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Manitoba History No. 90

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Memorable Manitobans: Wellington Geddes Rathwell (1887-1951)

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Wellington Geddes Rathwell
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Educator, school inspector.

Born at Hayfield on 3 March 1887, son of John Wesley Rathwell (1848-1926) and Ruby Delgarno (1856-1926), he was educated at the local rural school, Wesley College, and Brandon College, obtaining a BA degree in 1915. He farmed in the Brandon area until 1923 when he attended the Winnipeg Normal School to obtain his teachers’ certificate. After teaching for six months at Brooklands, he joined the staff of Norwood Collegiate, serving as its Principal (1929-1935), and Superintendent of Norwood Schools (1935-1937). He was appointed Registrar of the Manitoba Department of Education in November 1938 and served in this position until his death. He was President of the Manitoba Teachers’ Federation (1936-1937) and President of the Manitoba Civil Service Association (1945).

On 26 December 1917, he married Mary Vera Conley (1892-1956) in the RM of Whitehead. They had three children: Douglas Gordon Rathwell (1920-2001), Donald Rathwell, and Gwen Rathwell. He was active in several sports, including baseball and hockey in his younger years, later badminton, and golf and curling in his later years. He was President of the St. Vital Curling Club (1950-1951). He was a United Farmers candidate for the Glenwood constituency in the 1922 provincial election.

He died at Winnipeg on 29 March 1951 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Educationist dies aged 64 years; headed curlers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1951, page 25.

The History of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society by Haraldur Victor Vidal, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1958.

Brandon Municipal Cemetery.

Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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