Bryce, George

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Bryce, George

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Rev. George Bryce (1844-1931) served the Presbyterian and United Churches of Canada for over fifty years. Bryce was born in Mount Pleasant, Ontario, on April 22, 1844, to parents George and Catherine (Henderson) Bryce of Perthshire, Scotland. He was the eldest of four brothers born to the Bryce family: George, Peter, Alec and Robert. George Bryce received his early education at Brantford High School. In 1863, he entered the University of Toronto, graduating in 1868 with a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts. During his university career, Bryce served as ensign to the Queen's Own Rifles regiment, and was present at the Fenian Raid at Ridgeway. In 1869, he entered Knox College in Toronto. Following his studies, Bryce was sent to Quebec City to serve Chalmers Church. His service at Chalmers, however, was interrupted by a request of the Presbyterian Church that he move to the Red River settlement and establish a Presbyterian college among the settlers of Kildonan. Rev. Bryce arrived in Winnipeg in 1871 and served as both an administrator and teacher at Manitoba and United Colleges for the predominance of his career. He also contributed to the founding of several congregations in Winnipeg and Manitoba. Similarly, the efforts and energy of Bryce's wife, Marion, were directed towards several charitable and reform causes within the city. Rev. Bryce served as the first moderator of the Manitoba Synod in 1884 and as moderator of the General Assembly in 1902. In addition to his commitment to the church, Bryce was committed to science, history and education. He was one of the founders of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba, serving as secretary to the organization for several years, and later as president. Through a distance study program Bryce was educated in law, and he received his L.L.B. from the University of Toronto in 1878. Four years later, he published his first book: "Manitoba, Its Infancy, Growth and Present Condition." Some of his later works include: "The Remarkable History of the Hudson's Bay Company," and "A Short History of the Canadian People." In 1902, Rev. Bryce was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1910, he served as president of the Society. Having retired from Manitoba College in 1909, Bryce was appointed to the Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education in 1910. He spent many of his later years away from Winnipeg, though he returned during the war years to help fill local pulpit vacancies. Bryce married Marion Samuel, the former head mistress of Mrs. Birnie's Ladies School in Toronto, in 1872. The couple shared one child, George Norman Bryce, who died within one year of birth. Marion Bryce passed away in 1920. Bryce subsequently lived with his brother Peter in Ottawa. Rev. Bryce passed away in August of 1931.


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