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Memorable Manitobans: William Briggs (1907-1977)


Born in England on 27 November 1907, he immigrated to Canada from Durham, Northumberland County in 1928. His first mission posting was amongst the fishing settlements of Newfoundland, after which he moved to the mainland, later working at logging and mining settlements in the eastern-most provinces, including Prince Edward Island in 1933. In Atlantic Canada, he earned an BA degree from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and attended Pine Hill Divinity College in Nova Scotia, there studying under Principal Clarence MacKinnon, formerly of Winnipeg. Following his graduation from Pine Hill in April 1936, he spent the summer months as a probationer in Northern Saskatchewan’s mission fields, after which he was ordained. His first ministerial charge was at the United Church at McCord, Saskatchewan (1936-1937) before moving to Winnipeg and briefly becoming the Assistant Minister (1937-1938) of Riverview United Church during the illness of W. A. Maclean, then as Minister (1938-1947) of the congregation until stepping down following the church’s organ dedication in June 1947. He studied at Oxford University, England (1947-1948) before returning to Canada and became Minister (1948-?) at St. Andrew’s United Church at St. John, New Brunswick, and was later Minister at St. Andrew’s United Church in Toronto, Ontario in the 1950s-1960. He and his wife had a son. In 1960, he was among the Ministers whom conducted the funeral service for Canadian Prime Minister Arthur Meighan. He died on 28 April 1977.


“Saskatchewan Conference nominates Rev. Dr. Bryce,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1936, page 30.

“New pastor for Riverview Church,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 August 1937, page 16.

“Riverview calls young Minister to be Associate,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 August 1937, page 31.

“Rev. William Briggs inducted at Riverview,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 June 1938, page 32.

“Organ dedicated at Riverview United,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 June 1947, page 3.

“Farewell for Rev. W. Briggs,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 1947, page 3.

“Social and personal [Dr. and Mrs. William Briggs], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 August 1948, page 12.

“Former minister here for Riverview 50th Anniversary,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 November 1957, page 22.

“Simple service as Meighen laid to rest,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 August 1960, page 8.

We thank Eric Briggs and for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 2 April 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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