Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Geraldine MacNamara (1938-1984)

Community activist.

Born at Toronto, Ontario on 29 July 1938, she grew up in Winnipeg, graduating from St. Mary’s Academy. She then attended the University of Manitoba, receiving degrees in Arts (1959) and Education (1965). She entered the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1962 and took her vows in 1967. For ten years, she taught school in Catholic schools at Flin Flon, Winnipeg, and St. Boniface, later attending the University of Manitoba Law School and receiving a law degree in 1974.

In 1976, she established Rossbrook House, a neighbourhood centre for youth in the former building of St. Andrew’s Church, and served as its director until shortly before her death. In recognition of her community service, Sister MacNamara was inducted into the Order of Canada (1983) and posthumously into the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame (1997).

She died at her Winnipeg home on 20 February 1984 and was buried in St. Boniface Cemetery. She is commemorated by Sister MacNamara School and MacNamara Hall at the University of Winnipeg. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Women Trailblazer.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sister MacNamara School (460 Sargent Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: MacNamara Hall and Sister Geraldine MacNamara Plaque (Spence Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: German Gospel Church / Immanuel Pentecostal Church / Bergthaler Mennonite Church / St. Andrew’s Thrift Shop / Rossbrook House (658 Ross Avenue, Winnipeg)

Sources:

Sister Geraldine MacNamara, Rossbrook House.

“MacNamara dead at 45 from cancer,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 February 1984, page 6.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 February 1984, page 42.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 June 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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