Miss I. E. Brittain
A funeral service was held Wednesday in the Church of St. James the Apostle for Miss Isabel Elizabeth Brittain, 97, an educator who died Monday.
Miss Brittain, a graduate of the original Girl's High School of Montreal, graduated from McGill in 1894. She returned to the High School, where she taught for many years.
She took her M.A. from McGill in 1911, and was one of the McGill women students responsible for founding the University Settlement. Miss Brittain spent a summer of teaching in Labrador in 1917. She held many significant positions in the Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers and was a member of the executive of the McGill Graduates' Society, becoming a member emeritus of that society in 1943.
In December 1932, Miss Brittain was awarded the Order of Scholastic Merit, highest class, by the department of education. She was a charter member of the Themis Club.
An Isabel Brittain bursary was started in 1964.
A Little Bit About Isabel
Brittain and Family
Isabel Brittain was the daughter of Alfred and Annie M.Brittain (nee Grose) long time residents of Montreal. Alfred Brittain, a civil engineer, once received the key to the City of Montreal, for designing or helping to design the sewer system for Montreal, I do not know when.
Alfred Brittain was born September 1,1842 and emigrated from England in 1861. Annie Grose, Isabel's mother was born April 12, 1853 and immigrated, from England as well, in 1864. In 1901 they lived at 2790 St. Catherine Street in Montreal. Isabel, then 26 years old and Mabel 20 years old were living in the family home.
In the 1881 Census they are in Lachine Jacques-Catier district, but Elizabeth (Isabel) is erroneously listed as the eldest , she was the second eldest.
There were five children in total, Ethel Brittain being the eldest, then Isabel Elizabeth Brittain, Alfred H. Brittain, Mabel A. Brittain, Mary B. Brittain, and finally my grandfather, Harold Arthur Brittain.
Isabel and her younger sister Mabel A. Brittain ( 6 years younger) both taught for many years at the Girl's High School of Montreal. Neither of the sisters were ever married, so they were both known as Miss Brittain. My Mom, Harold Arthur's youngest child, their youngest niece, says that they each pronounced their name in a different way so as not to confuse the students. Mabel apparently pronounced her name as though there was an 'e' on the end.
When my Mom would go to visit them she would be given 'diction drills' to do. Apparently Isabel was a small delicate soft spoken women and Mabel was more of the opposite nature. They shared an apartment, for many years as well.
Isabel died February 1970
and Mabel died in 1981.
1911 Montreal Blue Book (Society Guide):
Brittain, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred (Grose)
9 Tower Avenue
Mr. Alfred H. Brittain
Mr. H. Arthur Brittain
Miss Isabel Brittain (B.A.)
Miss M.B. Brittain
Miss Mabel A. Brittain
*Researching Isabel Brittain....................Barb Maclean (great neice)
Return to Women of Montreal
Return to Notable Montrealers