Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edmund Grindlay Berry (1915-2005)

University professor.

Born at Leslie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 12 March 1915 to the Rev. James Garrow Berry (1880-1957), a Minister in the Church of Scotland, and Agnes Mitchell Henderson (1882-?), a nurse. He immigrated to Canada with his parents and sister when he was 11. After attending high school and first-year university at Fredericton, New Brunswick, he transferred to Queen’s University at Kingston where he graduated with First Class Honours in Classics and received the Prince of Wales Prize for the highest standing in the Faculty of Arts. His master’s degree in arts was also from Queen’s. He received a PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago in 1940. It was at Chicago where he met his future wife, Virginia Gingerick, a fellow graduate student, whom he married in 1943. They went on to have two children.

In 1940, he joined the Classics Department at the University of Manitoba and taught there for 40 years. Throughout his career, his involvement in research and academia was paralleled by his care and concern for his students and younger faculty members. This often extended to bringing out-of-town students home for dinner or tea. At the university, he held a number of positions including Director of Summer School, Assistant Dean of Arts and Science, and Head of the Classics Department. He also served as President of the Humanities Association of Canada, President of the Classical Association of Canada, and Chair of the Humanities Research Council. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1971. He retired from the university in 1980 and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.

He was a member of All Saints’ Anglican Church for 65 years, a member of the vestry for 15 years, and Churchwarden.

He died at Winnipeg in November 2005.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 2005.

“Edmund Grindlay Berry”, Aiken Family Tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 20 August 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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