Memorable Manitobans: Eleanor Boyce (c1899-1997)
Educator, school inspector.
Born in New Brunswick around 1899, aunt of J. R. Boyce, she was educated at the New Brunswick Normal School then, in 1919, took up her first teaching position, of a one-room high school at Ethelbert, working there until 1922. From Ethelbert, she was Principal at Wingham School (1922-1925), Elm Creek School (1925-1935), and Roland School (1935-1941). From there, she went to the Central Normal School in Winnipeg, where she instructed during the 1940s and also gave radio addresses on a variety of educational topics.
Boyce was one of the first female School Inspectors in Manitoba, serving from 1948 to 1956. She received a doctoral degree from the University of Manitoba in 1950, based on research about the historical use of readers in Canadian schools. She joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in 1956 and remained there until 1967. She was Superintendent of Ramah Hebrew School until 1971. She wrote several textbooks for use in schools and served as President of the Manitoba Educational Association (1941-1942) and Manitoba Teachers’ Society (1942-1943).
In recognition of her community service, she received an honorary doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia) in 1953. In 1966, she was given the Benemerenti Medal by Pope John II. In 1977, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal and was inducted into the Order of Canada “in recognition of more than half a century devoted to education, during which several generations of Manitoba pupils, teachers, families and friends were inspired by her leadership and selfless dedication.”
She died at Winnipeg on 10 February 1997.
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
“Miss E. Boyce is elected by educators,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1941, page 7.
Report of the Annual Convention, Manitoba Educational Association, Easter 1942.
The History of the Manitoba Educational Association by Ernest Butterworth, MEd thesis, Faculty of Graduate Study and Research, University of Manitoba, 1965.
“Hockey coach also quilt artist,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1974, page 18.
University of Manitoba, Members of the Order of Canada.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1997, page 36.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 January 2019
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