Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Gretta Helen Gordon Brown (1903-1987)

Social worker.

Born at Winnipeg on 26 December 1903, daughter of Helen Skinner King (1875-1961) and Charles William Gordon, she graduated with a BA degree from the University of Manitoba (1925), a Diploma from the Institute of Child Study at Toronto (1930), and a MA in Psychology from the University of Toronto (1930). She was Executive Director of the West End Creche in Toronto (1931-1938) then Volunteer Director of nursery schools at St. Stephen’s-Broadway United Church, Westminster United Church, and Holy Trinity Anglican Church. She was Executive Director of the Day Nursery Centre from 1953 until her retirement in 1976 and she served on the boards of the United Way, Children’s Home of Winnipeg, and Winnipeg Family Bureau. She worked to establish higher standards for day care in Manitoba and was instrumental in the establishment of Lunch and After School programs at Home Street United Church, Crescent-Fort Rouge United Church, Westminster United Church, Windsor Park United Church, and Holy Trinity Anglican Church. She was the Canadian delegate to the World Conference on Children in London, England in 1962. She worked on the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg to develop the first diploma course in Early Childhood Education at Red River College. In 1979, the United Nations “Year of the Child,” she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Winnipeg. She was involved in establishing the Program for Adolescent Parents and Infant Development (PAPID) in cooperation with the Winnipeg School Board and St. Stephen’s-Broadway United Church. On 16 August 1934, she married Arthur Bradwyn Brown and they had two children: Gretta Brown (wife of Edmund Assaly) and Marc Brown. She died at the Misericordia Hospital on 28 March 1987.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Arthur B. Brown], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 November 1977, page 41.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1987, page 33.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 May 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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