Memorable Manitobans: Charles Walter Laidlaw (1873-1953)
Born at Kitchener, Ontario on 18 June 1873, he moved to Brandon in 1890. He taught at Carroll School (1897) and Carberry School before moving to Winnipeg in 1902 as Principal of Isbister School (1902-1903). He taught at the Central Collegiate (1903-?) and Norquay School (1915-1921) prior to becoming the Principal of Machray School in 1921, holding the position until his retirement in 1939. He was also an active member of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Federation, a member of the Board of Governors for the University of Manitoba (1934-1936), and a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Education (1930-1937). He served as President of the Manitoba Teachers’ Federation (1922-1924) and President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (1929).
On 20 July 1909, he married Allison Warren Ellis (?-?) at Winnipeg. They had four sons: Herbert Laidlaw, Kenneth Laidlaw, Gordon Laidlaw, and Alan Laidlaw. His sister married W. J. Creelman of Brandon. He served on the Board of Regents for United College and was President of the Mentor’s Club (1953). He was a municipal councillor for East Kildonan (1924-1927), a member of the Board of Managers for John Black and St. Andrew’s Oak Street churches and, from 1940 to 1947, he was district representative for the Dominion civil service for western Canada.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 306 Beaverbrook Street, on 11 December 1953 and was buried in Brookside Cemetery.
“Work after two months holidays,” Manitoba Free Press, 31 August 1903, page 3.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Winnipeg School Days, 1871-1950 by W. G. Pearce, Winnipeg School Division, Education Resource Centre.
“Isbister early famed for sports, mouth organ band” by Claire Tisdale, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 January 1949.
“C. W. Laidlaw, educator, dies aged 80,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 December 1953, page 36.
The History of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society by Haraldur Victor Vidal, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1958.
We thank Nathan Kramer, Jim Smith, and Mireille Theriault (Manitoba Teachers’ Society) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 23 May 2021