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Memorable Manitobans: Barbara Anne Johnstone (c1926-2003)

Historian.

A native of Winnipeg, she attended Wolseley, Isaac Brock and Gordon Bell schools. In 1943 she enlisted in the Women's division of the RCAF. Subsequently she trained in nursing at the Winnipeg General Hospital. A passion for Canadian history led to her appointment as Custodian (later curator) of the Hudson's Bay Company Museum in its Winnipeg store. Following the closing of this museum in 1961 she was appointed Superintendent of the National Historic Park of Lower Fort Garry, the first woman in Canada to be named to such a position. Here she remained, participating in the fort's restoration until ill health forced her retirement in 1967. She received both the Margaret McWilliams Medal, the Manitoba Centennial Medal (1970) and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) for her work in history. In addition to the MHS she was a life member of the Manitoba Archaeological Society and the Canadian Legion. She wrote many articles and also made presentations communicating her knowledge and enthusiasm for Canadian history.

She died at Selkirk, Manitoba on 20 April 2003.

Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Are You Sure?
Manitoba Pageant, April 1956

Joseph Burr Tyrrell - Nov. 1, 1858 - Aug. 26, 1957
Manitoba Pageant, September 1957, Volume 3, Number 1

"And There Was Light"
Manitoba Pageant, September 1957, Volume 3, Number 1

Story of a Fur Trader
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 4, Number 2, January 1959

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 2003.

“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2003, pages A6-7.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 June 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

A collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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