Memorable Manitobans: Thomas William Morton (1862-1945)
Born at Boston, Lincolnshire, England in 1862, his father an antiquarian of note, his grandfather a land proprietor and author in Lincolnshire, and his maternal grandfather, architect Thomas Champion. He spent six years at St. Edward’s College (Liverpool) then three years at Roehampton near London, followed by Stonyhurst College (Lancashire) where he trained in physics and astronomy. He lectured in physics for 12 years as Science Master at Beaumont College (Old Windsor), Lecturer and Army Coach (London; F.Ph.S. and F.C.S.) and professor of science and mathematics at Prior Park (Bath).
He was ordained a priest at the relatively advanced age of 42, having taken up the study of theology after the death of his mother, whom he had supported after the death of his father. Following ordination he served as Rector of St. Nicholas Church at Bristol for seven years, moving from there to Wells where he spent six years.
He came to Winnipeg in 1919 to assist in the newly-formed Archdiocese of Winnipeg and in the following year became Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, staying in that position until his retirement in 1934. In 1920, he founded Camp Morton, five miles north of Gimli, as a summer resort for Catholic children. He served as President of the Winnipeg Branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
He died at Winnipeg on 25 June 1945 and was buried in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Father Morton’s life service ends”, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 June 1945, page 1.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 22 January 2011