Memorable Manitobans: Phyllis Anne DuMoulin (1921-2010)

Social worker, educator, community activist.

Born at Kingston, Ontario in 1921, daughter of Phillip and Amy DuMoulin, she attended Vancouver’s York House School and Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan, British Columbia, matriculating in 1939. She earned a BA at the University of British Columbia and went on to receive the degrees of Bachelor of Social Work (1944) and Masters of Social Work (1947). On graduation, she was appointed Director of the teenage program at Alexandra Neighbourhood House. In 1949 she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba’s School of Social Work where she established the group-work sequence and field work placements. She concluded her teaching career as Assistant Professor of Continuing Education at the University of Manitoba and she continued as a consultant in special issues affecting the profession.

She served as Executive Director of the Greater Winnipeg Community Welfare Planning Council from 1952 to 1970, where she initiated the social planning program and process, developed an interdisciplinary staff and volunteer approach to social problems, launched Indian-Métis consultative mechanisms, set up neighbourhood houses, led the country’s first and most comprehensive study of problems and opportunities for the aging population, and supervised a review of social services in Manitoba.

In 1966 she was elected President of the Canadian Association of Social Workers and affected national social policies. She initiated the transition from the Community Chest to the United Way and was elected as its first woman Board Chair in 1976. She served on the Province of Manitoba’s Board of Review pursuant to Section 527A of the Criminal Code of Canada, the Board of the Vanier Institute of the Family, and the Board of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (1961 to 1976), serving as its Executive Vice-President (1975 to 1976). She was a founding member of the Board of the Health Sciences Centre, and a member of the Board of the Manitoba Medical Research Centre, Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Manitoba Centennial Corporation (1963). She was the first Chair of the Prairie Regional Committee for the Explorations program of the Canada Council. She was also active in the Girl Guides for many years as a leader and member of the Manitoba Council of the Girl Guides, and the National Council of the Girl Guides of Canada.

She was inducted into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 1970 in recognition of her work with the Greater Winnipeg Community Welfare Planning Council. She also received the Centennial Medal from the Government of Canada, the McArton Prestige Award for her work in the profession of social work, Guiding’s Order of the Beaver for service to youth across Canada, a City of Winnipeg Community Service Award (1977), and a University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Service Award.

She died at Victoria on 20 September 2010 and was buried in Old St. Andrews Cemetery.


“These Manitobans will help plan centennial,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1963, page 9.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 October 2010, page C12.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 February 2024

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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