Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Alvin Trotter Mathers (1888-1960)

Psychiatrist, educator.

Born at Neepawa on 20 December 1888, son of newspaperman Christopher H. Mathers (c1856-1893) and Marianne Trotter, nephew of Thomas G. Mathers, he graduated from the Manitoba Medical College in 1913 and was appointed an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba in 1914. During the First World War, he served in the Royal Canadian Army unit at the Tuxedo Barracks (1917-1918). He was a pioneer psychiatrist, directing the Manitoba Psychopathic Hospital from 1919 to 1942 when he resigned over a dispute about his duties and responsibilities.

He served as President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (1942-1943), and Dean of the University of Manitoba Medical School (1931-1949), where he established an ethnic quota system of entry for which he was later heavily criticized. In 1949 he was given an honorary doctorate by the University.

He died at the Deer Lodge Hospital on 4 January 1960 and was buried in St. John’s Cemetery.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1891 Canada census, Ancestry.

“The harvest of death,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 December 1893, page 1.

“Dr. A. T. Mathers, former Dean of Medicine, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 January 1960, page 4.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 August 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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