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Memorable Manitobans: Wilfred Gilbert Pearce (1893-1975)

Educator, historian.

Born in England in August 1893, he emigrated to Canada with his parents in 1899. They settled at Ethelbert where his father was a railway section foreman, later moving to Minitonas. He began his teaching career at Aikenside School (1910-1911) then worked for the Canadian Northern Railway until he was old enough to attend Normal School. After completing his teacher training, he taught at Bowsman School, Plumas School (1918-1921), Wellwood School (1921-1924), Oakwood School (1924-1926), and Rapid City School (1926-1929) before moving to Winnipeg in 1929, where his first assignment was as Acting Principal at Alexandra School.

He taught at Aberdeen School (1931-1933) and Isaac Newton School (1933-?) until returning to Alexandra School as its Principal, in 1949. While working, he took classes toward a BA degree (1929) and MA degree (1934) from the University of Manitoba, for the latter writing a thesis on teacher efficiency in one-room rural schools. He was later Principal at Pinkham School (1951-1955) and Strathcona School (1955-1959). He retired in 1959 but returned to teach for four more years at Aberdeen School (1959-1963).

Throughout his teaching career, he was active in baseball and football, as a player and team organizer. During the 1930s, he was associated with the Society for Visual Education in Chicago and produced about 20 filmstrips. In 1951, he wrote Winnipeg School Days, 1871-1950, and Supplements to 1975: A History of Winnipeg School Division No. 1. On 12 October 1919, he married Beatrice Ross Rogers (?-1975) at Winnipeg. They had two daughters: Beth Pearce Kennie and Gwen Pearce Storey.

He died at Winnipeg on 9 July 1975 and was buried in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Sources:

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.

Homesteaders and Homemakers: A History of Elton Municipality in its First Century by Elton Historical Committee, 1973. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.E48 Hom]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 July 1975, page 33.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 August 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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