Memorable Manitobans: Walter Heath Jones (1928-2003)
Born at St. Boniface on 25 December 1928, his early life was spent in Brandon and Dauphin but mostly in Winnipeg where he attended public school and later St. Johns College. He was ordained a Deacon of the Anglican Church in 1951 at St. Matthews Cathedral in Brandon. After serving one year in Flin Flon as a Deacon under the tutelage of Archdeacon Raymond Horsefield, he was ordained Priest in the same Cathedral in 1952.
From 1951 to 1956 he served at Flin Flon where he gathered a congregation and built St. Peters Church. Then he went to Winnipeg as Rector of St. John the Baptist Church, and priest-in-charge of St. Lukes, Emerson until 1958. In June 1958, he became Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at Mitchell, South Dakota where he served until 1962 when he went to the Diocesan Office at Sioux Falls as Canon to the Ordinary, being charged with multiple Diocesan duties from 1962 to 1967. For just over a year he served St. Georges Episcopal Church at Bismark, North Dakota.
In later 1968 he returned to South Dakota as Dean of Calvary Cathedral where he served until April 1970 when he was elected Bishop of the Diocese of South Dakota. He received an honorary degree from St. John's College (1970). In March 1983, he returned to Winnipeg as the Bishop for the Diocese of Ruperts Land. He served as Acting Archbishop from 1986 to 1988, then was elected and installed as Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ruperts Land (1988) until his retirement in December 1993. He then served the parish of St. Georges Winnipeg, in 1994 and also as interim priest at St. Marys Charleswood. In retirement he returned to the Diocese of South Dakota and also served churches in Arizona.
He died at Flagstaff, Arizona on 22 March 2003, while on a skiing holiday with family, and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 2003.
“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2003, pages A6-7.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 October 2020