Memorable Manitobans: Mary Isabelle Brewster Perfect (1918-2012)
Born at Pilot Mound on 19 July 1918, daughter of Mary Elizabeth Gosnell (1886-1973) and Robert George Perfect, she was educated at the Central Normal School, United College (BA), and University of Manitoba (MEd, 1978). Her 47-year teaching career in the Winnipeg School Division was spent at Wolseley School (1940-1942), Luxton School (1942-c1944), Earl Grey School (c1944-1949), Lord Selkirk School (1949-1952), Daniel McIntyre Collegiate (1952-1964), Grant Park High School, and Sisler High School. She taught mathematics, physical education, and drama, and later served as Vice-Principal and Principal. She was also Vice-President of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association (1949).
Her Masters thesis on the history of education in Manitoba, One Hundred Years in the History of Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) remains a valuable resource for local historians. By the 1980s she was active in the Manitoba Historical Society, serving on its Regional History Committee established by Margaret Carter. After her retirement as a school administrator, she co-edited Manitoba’s Heritage Cookery, Selections from Personal Collections, a compilation of recipes and Manitoba history published by MHS in 1992.
She was an active member of the MHS Centennial Farms Committee for 25 years, attending meetings and presenting plaques on many of her summer weekends to farms in western Manitoba near her summer cottage at Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. Over the years she also presented plaques in the Pilot Mound area where she had her original home. She retired from the committee in 2006 and, in recognition of her prolonged contributions to the preservation of Manitoba heritage, she received the Douglas Kemp Award in 2007.
She died at Winnipeg on 15 August 2012.
Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
The Perfect History, 1739-1982 by Bess Reid Marshall [copy held by Gordon Goldsborough].
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 August 2012, page B14.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 December 2019
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