Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Celebrating Daniel McIntyre

Today is the 65th anniversary of the death of Daniel McIntytre. He's one of just a handful of people to have a part of the city named for them, (there's also William Whyte, Andrew Mynarski, Garnet Wolseley  and Linden Woods .. oh wait, that last one isn't a person !)
Despite this honour, most people don't know who he is.

Daniel McIntyre was born on a farm outside Dalhousie, New Brunswick in 1852. At age 17 he became a teacher in the district and went on to work in other rural schools. In 1873, he became the superintendent of schools for a town outside of Saint John. 

McIntyre then decided to change careers and attended law school from 1880 - 1882. After what he called a "brief lapse at law" that lasted just a few months, he realized that teaching was his true calling and accepted a job in Winnipeg to teach at Carlton School.

In 1885, he became an inspector for the Protestant school system and in 1890 was appointed Superintendent of Public Schools for the City of Winnipeg.

At the time, the entire school system consisted of ten buildings and 2,200 students.

April 2 1926, Winnipeg Free Press

Daniel and Mary, whom he married in 1878, later settled at 123 Middle Gate and started a family that would experience a great deal of loss.

Two of the couple's children died at childbirth. Son 
Stuart was killed in action during World War I and in Mary, herself died in 1921.

McIntyre's surviving children were
Andrew Murray, who practised law in Saskatchewan (and lost two of his children due to drowning). His other son, Donald, became a doctor.

The McIntyres dedicated their personal lives to charitable work, much of it related to children. They were active in the founding of the School for the Blind, Children's Home of Winnipeg and the Children's Aid Society.

McIntyre travelled extensively throughout his career to offer advice to other school systems and to bring new ideas back to Winnipeg.

Earl Grey School, for example, is Canada's first junior high school. In 1915, William Whyte school opened as the only public girls school in Canada, (it didn't go co-ed until 1955).

McIntyre also serve as the University of Manitoba registrar and was a member of the 1923 - 24 Royal Commission on Education that reviewed the future directions of school systems across Canada.

Top: January 19, 1929, Winnipeg Tribune
 Bottom: December 1, 1928, Winnipeg Free Press

In 1928, McIntyre retired after 43 years in the job. By that time the public school system had grown to 70 schools with 40,000 students.

McIntyre then moved in with his son at 258 Dromore but remained busy as his advice was sought by numerous boards and commissions at the local, provincial and national levels.

He died December 14, 1946 at Misericordia Hospital at the age of 94.


Left: Manitoba Calling, May 1944 (left)
Right: June 23 1921, Winnipeg Free Press

The tribute that most Winnipeggers are familiar with is the school. In 1921, the old Winnipeg Collegiate Institute was in need of a new building. The institute and and building were renamed Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute and its newly built facility opened in 1923.

There was also honourary doctorate from the U of M in 1912 and the Order of the British Empire in 1935.

At a celebration dinner after receiving his OBE, McIntyre said:

"(This) honor belongs to the teachers and the public-spirited men who have composed the school board. Without them nothing could have been accomplished, certainly not without the whole-hearted support and co-operation of the teachers, which I always had."
January 25, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press

There is both a neighbourhood and a civic election ward named fro him. The exact years they came into being is unclear.

Daniel J. McIntyre Manitoba Historical Society
Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute history Winnipeg School Division
Winnipeg's Giant of Education Winnipeg Time Machine
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba Peel
McIntyre dies at age Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. 16, 1946

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