Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Dean Finlay (1906-2001)


Born at Owen Sound, Ontario on 18 April 1906, son of John Anson Finlay (1873-?) and Emeline Shouldice (1880-?), he moved to Medora as a child. After attending Normal School, he began a teaching career at Haywood School. Later moving to Winnipeg, he was Vice-Principal of Glenwood School in the mid-1930s, Vice-Principal and later Principal (1938-1971) of Windsor School and Fernwood School in St. Vital and, briefly, Principal of Varennes School until retirement in 1971. On 1 July 1917, he married fellow St. Vital teacher Marion Ballard (1910-1984) at the Log Cabin Inn in East Kildonan and had three children, all of whom later went into teaching. He was a Life Member of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Windsor Community Club, Teachers Curling Club, and Principals and Assistant Principals Association of St. Vital. He was a member of the Masons (Three Pillars Lodge), serving as its Treasurer for over 20 years, and was a member of Regents Park United Church. He was a founder of the Windsor Community Club. He died at Winnipeg on 1 August 2001. He is commemorated by Dean Finlay Park in Winnipeg and the gymnasium in Windsor School.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Finlay-Ballard,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 July 1937, page 9.

“School principal retiring after 33 years service,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1971, page 65.

Obituary [Marion Finlay], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 January 1984, page 27.

“A park to call his own,” Winnipeg Free Press South Community Review, 22 October 1997, page 1.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 August 2001.

Anderson family tree, Ancestry.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 April 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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