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Memorable Manitobans: Gwendolyn Murrell-Wright (1908-1984)

Educator, playwright.

Born at Toronto, Ontario on 18 December 1908, daughter of Ernest Murrell-Wright and Annie Hutchinson, she spent around ten years at Lethbridge, Alberta with her parents. She was earned a degree at Toronto’s St. Mildred’s College, followed by a BA at Trinity College with the University of Toronto, after which she became a teacher.

She taught elementary grades at St. Helen’s School at Durham, Quebec (1933-1935) before taking the position as Form Mistress (1937-1941) of Grade 8 at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto, teaching English Literature and Composition. She returned to St. Helen’s School as Head Staff and Vice-Principal (1941-43), also teaching Matriculation English before tracing her steps back to Bishop Strachan School (1943-1946), now as Grade 9 Form Mistress. She went on to be House Mistress (1946-1950) of St. Monica’s School (a residential division of Toronto’s Bishop Strachan School). While teaching, she also wrote children’s plays (c1938-?).

In 1950, she came to Winnipeg to become the first Principal of the newly unified Rupert’s Land Girls School and Riverbend School for Girls, known as the Balmoral Hall School for Girls (1950-1965). She retire and moved to British Columbia, settling at Oyama, but returned to Winnipeg in 1983 for the annual Balmoral Hall closing exercises.

She died, unmarried, at Vernon, British Columbia on 2 August 1984.

Sources:

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Amalgamated schools post headmistress,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 June 1950, page 3.

“New Headmistress pays first visit to schools,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 June 1950, page 11.

“Tribute - Miss Gwendolyn Murrell-Wright,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 August 1984, page 9.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 9 November 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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