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Memorable Manitobans: Christopher Stephen “Steve” Quelch (1898-1986)

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Christopher Stephen Quelch
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Educator, naturalist.

Born at Cooks Creek on 12 July 1898, son of Arthur Quelch and Gertrude Winter, he attended the University of Manitoba for a year then attended summer school and evening classes to eventually earn BA and BEd degrees. He taught at Birtle School and Whytewold Beach School then was a teacher at the Transcona Collegiate for several years (?-1953) before becoming Principal of Westview School (1953-1956) and Transcona Collegiate (1958-1964). He retired in 1964 then worked for three years as a guidance counsellor at West Kildonan Collegiate.

On 3 October 1925, he married Kathleen Violet Marshall (1903-1979) in the RM of North Cypress. He was active in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Transcona Teachers’ Association (President), Transcona Parks Board (Chairman), Transcona Stadium Commission, and Suburban Principals’ Association (President). His interest in natural history began at an early age. He started collecting butterflies seriously in 1943 and soon extended his collections to include moths. He would become known as a expert on local butterflies and moths. They had three children. In recognition of his community service, he received the Canadian Centennial Medal (1967).

He moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1979 and died there on 11 June 1986. He was buried in the Transcona Cemetery.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

“Transcona notes,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 September 1953, page 10.

“Transcona notes,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 March 1956, page 7.

“Transcona head once a trapper,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 June 1964, page 1.

Obituary [Kathleen Quelch], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 September 1979, page 61.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 1986, page 65.

“C. S. Quelch: Principal, teacher, lepidopterist … oologist?!?” by Lori Nichols, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 August 2002, page 216.

We thank Nathan Kramer and Charles D. Bird for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 March 2017

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