Memorable Manitobans: Betty Margaret Gibson (1911-2001)
Born at Brandon on 14 July 1911, she attended primary school in Alexandra School and Park School, and took her teachers education at the Brandon Normal School. Her first teaching job, at the age of seventeen, was at Bayview School. In 1936 she travelled to South Africa to be the headmistress at Kingsmead College in Johannesburg, where she taught for ten years. While teaching at the private girl’s school she also volunteered at native night schools. When she returned to Manitoba, Gibson was Principal at Fleming School in Brandon.
She attained her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and taught at the University of Saskatoon as well as Brandon University. She was the Assistant Superintendent for the Brandon School Division. She was heavily involved with the Native teacher programs, BUNTEP, PENT and IMPACT, as well as the Children’s Aid Society. She co-created and appeared in a television series for CBC, called Common Sense About Reading. Gibson also wrote a children’s book called The Story of Little Quack.
Gibson received the Centennial Medal in 1967. She retired after forty-seven years of teaching in 1975, after which she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Liberal Laws from Brandon University. She received the first John Brown Award, for excellence in teaching, and a Phi Beta Lambda Theta Scholarship from Harvard University.
She died at Brandon on 23 February 2001. The Alexandra and Park schools in Brandon were renamed Betty Gibson School in her honour.
Obituary, Brandon Sun, 28 February 2001.
Voices of Yesteryear [Audiocassette], 1982. Westman Oral History Collection by the Westman Oral History Association (Effie McPhail, Chair). S. J. McKee Archives.
Brandon University Alumni Wall of Fame.
This page was prepared by Angela Graham and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 June 2021