Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Norfolk Evans (1912-2008)

Cleric, educator.

Born at Bridlington, England on 2 December 1912, he immigrated to Canada and worked at Fishers Farm in Minnedosa. He studied theology at St. Johns College and was ordained an Anglican Priest in 1940. During the Second World War, he enlisted in the Canadian Army and served overseas as a gunner in England, Belgium, and Germany, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. While overseas, he married Sophie Sylvia Gierer (?-?) at Hendon, Middlesex County, England on 21 August 1944. The couple had a son, Thomas Robert Evans (b1945) and resided in England until March 1946. He returned alone to Manitoba and served as the Principal of Alonsa School (1948-1952). Following marital infidelity and a daughter (b 1949) born out of wedlock on her part, he filed for divorce in December 1950 and was granted a divorce in December 1951. He remarried to Ruth Ellen Hiam (1920-2000) around 1953. This second marriage yielded a daughter and a son. He worked as a cleric and teacher in northern Manitoba communities, including Cedar Lake, Rupert's House, and Norway House, as well as other remote posts in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. He died at the Deer Lodge Hospital on 22 April 2008 and was buried in the St. James Cemetery.


“Final decrees of divorce granted 10,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 December 1951, page 14.

Winnipeg divorce file #3/1951, John Norfolk Evans and Sophie Sylvia Evans, Archives of Manitoba.

Obituary [Ruth Ellen Evans], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 December 2000, page C16.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 April 2008, page 52.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 17 February 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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