Museum honours and celebrates the life and times of Dr. Paul Hiebert
Chemistry professor and nationally recognized author, Dr. Paul Hiebert was born in Pilot Mound, Manitoba on July 17, 1892.
Hiebert dedicated his life to acquiring knowledge and passing on that knowledge. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba in 1916, Hiebert continued his studies at the University of Toronto, where he acquired his Master of Arts in Gothic and Teutonic Philosophy (1917). After graduating, Hiebert decided to become a medical doctor. In order to fund his university education, he became a teacher in Saskatchewan after he completed some training. He also became the principal at the Gimli and Ochre River high schools. Meanwhile, Hiebert started taking the prerequisite courses in science. During this time, he was convinced that he was to pursue a career as a university professor. Therefore, in 1922, he acquired his Master of Science in Physics and Chemistry at McGill University. It was here that he also obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry. Upon completion of his rigorous studies, Dr. Hiebert became a chemistry professor at the University of Manitoba. After retiring in 1953, Hiebert moved to Carman, Manitoba to focus on his artistic writings.
Hiebert’s artistic journey started at a very young age, and he continued to write until he was past ninety years of age. As a child, he would write poetry while working in the family store in Altona. Later on in life, Hiebert wrote several books, including Sarah Binks (1947), Tower in Siloam (1966), Willows Revisited (1967), Doubting Castle (1976), For the Birds (1980), and Not as the Scribes (1984). Several of these won awards, such as Sarah Binks, which won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour in 1947. Also, Dr. Hiebert frequently published articles in newspapers and periodicals.
Throughout his lifetime, many awards and honours were bestowed upon Dr. Paul Hiebert. In 1972, Hiebert was presented with the Good Citizenship Award (Manitoba). He was also honoured with the Order of Canada in 1976.
Hiebert died in Carman on September 6, 1987. His house that was located at 118 Third Street S.W. was designated a Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site but has since been demolished. The site remains a Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site.
Having made his mark in many distinct fields, Hiebert is remembered as one of Canada’s major humorists, as a teacher who touched the lives of several students and colleagues, as a minister of the United Church of Canada, and as a public figure.
The Dufferin Historical Museum celebrates the life and times of Dr. Paul Hiebert by dedicating a portion of the museum to this creative and remarkable individual. The display includes information on the professor/author and photos of Hiebert. This display also showcases all of his books and several jewelry artifacts that were donated by his wife.
Written by: Rachael Smith