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The Burgoyne Family

Burgoyne Family
The Burgoyne family has been prominent in St. Catharines for four generations, and an integral part of the Ridley community for nearly as long. Henry B. Burgoyne was one of Ridley’s veteran governors. As president and publisher of The St. Catharines Standard, and head of such organizations as the Henley Aquatic Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsman, he contributed greatly to the St. Catharines community.

Henry died in 1950. His son, William 'Bill' B.C. Burgoyne '37 attended the school for seven years and had a strong academic career. He later attended the University of Toronto where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He was active in the Second World War and returned home to succeed his father to the proprietorship of the newspaper.

Bill set the editorial policy at The Standard for twenty years. He achieved national recognition on three occasions by being elected the director of the Daily Newspaper Association. He was also Chairman of the Canadian section of the International Press Institute. He was very much involved in the local Anglican Church and was a strong supporter of rowing. Bill was chairman of the Centennial Regatta in 1967 and chairman for the World Rowing championships in 1970. His strong support of Ridley resulted in him becoming a governor in 1950.

He was particularly strong in his support of cadet activities; his local influence was decisive in easing Ridley into the St. Catharines rowing world. Bill died at a young age in 1970. His wife, Dorothy Burgoyne-Doolittle had a strong connection to Ridley throughout her lifetime, and 1979 saw the start of her special support of the female students attending the school.

Dorothy would host annual brunches for the female students—she had a genuine interest in their welfare. She also instituted the Dorothy Burgoyne Award for quiet leadership and integrity to a graduating girl. Dorothy was Ridley’s first female governor and a true patroness of the girls.

In 1988, Dorothy was vice-president of the Board of Governors, and they surprised her with the unveiling of a plaque naming Burgoyne House in honour of three generations of the family’s dedication to St. Catharines and Ridley. In 1997, another prize was donated in Dorothy’s name—this one honouring achievement in dance. When Ridley: A Canadian School was commissioned, Dorothy was asked to chair the book committee. In her forward, she concluded with, “As you can see, Ridley has been a part of my life for many years.”

Bill and Dorothy’s son, Henry B. Burgoyne '67 was also a wonderful supporter of the school and local community. While at Ridley, Henry had a very successful athletic career in harriers, gymnastics and diving. Henry took over as publisher of The Standard at the young age of 26, after the untimely death of his father. He became well-respected in the Canadian newspaper industry.

During Henry's years of leadership, the corporation grew to operate a chain of community newspapers. In 1985, his team of journalists won the national award for best investigative reporting in Canada. Henry was also an extremely active community volunteer, serving on numerous boards and charitable organizations. Dorothy died in 2010 and Henry in 2011.
P.O. Box 3013, 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7C3 Canada 905 684 1889
With more than 700 students from 60 countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the only   co-ed independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.