Memorable Manitobans: Morag Kathrina Lorimer Harpley (1895-1991)
Born at Leith, Edinburghshire, Scotland in October 1895, daughter of Jessie Harpley (1861-1931) and George Harpley (1860-1934), she immigrated to Canada with the family in 1911 and settled in Winnipeg.
She attended the Winnipeg Central Collegiate and pursued a career in education. She taught at Laura Secord School (1914-1915), Lord Roberts School (1915-1916), Victoria-Albert School (1920-1937, 1938-1942), and Winnipeg Normal School (c1937-1938) and was the Principal of Sir John Franklin School (1942-1947) and Supervisor of Primary Grades for the Winnipeg School Division (1947-1955). She went on to be an Assistant Professor at Brandon College (1955-1961) specializing in primary grades education, Consultant Supervisor at Shaarey Zedek School (1961-1963), and Supervisor and Chief Consultant at Ramah School (1964-?).
She was a member of the Manitoba Association of Principals and the Caledonian Women’s Club of Winnipeg. She wrote several education-themed books, including Nursery Plays Correlated with School Subjects (1941), The Magic of Language in the Primary Grades (c1942), Stories and Poems for Speech Training: Grades I to VI (c1944), The School Beautiful (c1945), Plays with Songs for the Elementary School: Grades 1 to 6 (1950), Speaking and Writing Our Language (1952), Purposeful Seating for Grades One, Two, and Three (1954), and Learning to Speak and Write Our Language (1956).
She died at her Winnipeg home on 27 September 1991 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Awards made in I.O.D.E. essay contests,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 April 1913, page 9.
“George Harpley dies in hospital Sunday morning,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 1934, page 2.
“Teachers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1937, page 12.
“To close Brandon Normal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 August 1938, page 3.
“Holidays ended,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1938, page 20.
“School opening,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1941, page 7.
“4 major appointments made by Winnipeg School Board,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1947, page 3.
“Board approves five promotions,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 May 1947, page 17.
“Shaarey Zedek School names Morag Harpley,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 1961, page 32.
“New wing opening 3 March for dual-curriculum school,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 February 1963, page 16.
“Solving the mystery of school names,” Winnipeg Free Press North Edition, 3 April 1988, page 5.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 1991, page 22.
Winnipeg Estate file PR91-01-24304 [Morag Kathrina Lorimer Harpley], Archives of Manitoba.
Henderson’s Winnipeg Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
WorldCat, Morag K. L. Harpley.
Caton family tree, Ancestry.
We thank Gerald Brown for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 3 August 2016