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authority records
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Pitblado Family

  • pitfamily
  • Person
  • 1836-1977

The Manitoba Pitblado family formed one branch of an extensive North American family of Scottish origin. The immediate forebears came from Fife and settled in Nova Scotia. One of these, Charles Bruce Pitblado (1836-1913), became a Presbyterian minister and, following a tour of the Canadian West, accepted a call in 1881 to the newly-organized St. Andrew's Church in Winnipeg. In 1885, he served as a chaplain with the Canadian forces fighting against Louis Riel. Pitblado accompanied the captured Riel to Regina. In 1893, he became the first pastor of Westminster Church.

Isaac Pitblado (1867-1964), the son of Charles Bruce Pitblado, had a long and distinguished legal career. An early graduate of the University of Manitoba, he served as Chairman of the Board of Governors from 1917 to 1924 and, in 1935, served as President of the Canadian Bar Association. He enjoyed lacrosse, curling, and duck-hunting.

Edward Bruce Pitblado (1896-1977), Isaac's only son, followed his father as a lawyer and sportsman. He served in both World Wars, was a Rhodes Scholar, played for the 1924 British Olympic hockey team, and served as Secretary of Ducks Unlimited from 1938 to 1974.

Speechly, Mary

  • speechly_m
  • Person
  • 1873-1968

Mary Barrett was born in London, England in 1873. She received a B.A. from University College, Liverpool in 1892 and then studied at Cambridge. In 1895 she married Dr. Henry Speechly. She joined Henry in Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Within the next year she began work as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Anglican Church. In 1912 she became president of the Pilot Mound Home Economics Society and was an advocate of home economics and domestic science.

In 1916 she moved to Winnipeg with her children while her husband served overseas. She was a member of the Agricultural Women's Association, the Women's Institute of Manitoba, the University Women's Club, and the head of the Women's Canadian Club. As the Treasurer and then President of the Winnipeg Red Cross she later acted as the first Director of the Manitoba Junior Red Cross. In 1924 she was appointed to the council of the Manitoba Agricultural College. She helped found the Family Planning Association of Manitoba and became the first president of the Winnipeg Birth Control Society in 1934. Speechly was appointed the first female member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba in 1933 where she served until her retirement in 1946. In 1947 she received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) from the University of Manitoba. She died in Winnipeg in 1968.