Dorothy Sheila Marryat




Life and Work

An early radio personality, Sheila Marryat was the first radio secretary and director of programs at CKUA, originally the University of Alberta (U of A) radio station.

Born and educated in England, Sheila was the youngest child of Colonel and Mrs. E.L. Marryat. She came to Alberta at the age of 16 when her father retired to a ranch at Haunted Lakes near Alix. Sheila's older sister, Irene Parlby, was one of Alberta's Famous Five women who worked to have the British Privy Council declare women "persons" under law.

In 1918 Sheila enrolled in the Olds School of Agriculture (OSA) in the agricultural program. Upon graduation from OSA, she attended the University of Alberta where she completed a bachelor of science in agriculture in 1923. While at the U of A, Sheila was an active member of the University Dramatic Club and performed in many of their productions. Impressed by her talent, university president Dr. Robert Wallace invited her to direct the fledgling CKUA.

For 12 years, she was program director, dramatist, script writer, on-air hostess and technician for the station. She formed the CKUA Players, which performed works by Alberta playwrights. Her series, The Building of Canada was picked up by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and broadcast nationally. In 1938, she became a Winnipeg-based producer for the CBC. She died in retirement in Victoria in 1962.