Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Warren Chafe (1900-1984)

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James Warren Chafe
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Author, broadcaster, educator, actor, playwright.

Born in the Rural Municipality of Springfield on 13 December 1900 where his father, who had arrived in Manitoba from Newfoundland in 1892, had begun to farm. In 1903 the family moved into Winnipeg. He taught at Tache School until 1934 when he joined the teaching staff of the Winnipeg School Division. He then taught successively at General Wolfe School (1934-1938), Robert H. Smith School (1939-1941), Kelvin High School (?-?), and Gordon Bell High School (1943-1951). He served as the Principal of Alexandra School (1951-1954), Norquay School (1954-1958), and Mulvey School (1960-1966). He spent two years in Europe teaching in National Defense Schools. He retired from teaching in 1966. In 1970, he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society. He died at Winnipeg on 27 April 1984 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

His publications include:

  • Early Life in Canada (1943, with Sybil Shack)
  • We Live Together, A Study in Inter-Dependence (1944)
  • Canada - A Nation And How It Came To Be (1948, with A. R. M. Lower)
  • Canada, Your Country (1950)
  • An Apple for the Teacher: A Centennial History of the Winnipeg School Division (1967)
  • Chalk, Sweat, and Cheers: A History of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (1969)
  • Extraordinary Tales From Manitoba History (1973)

See also:

J. W. Chafe: Winnipeg’s Renaissance Man by Warren Chafe
Manitoba History, Number 57, February 2008.

Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B20, page 130, Obituary - J. W. Chafe.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

“Five more depart,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 1966, page 27.

We thank Warren Chafe for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 December 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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