Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Henry Bruns (1908-1973)
Born at Jefferson City, Missouri in 1908, he was educated at St. Louis, Missouri before joining the Society of Mary, a Roman Catholic teaching order, in 1923. He obtained a BA degree from St. Mary’s University at San Antonio, Texas and, in 1928, began teaching at Provencher Collegiate at St. Boniface, Manitoba. He was made Principal of the school in 1935 and held the position until 1941 when he began graduate studies in education at Loyola University and the University of Chicago at Chicago, Illinois. He returned to Manitoba in 1947 and resumed his Principalship of Provencher Collegiate, holding the position until 1958. He was Superintendent of the St. Boniface School Division from 1958 to his retirement in 1970.
He served on the advisory board of the St. Boniface General Hospital and the St. Boniface School of Nursing, and a member of the executive for the Knights of Columbus. He was President of the St. Boniface Local of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, President of the Manitoba Educational Association (1956-1957), and a member of the executive of the Southeastern Teachers Association and the French-Canadian Educational Association of Canada. In 1957, he was appointed a member of the MacFarlane Royal Commission on Education. In recognition of his community service, he received the Canadian Centennial Medal.
He died unmarried at Winnipeg on 6 February 1973, following a lengthy illness, and was buried in the St. Boniface Cemetery. He is commemorated by J. H. Bruns Collegiate in Winnipeg.
“MacFarlane to probe education,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 May 1957, page 1.
“To study our education set-up,” Steinbach Carillon News, 31 May 1957, page 2.
The History of the Manitoba Educational Association by Ernest Butterworth, MEd thesis, Faculty of Graduate Study and Research, University of Manitoba, 1965.
“Former St. B Superintendent of Schools dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1973, page 9.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 February 1973, page 26.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 August 2020