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Renee Chipman (née Haweis) was born in London, England, in 1903 to parents Lionel Haweis and Lucy Mary De Vergette. She came to Canada with her parents at the age of three, first to New Westminster and later moving to Vancouver. Following various volunteer activities associated with the World War II effort, Renee Haweis joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC). By November 1941, she had become a commissioned officer. In July 1942, she opened and was named the first commandant of the first Western Canadian CWAC Training Centre at Vermillion, Alberta. For her war efforts, Haweis was awarded the honour of Member of the British Empire in 1943. Later that year, she married William Wainwright Chipman. After her husband died in the late 1950s, Renee Chipman moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for the U.S. Defense Department. While there, she met Margaret "Ma" Murray, who convinced her to edit the Bridge River-Lillooet News in Lillooet, B.C. Keenly interested in history, Chipman was credited with creating the Lillooet Museum, of which she became a curator until she died in 1986.