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Memorable Manitobans: Alphonsus Avila Cherrier (1849-1935)

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Alphonsus Avila Cherrier
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Cleric.

Born at La Prairie, Quebec on 26 September 1849, son of Leon T. Cherrier and Lena F. Viandit L’Esperance, he was educated at the College of St. Therese de Bainville, Laval University (BSc), graduating in 1871. Ordained in 1874, he was Professor of Literature and afterwards Natural Science at St. Therese College for some years.

He came to Manitoba in 1878 and was Cure d’Office at the St. Boniface Cathedral (1878-1881), after which he was Rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. On the death of Archbishop Tache in 1894, he was the nominee of the Secular Clergy for the Archbishopric of St. Boniface.

He served as President of St. Boniface College from 1881 to 1884 and was appointed to the provincial board of education in 1878 and remained a member until its abolishment in 1890. He was a member of a Royal Commission to inquire into and make recommendations respecting the University of Manitoba, in 1907, and served as Vice-Chancellor of the University. It awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1913.

He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 8 June 1935 and was buried in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. He is commemorated by Cherrier Street in Winnipeg.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cherrier Boarding House (186-188 Euclid Avenue, Winnipeg)

Sources:

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Msgr. A. A. Cherrier, beloved pioneer priest, dies after 50 years of labor in west,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 June 1935, page 3.

“Free Press Necrology Files,” Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 16, University of Manitoba Archives]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 March 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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