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Butterworth, Marjorie Sinclair (1902–2004)

Marjorie Sinclair Butterworth, June 1990.
Robert Watson (Regina Leader-Post)

Marjorie Sinclair Butterworth was born on November 27, 1902 in Regina, North-West Territories, to Reverend John and Laura (McCutcheon) Sinclair. She had three siblings, James, Watson, and Helen. A lifelong resident of Regina, she attended Connaught Elementary School and Central Collegiate, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce at the University of Iowa in 1935, and then taught in the Regina Public School System from 1924 to 1967. She was a commercial teacher at Scott Collegiate from 1924 to 1930. In 1930 she was a charter staff member of Balfour Technical School, where she was the stenography department head until her retirement in 1967. She introduced the Wiese-Coover method of teaching touch typewriting that resulted in thousands of highly successful speed typists at Balfour and in the province. In the 1930s Butterworth coached her students for national and international typewriting contests in which they won several championships. She instigated the Alpha Tau Club and Awards at Balfour—incentives for high achievement in typewriting and shorthand throughout the 1900s.

Butterworth pioneered work experience, career counselling, and student employment services in high schools, and mentored many of her students in the teaching profession, several of whom returned to teach at Balfour. She influenced Business Education in Saskatchewan through her successful teaching and provision of professional methods courses for teachers. After retirement, she taught and developed Business Education teacher training courses for the Ministry of Education in Kenya in the early 1970s, and sponsored African students’ post-secondary education in Saskatchewan universities and at Siast. During her lifetime, she received numerous honours for her outstanding contribution to education, including the Canada Commemorative 125 Medal (1992), the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (1993), and the Regina YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Education (2003). Educators, friends, and hundreds of her students expressed their appreciation at her 100th birthday celebration on November 27, 2002, at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts. She died on April 29, 2004.

Dorothea Schrader

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