Ernests Slaucītājs was born on the family farm “Silamītes”
in Jaunlaicene parish near Alūksne, Latvia on 1st of August 1903 to Kārlis and Anna Slaucītājs. He completed his primary education in Alūksne, and then enrolled at the Ministry of Agriculture's Cultural and Technical Highschool (Zemkopības ministrijas Kultūrtechniskā vidusskola) in Riga in 1920, graduating in 1924. He then started his studies at the University of Latvia in the Faculty of Agriculture. Concurrently he began to study the bassoon at the Latvian Academy of Music in 1926.
In 1929 he returned to Aluksne he began his mandatory service in the Latvian Armed Forces (Latvijas Bruņoto spēku 7. Siguldas kājinieku pulks Alūksnē). After completing his service in 1930, he returned to work in Riga at the Ministry of Agriculture's survey department as a surveyor. He also continued his studies at the Latvian Academy of Music, but did not graduate. He moved to Liepaja and became involved in the local music scene with choirs and orchestras.
In 1938 Ernests married to Nanija Kalniņa from Riga, and they had one son, Mikus (born 6th
January 1941) before they left Latvia, Ernests and his relative, Professor Leonīds Slaucītājs
, compiled a family tree and a historical book to correspond with those on the tree dating back as far as 1680 in the Alūksne region. They traveled with their belongings on a horse drawn wagon, eventually ending up in Berlin, Germany. They eventually ended up in the British occupied zone.
After spending several years in displaced persons' camps, Ernests and his family immigrated to Canada. After working in Northern Quebec for one year, the Slaucitajs family moved to Toronto, Ontario, where they bought a home in the east end near Lake Ontario. Ernests took jobs as a custodian, and would often get together with fellow Latvians to play music in their home. He formed a marching band that played at the annual "Cemetery Day" in York Cemetery and at other events. Besides his interest in music, he enjoyed pencil drawing, and would often draw people.
Ernests passed away in 1989 and was interred at St. James Cemetery in Toronto.
Recording of Toronto Latvian marching band conducted by Ernests Slaucītājs is available at National Library of Latvia Digital library.
Information provided by Clifton Slaucītājs.