Memorable Manitobans: Ernest Ross Floyd Willoughby (c1889-1956)
Born at Stouffville, Ontario around 1889, he came to Winnipeg in 1914 where he worked in the city’s school system for 41 years. Before moving west, he taught in a rural school at Darlington, Ontario for two and a half years and later completed a Bachelor’s degree at McMaster University and studies at the Ontario College of Education. In Winnipeg, he taught science at Kelvin High School where he eventually became Principal in 1946. He also worked as Supervisor and Principal at Mulvey School before retiring in 1955.
During his career as a teacher, he was President of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (1942-1944), President of the Canadian Teachers Federation (1944-1945), member of the Canadian-United States Committee on Education (1945-1947), and head of the Canadian delegation to a world conference of teachers held in Endicott, New York (1946). He was named by Prime Minister King as a member of the Canadian delegation to the general conference of UNESCO held in Paris (1946). In 1945, he worked for the Wartime Information Board delivering lectures across Canada on national unity and, on behalf of the Canadian Teachers Federation, presented a brief on the subject of education to the House of Commons. He was further honored with a doctorate of pedagogy by the University of Toronto.
He married Lela Belle Van Dyke (?-1980) and they lived at 312 Waverley Street, Winnipeg.
He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 1 October 1956 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
“Sees brighter future for education,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 July 1948. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 24]
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 October 1956, page 22.
Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 1 October 1956, page 24.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 1956, page 35.
The History of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society by Haraldur Victor Vidal, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1958.
We thank Mireille Theriault (Manitoba Teachers’ Society) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 February 2019