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Memorable Manitobans: Robert “Bob” Jarman (c1886-1953)

Educator, theatrical director.

Born at Cudworth, Yorkshire, England, his acting career began at the age of 15 years. He worked as Director of Physical Education at Leeds, England, and also organized drama productions. During the First World War, he served for three years with the Black Watch and was mentioned in despatches.

In 1937, he was appointed Director of Physical Education in the Winnipeg School Division, serving until August 1951. He was President of the Manitoba Educational Association (1948-1949). In 1950, he received an Award of Merit from the Canadian Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Active in the Winnipeg arts community, in 1951 he became the Executive Manager of the Winnipeg Little Theatre, for which he directed many productions. He also directed productions of the University of Manitoba Dramatic Society. He was President of the Manitoba Drama League and received the Canadian Drama Award for outstanding service to drama in Canada. He recruited Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrally to Winnipeg to found the Winnipeg Ballet Club, forerunner to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

He died at Pilot Mound on 17 April 1953, of a heart attack suffered while adjudicating a music festival. He was buried in St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. His honorary pallbearers included O. V. Jewitt, Dr. Frank White, S. Quinton, Dr. S. S. Green, Richard C. Green, Harold D. Barbour, Dr. J. C. Pincock, and Ewart Morgan.


“Robert Jarman dies adjudicating,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1953, page 7.

“Robert Jarman funeral rites slated Tuesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 April 1953, page 18.

“Robert Jarman,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 April 1953, page 19.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 1953, page 21.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 December 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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