Memorable Manitobans: Frances Elizabeth Lorraine Port Watson (1924-2009)
Born at Winnipeg on 3 April 1924, the only child of William and Frances Port, she attended St. Mary’s Academy and graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Music Performance, specializing in violin and piano. She taught music for many years at Churchill High School and spent summers studying at the University of Wisconsin, earning a double major Masters degree in violin and conducting. She also played violin in the Winnipeg Symphony (1947 to 1965) and conducted the Manitoba Schools Orchestra. A founding Board member of the International Music Camp at Minot, North Dakota, she taught strings and conducted the Music Camp orchestra for 50 years during her summer vacations.
In 1965, she married Vernon L. Watson and moved to Dauphin. There, she established the first orchestra program in the Dauphin-Ochre School Division and was the Music Director at St. Viator’s Roman Catholic Church, played piano and helped conduct her husband’s stage band and the Dauphin Ecumenical Choir, taught string students in her home and also adjudicated at the Dauphin Music Festival. She helped to restore the Dauphin Town Hall and served on the Board of the Manitoba Arts Council.
She died at Winnipeg on 10 July 2009 and was buried in Dauphin Riverside Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 2009.
We thank Gail Singleton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 June 2019
Back to top of page