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Memorable Manitobans: Helen Palk (1879-1950)

Educator, author.

Born at St. Johnsbury, Vermont on 26 March 1879, daughter of John and Anna Bella Maclean, sister of Lawrence Palk, she came to Winnipeg with her family and was educated at Norquay School and the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute. She was a teacher in the Provincial Model School (circa 1911) and lectured on education at the University of Manitoba. She wrote or co-wrote several textbooks, mostly on Canadian history and some posthumously, including Far Horizons: Ships of Araby (1932), Hearts High (1932), Pages From Canada’s Geography (1939), My Country’s Story (1944), The Book of Canadian Achievement (1951) and Pages From Canada’s Story (1957).

A member of Grace United Church, she was Superintendent of the elementary department of the Manitoba Sunday School Association and she travelled extensively in Alberta in connection with Sunday School work. She served on the board for the Riverbend School for Girls and was a member of the Authors’ Association, Canadian Club, Children’s Home Board, and University Women’s Club.

She died at Winnipeg on 30 July 1950 and was buried in Brookside Cemetery.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“Norquay sits where Selkirk Settlers once sowed grain” by Claire Tisdale, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1949.

“Miss Helen Palk, educationist, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1950, page 28.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 May 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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