GALE, Ethel (1872-1941)

Born on February 6th 1872 in Quebec City, Ethel Louise Gale was the daughter of Thomas Gale, police constable, and of Martha Sealy Andrews.

Gale was one of the first women to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree at Morrin College, Quebec City in 1893.

She began her career as a teacher, and later became director of the Girls’ High School in Quebec City from 1912 to 1918. The school opened up to boys in 1918, was soon renamed Commissioners’ High School, and Gale became the “Lady Principal” until her retirement in 1939. She received the Order of Scholastic Merit in 1932. Following her retirement, she was named “Lady Principal Emeritus” and the Ethel Gale Williams bursary was created in her honor.

She published an article on the history of Morrin College in the McGill Daily (1930).

She married Herbert Henry Williams in Quebec City in 1941, son of Herbert Evans Williams, mining engineer, and of Frances Campbell.

– Patrick Donovan, June 2015

Gale 1

Morrin College, vers 1893. Ethel Gale est la deuxième à partir de la gauche de la rangée arrière Source : Collection de la Literary and Historical Society of Quebec


  • BLAIR, Louisa, Patrick DONOVAN et Donald FYSON. From Iron Bars to Bookshelves. Quebec: Septentrion, 2015 (forthcoming).
  • Census of Canada, 1881, 1911.
  • “Certificates for Quebec High School ‘62 Graduates.” Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, November 3, 1962.
  • Morrin College. Calendar of Morrin College, Quebec, 1897-98. Quebec: Printed at the Morning Chronicle office, 1897.
  • PENNY, Arthur Guy. Moulding our Tomorrows : A survey of the first hundred years of Protestant education in Quebec City, 1846-1946. Quebec:
  • Protestant Board of School Commissioners, 1947.
  • Registry of the Marine Hospital, Church of England, Québec. Baptism :  April 3, 1872. Drouin Collection.
  • Registry of Saint Andrew’s Church, Québec. Wedding : September 6, 1941. Drouin Collection.