William Thompson Hallam

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William Thompson Hallam

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  • W. T. Hallam

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Rt. Revd. William Thompson Hallam was born in Derby, England on March 4, 1878, the son of Thomas Hallam, of Leicester, England. He came to Canada with his parents in 1887 and settled in London, Ontario. His early education was at the London College Institute. After training to become a teacher, Hallam received his Ontario public school teaching certificate in 1896. He then studied Classics at Dalhousie University, graduating with a BA honours in 1901. It was there that Hallam also met his future wife Lillian Hallam (née Best), a fellow classics student. After graduating, Hallam moved back to Ontario and was appointed a deacon in the Church of England in 1903. He graduated from Wycliffe College in 1904 and was ordained by the Archbishop of Toronto the same year. His first appointments were curate at St. Paul’s Church in Lindsay (1903-05), incumbent in Cannington and Beaverton, Ontario (1905-07), and assistant at All Saints’ Church in Toronto (1907-08). Hallam received his BD from Wycliffe College in 1908 and accepted a position at the college as a professor of New Testament History, which he held from 1909 to 1922. During this period he continued his studies and obtained his DD from the college in 1916. Hallam also served as the editor of the Canadian Churchman, the national journal of the Church of England in Canada, from 1918 to 1922, when he accepted a position as the principal of Emmanuel College in Saskatoon. He remained the principal of the college as well as sub-dean of St. John’s Cathedral, Saskatoon, until 1927. In January of that year, shortly before leaving his position at Emmanuel College, Hallam delivered a series of lectures as part of the Laurie Memorial Trust at King’s College, Halifax. He then moved back to Ontario in the summer of 1927 to take up the position of rector at the Church of the Ascension in Hamilton. In 1931 Hallam was elected Bishop of the diocese of Saskatchewan and moved back to Saskatoon. Shortly thereafter, the diocese was divided and Hallam became the Bishop of the diocese of Saskatoon, a position he held for the following 17 years until his retirement in 1949. During this period, Hallam travelled widely across Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada as well as to the United Kingdom in late 1935 and early 1936 and again in the summer of 1948, when he attended the 8th Lambeth Conference in London. In 1945 he was awarded an honorary LL.D from the University of Saskatchewan. After retiring as First Bishop of Saskatoon, Hallam moved back to Ontario and continued his ordained ministry in the position of Assistant Bishop of the diocese of Huron. In 1949 he also resumed his academic career and accepted a professorship of apologetics and practical theology at Huron College, London, where he additionally served as the Dean of Divinity. In 1952 Hallam’s book, The Victory of Faith: A Study in Christian Missions, was published by the Church of England in Canada. He died in London, Ontario, on July 25, 1956.

Hallam’s first wife, Lillian, was born in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and raised in Halifax. She studied classics at Dalhousie University and graduated with BA honours. She also obtained a MA from King’s University, Halifax. Throughout the career of W.T. Hallam, Lillian Hallam was active in a number of associations, including the Woman’s Auxilary, the Local Council of Woman, the Canadian Club, the Home and School Association, and the Council of Friendship. She also wrote a book entitled When You Are In Halifax: Sketches of Life in the First English Settlement in Canada, which was published by Church Book Room in 1937. Lillian died in 1939. Hallam later remarried Kathleen Hallam (née Coggs). W.T. Hallam and Lillian Hallam had three children: two sons, Beverley and Cyril, and one daughter, Isabelle Hallam Whitley.


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