Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Malcolm “Mac” Gillies (1911-2004)

Educator, school inspector.

Born at Lenore on 16 February 1911, the eldest son of Donald Gillies and Ellen Jane Alexander, he attended Lenore Consolidated School and Brandon College, obtaining a science degree from the latter (1936). He attended Navigation School in Saskatchewan and graduated a Flying Officer.

He attended Manitoba Normal School and taught at Lothair School, Grainsby School (1930-1933), and Russell School, the latter where he met Lucy Edith Wardle (1911-2001) whom he married on 13 August 1938 at Dropmore. The couple had two sons, one of whom was Kenneth Gillies (c1941-1953). The family moved to Transcona in 1938, where he taught at Transcona Collegiate for 19 years and served as Assistant Principal.

In 1957, he was appointed a Manitoba School Inspector based at The Pas. He served for four years, covering schools at The Pas, Lynn Lake, Flin Flon, Snow Lake, and along the Hudson Bay Line. During this time, he played a lead role in starting the first school at Thompson, inside a three-bedroom house. He transferred to the Midland and Portage la Prairie School Divisions based at Carman. He continued as an Inspector for another 12 years, until his retirement in 1973. While living at Carman, he was Grand Master of the Carmen Masonic Lodge (1967) and enjoyed curling, golfing, baseball, and gardening.

He died at Swan River on 6 September 2004 and his cremains were buried in Transcona Cemetery.


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

“3 teachers join staff of inspectors,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1957, page 15.

“Anniversaries,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 August 1988, page 31.

Obituary [Lucy Edith Gillies], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 March 2001, page 13.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 2004, page 23.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 26 December 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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