrified and afraid, and of course, like an idiot, I arrived well before 11PM, the "witching hour" as my friends and I later called it. Gloria came straight up to me and said "You're new here, right?". I nervously said "yes" and she replied, "Don't worry, I'll look out for you." and I immediately felt safe. Rest in Power Gloria!


Dr. Gloria Borden was a trailblazer in healthcare, sports and the arts. She was a dynamic leader with a loving heart.

Dr. Borden passed away February 25, 2024. She was 85.

Dr. Borden was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia yet her significant contributions were to all Nova Scotians.

I knew Gloria from the glory days of the Turret and the Gay Alliance Toward Equality. Gloria would greet everyone with a warm smile and open heart.

Dr. Borden was the first Black hematology specialist in Canada. Her research on around lymphomas led to an abstract article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1987.

Dr. Borden loved boxing. She founded the Halifax Recreational Amateur Boxing Club in 1970.

In 1971, she became the first licensed Black female boxing manager, promoter, trainer and judge in amateur boxing in North America.

Four of the boxers she trained went on to participate in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and, for this was named one of the Top Black Women in Canada.

Dr. Borden was an impresario. She created and organized the successful International Gospel Festival in Halifax in 1992.

She founded what became the Nova Scotia Mass Choir. She produced the highly acclaimed play “God’s Trombones” with her brother, Walter Borden.

These are only the highlights of Gloria’s contribution to Nova Scotia life. There is so much more to learn about, and from, Dr. Gloria Borden. Share your stories.

Dr. Borden was acknowledged as a noteable Nova Scotian in 2015, and in 2019 received an honorary degree from St. Mary’s University.

Dr. Borden deserves to be inducted into the NS Sports Hall of Fame. The deadline has passed for this year leaving time to prepare an application for 2025.

This PersonCategory page NeedsBioCategory and NeedsResearchCategory.


1. HistoryProjectTodoList: Source needed