Fonds MSS SC 24 (A.78-36) - William John Rose fonds

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William John Rose fonds

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CA UMASC MSS SC 24 (A.78-36)

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0.28 m of textual records.

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Biographical history

William John Rose (1885-1968) was born on a farm near Minnedosa, Manitoba. In 1900 he enrolled in Wesley College. As a boy of nine he was present on 26 June, 1894, at the laying of the corner stone of the building now known as Wesley Hall. In 1905, upon graduation in Classics and Mathematics, he became the first Rhodes Scholar of Wesley (the second in Manitoba, following John McLean of Manitoba College in 1904) and journeyed to Oxford where he received B.A. and M.A. degrees, after which he returned to his alma mater to teach Classics and Mathematics in 1912. That year he married Emily Mary Cuthbert, who was born in Portage la Prairie in 1887, and with his wife left for Germany where he intended to pursue a doctorate in classics, and Emily to further her musical education. Plans changed, however, when Rose agreed to go to Prague as a Student Christian Movement Secretary. The S.C.M. was then a branch of the Y.M.C.A., an organization which was heavily engaged in missionary work. Rose had been a member of the latter since his undergraduate days. The Roses were caught in Poland when war broke out in 1914 and were unable to emerge until late in 1918. Rose had become fluent in Polish and when he made an appearance in France he was able to assist in the Paris Peace Conference agreements. After a brief visit home he returned to Europe and engaged in relief and social work until 1927. He registered for courses in Jagiellonian University, Cracow, and in 1926 successfully presented a thesis, written under Stanislaw Kot, for the fulfillment of a Ph.D.
In 1928, Rose accepted a teaching appointment in Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, during which period he completed his first book, The Drama of Upper Silesia. In 1935, partly through the efforts of Sir Bernard Pares, he was called to the School of Slavonic Studies, University of London, becoming Professor in 1938 and Director in 1939. He remained in this post until retirement at the age of sixty-five, publishing four more books, and becoming widely known as an able teacher and public lecturer. He returned to Canada in 1950, and found a home in the University of British Columbia, where he was instrumental in establishing a Department of Slavic Studies. His beloved wife died suddenly in 1952. He again taught at United College in 1953-1954. Following this time, he returned for two years to Vancouver, after which he retired again, and settled in Naramata, B.C. on the eastern shore of Lake Okanagan, teaching and assisting in the Christian School.
William John Rose passed away in 1968.

Custodial history

The fonds was transferred to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Professor David Arnason in 1978.

Scope and content

The fonds contains an unpublished manuscript titled Helen of Wheatville: A Tale of Winnipeg by Wes Turner, Rose's pseudonym, and biographical material on George John Blewett, a Canadian philosopher.

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