Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Bertal Heeney (1873-1955)

Cleric, historian.

Born at Danford Lake, Quebec on 18 February 1873, he was educated at Lachute Academy and McGill University (BA, 1899). In 1900, he graduated from the Diocesan Theological College and was ordained a Priest in 1901. He served as Rector of Christ Church at Belleville, Ontario from 1901 to 1905, Rector of St. George’s at Newport, Rhode Island from 1905 to 1908, and Rector at Barrie, Ontario for a short time. He came to Winnipeg in 1909 as Rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, serving until retirement in 1942, at which time he moved to Montreal.

He married Eva Marjorie Holland, daughter of R. H. Holland of Montreal, with whom he had two children: Arnold Heeney and a daughter.

He wrote a number of novels for children, such as Pickanock: A Tale of Settlement Days in Older Canada (1912), and was an active historian of the early Anglican Church in Western Canada. See his John West and His Red River Mission (1920), The Founding of Rupert’s Land and Its First Bishop (1929), and Our Church in Rupert’s Land (1933). He also compiled Leaders of the Canadian Church (1918) and Centenary Addresses and Sermons (1922), as well as writing I Walk with a Bishop (1939).

His papers are in the Archives of Manitoba and the Rupert’s Land Archives.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 October 2017

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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