Manitoba Photographers: Ernest Jerrett (1885-1958)
Born at London, England on 18 June 1885, he emigrated to Canada with his wife in 1914 and worked as a clerk at Bow Island, Alberta. The following year, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and returned overseas. After the war, he returned to Canada and, as a self-taught pianist, he toured the country with Sir Martin Harvey, a noted British actor. He later settled at Melfort, Saskatchewan where he worked as a photographer. There, he apparently married again, to a British immigrant residing at Pilot Mound.
Jarrett moved to Brandon in 1931 and operated a photographic studio at 115 Tenth Street until his death. He produced a number of photographic postcards of Brandon and the surrounding region, and in 1937 he opened a satellite studio in Riding Mountain National Park where he processed the film of visiting tourists and provided other photographic services. He photographed the graduating classes at Brandon College from the 1940s through the 1950s.
He was described as “a humorist and elocutionist at local entertainments and social gatherings.” In 1938, he and his wife had triplet daughters, thought to be the first such occurrence at Brandon, joining their 8-year-old son. He was a member of the Brandon Kiwanis Club and organized its first band. He died at Brandon on 23 December 1958 and a funeral service was held at the St. Matthew’s Cathedral. The short film “Taking a Walk with Dad” was shot by Ernest Jerrett, narrated by his son, and edited posthumously by his granddaughter.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“Brandon triplet baby dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 1938, page 1.
“Deaths and funerals,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 1958, page 17.
Advertisement [“Taking a Walk with Dad”], Brandon Sun, 25 May 1991, page 45.
The Western Canada Photographers List (1860-1925) by Glen C. Phillips, Milton (Ontario): Global Heritage Press, 2002.
“Postcard from the past,” Brandon Sun, 10 May 2007, page 61.
“Ernest J. Jerrett, real photo postcards of Brandon, Manitoba” by Jack Stothard, Card Talk, Toronto Postcard Club, 2012.
We thank Andrew Cunningham, Rob McInnes, Shereen Jerrett, and Gerald Jerrett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 29 December 2016