Memorable Manitobans: Myrtle Rietta Conway (1908-2005)
Born at Miniota on 28 January 1908, daughter of Thomas Conway (1858-1939) and Lydia McLane (1869-1961), after earning a Normal School Certificate and BA from the University of Manitoba, she started teaching at Ebor School (1927-1929). She taught successively at Neepawa School (1929-1935) and Gladstone School (1935-1940) before moving to Winnipeg during the Second World War, to take a position at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate. In 1949 she was appointed Principal of the newly built Clifton School (1949-1954) and was later Principal of La Verendrye School (1954-1964) and Rockwood School (1964-1973). She retired in June 1973.
In the late 1940s and 1950s she was active in educational organizations as President of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (1951-1952), Manitoba Educational Association (1950-1951), and Canadian Teachers’ Federation (1952-1953). In 1948 she was one of only three Canadian delegates to the second international seminar of UNESCO at New York. She was also a member of the Canadian delegation to the seventh annual UNESCO conference at Paris. She was also active with the Provincial and National Councils of Women, the Zonta (Aurora) Club, and the University Women’s Club (President, 1959-1961). In 1952, she was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba.
She moved to Victoria, British Columbia at the end of 2003, where she died on 5 April 2005.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Ancestry.
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
“Receive city school appointments,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 May 1949, page 3.
“Winnipegger elected head of teachers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 August 1952, page 3.
The History of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society by Haraldur Victor Vidal, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1958.
Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
The History of the Manitoba Educational Association by Ernest Butterworth, MEd thesis, Faculty of Graduate Study and Research, University of Manitoba, 1965.
“Reception honors Myrtle Conway,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 June 1973, page 27.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 2005.
We thank Mireille Theriault (Manitoba Teachers’ Society) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 February 2019
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