Celebrating St. James Centennial with the 100 Great St. James citizens

Fred Morris
From the desk of a gadfly

Early in this Centennial Year, I decided to make a list of 100 Great St. James Citizens. It did not take me very long to get to 100. I quickly found myself making additions and painful deletions to my list. I soon realized that any list made by only one person would likely only create controversy. However, if everyone had a chance to submit nominations, it could be positive part of our Centennial Celebrations. I would like to thank the 46 people who submitted nominations for 209 people.

Mural at 1845 Portage at Roseberry Street. Our apologies to Fred Morris who took this photo to go with his story in the August issue August and I overlooked it. – Ed.

I learned a lot about the tremendous contributions of many St. James citizens. The final list consists of all 66 people who received nominations from at least two people. The other 34 people were chosen from the 142 people who were nominated by one person. I began by selecting 10 nominees from my list. These nominees included two original St. James residents, Jane Inkster Tait and Peter Bruce. The final 24 people were nominated by other people. The published list of 100 Great Citizens is not ranked. Although this published list consists of 100 names, all 209 nominees are deserving. The city will archive the names of all 209 nominees. They are presented here in no particular order.

I look forward to your feedback. Please let me know about certain honours that I have missed that should be included in the Archive.

Fred Morris is a Grandfather, Sports Fan and Political Activist. Fred Morris can be reached at fredmorris@hotmail.com

1. Bruce Alexander, graduate of St. James Collegiate, St. James School Trustee 1986 to 2014

2. Aiden Conklin, long time School Trustee, School Board office at 2574 Portage named to honour his service

3. George Waters, School Trustee, Middle School named after him, Lifetime Member of the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce

4. Jae Eadie, Winnipeg City Councillor 1980 to 2006, Park named after him at 125 Parkside Drive

5. J. Frank Johnston, St. James Alderman 1965 1971, MLA 1969 to 1988, Provincial Cabinet Minister 1977 to 1981 

6. Al Mackling, lawyer ran for various political offices between 1953 and 2011, St. James Alderman 1962 to 1969, MLA 1969 to 1973 and 1981 to 1988 and Cabinet Minister 1969 to 1973 and 1982 to 1988

7. Pearl McGonigal, only St. James Alderwoman, Winnipeg City Councillor, Deputy Mayor, First Female Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, Order of Manitoba, street in front of Grace Hospital named for her

8. Susan Thompson, business owner, Winnipeg Mayor 1992 to 1998, One of the City Hall buildings at 510 Main Street is named in honour of her service

9. Reg Wightman, Druggist School Board Chairman, St. James Mayor 1945 to 1954, MLA 1949 to 1958 and many terms as a St. James Alderman, park at Linwood and Ness named in his honour

10. Dennis Dempsey, owned Clean Works, President of Manitoba Liberals, Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce Chair 1993/94

11. Jim Rondeau, MLA 1999 to 2016, Cabinet Minister 2002 to 2013

12. Eldon Ross, Business Owner, Winnipeg City Councillor 1972 to 1980. Swimming Pool at 1887 Pacific Avenue in recognition of his service

13. Bill Cowtun, pharmacist, worked for decades at his Drug Store at 2059 Portage Avenue

14. Dr. Alfred John Alcock, cared for 1950 flood evacuees at Deer Lodge Hospital, lead doctor during the polio epidemic

15. Graeme Haig QC, Lawyer, President of the Provincial PC’s in the early 1970s, Chamber of the St. James Assiniboia Commerce Chair 1966 67, 1977 Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal, 1985 Order of Canada

16. George E. Chapman QC, Lawyer, national race car champion, member of Manitoba and Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, member of the Manitoba Runners Association Hall of Fame, Past President of Western Canadian Aviation Museum

17. Jim Toal, Winnipeg Police Superintendent, Executive Director of Alcoholism Foundation, Police Service Award named for him, building at 1041 Portage named after him

18. Hartley Richardson, President of James Richardson and Sons, ensured the preservation of a Woodhaven Green Space, Order of Canada 2007, Order of Manitoba 2008

19. Connie Newman, School Principal, Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Senior Centers, played a major role in the building of Skate Park West

20. Elbridge Parker, School Educator, School Inspector 1911-49, St. James School Superintendent 1949-56, Life Member of Manitoba Trustees Association

21. Jack Thompson, PA Announcer for the first St. James Civic Centre Game, Deer Lodge Community Club President, area baseball scout for 2 Major League Teams, Voice of Baseball Winnipeg when he used his own equipment to host games, Manitoba Baseball Honour Society, member of Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame

 22. Steve Patrick Sr., (1932-2014) four-time Grey Cup Champion with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, MLA 1962 to 1977, Insurance Business Owner, founding member of Big Brothers, member of Manitoba Sports and Blue Bomber Hall of Fames, Order of the Buffalo Hunt, Silver Jubilee Medals

23. Jack Matheson, Sports editor Winnipeg Tribune worked for CKRC and CJOB, member of Hockey, Football, Basketball and Curling Hall of Fames, Sportswriters and Sportscaster Award named after him for aspiring sports commentators.

24. Stu MacPherson, WW2 BBC correspondent, host of 20 Questions, CJAY original, member of the first WHA Winnipeg Jets Broadcast Team member of the Canadian association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame

25. Kevin McCarthy, star player with WCHL Winnipeg Clubs, played 10 years in the NHL, 2006 Stanley Cup Championship as a Carolina Hurricanes Assistant Coach, member of Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame

26. Bud Harden, played in 1st Civic Centre Hockey Game. Won 2 little Grey Cups with the Winnipeg Hawkeyes, last Canadian Winnipeg Blue Bomber QB, Manitoba Bison award named for him, football broadcaster and Blue Bomber executive

27. James Patrick, 21 years as an NHL player, NHL Assistant Coach, member of Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, current Head Coach of the Winnipeg Ice

28. Meros Leckow, professional entertainer for over seven decades dating back to the vaudeville days managed Don Cossack dancers, created his own touring dance group, helped found Folklorama 

29. Jim Henry, NHL Goalie famous for his 1952 picture with Rocket Richard, member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, won 1 MJHL championship won two Allan Cups, 1950 winner of the Charlie Gardiner Award for the top USHL Goalie 

30. George Minaker Jr., elected at three different levels of government Municipal (served on the last St. James Council and the first post Unicity Winnipeg Council) Provincial, and Federal, Provincial Cabinet Minister 1979-81 

31. Claudia McPherson, swam both Lake Winnipeg and the English Channel before her 18th Birthday. 

32. Bill Hanks, Editor of St. James Leader, St. James Chamber of Commerce Chair 1941 to 1942, Mayor of St. James 1962 to 1971, Canada’s Centennial Medal, St. James Lions Club Distinguished Award, AW Hanks Walkway in Bruce Park named to honour him

33. Garth Pischke, Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Volleyball Hall of Fame, High School Sports Hall of Fame, successful as a player and coach in volleyball

34. Sandy Gibb, Manitoba Sprint Champion five years in a row, member of Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame

35. Lilja Leckow, helped establish the Scandinavian Folklorama Pavillon, a founder of Winnipeg Folk Arts Council, President of Icelandic Saga dancers, and helped establish Manitoba’s first Children’s Poison Centre

36. David Best, Reeve of St. James 1938 to 1945, MLA 1941 to 45 as a Conservative against the Coalition

37. Harry Dunwoody, Clerk of the Manitoba legislature 1929 to 1951, St. James Justice of the peace 1954 to 1959

38. Nora Grenfell, a founder of the U of M Rehabilitation School, Lifetime Membership in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association

39. Verna Pischke, swim coach

40. Bob Chipman, owner of Birchwood Automotive Group, on the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame

41. Gordie Rowland, four-time Grey Champion with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers also played soccer, member of Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame 

42. Greg Selinger, Winnipeg City Councillor, 1989 to 1992, Manitoba Finance Minister 1999 to 2011, Manitoba Premier 2011 to 2016, Order of Manitoba

43. Joan Whalley, Curling organizer for many events including the 1968 Canadian Ladies Curling Championship at the St. James Civic Centre, member of the Manitoba Sports, Manitoba Curling, and Canadian Curling Hall of Fames

44 Dr. Clive Wightman Sr., worked at clinics at 2031 Portage and 633 Lodge, performed the first surgery at the Booth Drive Grace Hospital 

45. Gordon Sinclair Jr., Minor League Pitcher, long time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press

46. Audrey Harden, mother and grandmother of many athletes including a CFL Quarterback and MLB Pitcher

47. Mrs. W. W. Harris, the member of the Bourke family who donated the land for Assiniboine School

48. Danny Summers, a member of the 1945 Grey Cup Finalist Winnipeg Blue Bombers, played on five Championship hockey teams AHL (1949), 1955/56 Winnipeg Warriors WHL, 1960 and 61 in the IHL, and the 1964 Winnipeg Maroons Allan Cup Champions, member of Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame

49. Con Sigurdson, teacher, and educational consultant, taught school in Katsina Nigeria, Principal of Assiniboine School 1970-74

50. Tom Thompson, 1981 MJHL Manager of the Year, Scout with the 1989 Stanley Cup Champs Calgary Flames, an executive with 2003 Calder Cup Champion Houston Aeros, member of the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame

51. Ab McDonald, member of the famous Weston line in the MJHL, four-time Stanley Cup winner, scored the Cup winning Goal for the 1961 Chicago Black Hawks, scored the first Winnipeg Jets Regular Season Goal, St. James Civic Centre Arena named in his honour, member of Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame

52. Carman Ruttan, druggist famous for the sign on his building at 2579 Portage stating “It’s a Long Tramp” referencing the distance to Portage La Prairie

53. Jim Johnston, scored the first goal in the St. James Civic Centre, played on the 1968 St. James Canadian MJHL Champions, the 1973 Wisconsin Badgers NCAA Champions, and the 1968 Winnipeg Hawkeyes Little Grey Cup Champions

54. George McCloy, CJOB original, hosted the Sunday Morning Shut In Show, did play by play for Bomber Games, Order of the Buffalo Hunt, and the 1992 125 Canadian Confederation Medal

55. Jack Wells, sportscaster morning radio man, often referred to Sunny St. James, member of Canadian Broadcasting, Manitoba Hockey, and Canadian Football Hall of Fames

56. Jim Siwicki, second generation owner of the Silver Heights Restaurant

57. Mark Chipman, Executive Chairman of True North Sports, 2005 James Hendy Trophy for the top AHL executive, brought the NHL back to Winnipeg in 2011, member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Order of Manitoba

58. Neil Bardal Jr., (1940 to 2010) third generation of the only Winnipeg Funeral Home owned by the Bardal family, Order of Manitoba

59. Ron MacIntosh, Teacher at Assiniboine School, First Principal of Deer Lodge Junior High, Principal St. James Collegiate Superintendent of St. James School Division, Deputy Minister of Education.

60. Doug Stanes, elected in 1955 and 1957 as a St James Alderman, MLA 1958 to 1969, Metro Council 1969 to 1971, Winnipeg City Councillor 1972 to 1977

61. Alex Reid, long time City Clerk for St. James

62. Lionel Fitzgerald, group of 7 Artist, 1929-1949 Principal of Winnipeg School of Art, famous for his painting of Synder’s house, back lane behind his Deer Lodge Place Home named FitzGerald Walk, building at the U of M named in his honour

63. Bertha Rand, provided a home for stray cats, a regular contributor to open line radio shows

64. George Knudson, member of 8 Sport Hall of Fames, Canadian golfer of the Century for the 1900’s, won many championships including 2 Manitoba Junior, three Manitoba Opens, eight PGA Tour Events, wrote the Natural Swing, Order of Canada

65. Jimmie King Jr., Band Leader, entertainment column for the Winnipeg Free Press, musical director for CKY Talent shows, 25-year involvement with Beer and Skits, President of St. James Museum

66. Irene Rowlin, music teacher, organist at Deer Lodge and St. James United Churches, School Trustee who promoted band programs

67. Dr. Allan Ronald, Doctor and microbiologist, world-wide expert in the control of infectious diseases. Order of Canada, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

68. Peter Bruce, the Bruce family started farming in St. James in the 1850s. In 1933, Peter died, and the Bruce farm was donated to St. James on the condition that it remain a green space

69. Jane Inkster Tait, long-time resident of Portage and Belvidere from the 1860s to the 1920s. The brick home at Portage and Belvidere built by Jane and her husband Robert Tait was a community hub for our pioneers

70. Wesley Steevens, University Professor, 1956-60 Editor of the Christian Scholar, 1994 and 2006 received from Germany the Humbolt Prise for Reasearch

71. Anita Schmidt, wrote Tales of A Trustee about long time Trustee Aiden Conklin, and On the Banks of the Assiniboine a history of St. James Anglican Church

72. Mary Ferguson, schoolteacher, author of the History Of St. James

73. Mary Ruttan, Robinson 1933 and 1936 Manitoba Fencing Champion,1938 Manitoba cross Country Ski Champion, founder of Puffin Ski Club, operated a dance studio, member of Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame

74. Elinor Ivanoff, Librarian at St James Collegiate who successfully lobbied for a school addition that included a Library and Band Room 

75. Ester Argue, a School Trustee who top the polls in seven straight Elections

76. Shirley Gingell, worked for Moore Business Forms and National Typewriter helped organize, the Red Ex Parades, the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Cheerleaders, and usherettes for the Concert Hall

77. Hugh McFayden, Lawyer, 1986 Manitoba Junior Curling Championship, 2006 to 2012 Provincial PC Leader

78. John Funnell QC, partner Thompson Dorfman and Sweatman chief Attorney for Manitoba Hydro, redrafted Manitoba Hydro Act, President of Manitoba Philharmonic Choir, Chancellor for Anglican Keewatin Diocese, Queens Silver Jubilee Medal

79. Dirk Lange, Theology Professor, currently on a Geneva based International Commission for Church Unity, worked on the liturgy and prayers for ecumenical services

80. John Guest, moved from Southern Ontario to manage the meat department at Winnipeg’s new Eaton’s Store at 320 Portage Avenue, St. James Councillor, in 1936 donated $500 for the construction of the Bruce Park Children’s Bathing Pool

81. Sully Bay, owned and operated Silver Heights Pharmacy between 1953-65. The Drug Store had a soda fountain

82. Harry Taylor, 1946 Memorial Cup with the Winnipeg Monarchs. Harry was his team’s leading scorer in the final, also won a 1949 Stanley Cup with the Leafs and 1951 Calder Cup with Cleveland, member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame

83. Murray Auld, 1967-81 President of Bristol Aero Space, 1981-85 Deputy Chairman of Rolls Royce, Order of Canada, Queen Elizabeth Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, CD Howe award, various Aviation industry honours

84. Ernie Parker, owner of Classic Theatre and St. James Leader Building, allowed fundraising garden parties in his home’s yard

85. Robert Lennox QC, first Chair of the St. James Chamber of Commerce in 1930. Also, Chair in 1945, lawyer, Secretary of the Lithium Corporation of Canada Active in many organizations including the Masons and the Sons of Scotland

86. Jimmie Palmer, 33 years on the Winnipeg Fire Department retiring as a Captain, Member of the 1954 Winnipeg Blue Bombers, member of Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame

87. Constance Waters, during WW2 member of Auxiliary Air Force in England, President of the Linwood Home and School Association, taught at the Manitoba Learning Center, various scholarships in her name

88. Katleen Weldon, taught various elementary grades at Linwood School in six different decades

 89. Karen Crerar Burgoyne, School Teacher, 1983-85 President of Assiniboine School Parent Council, 1994 YM YWCA Peace Medal, sang in many church choirs

90. Isabel Auld, Chancellor of the University of Manitoba, cofounded Canadian Consumers Association, Order of Buffalo Hunt, Order of Canada, Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal

91. Patrick Friesen, National award-winning poet and playwright two plays of note The Shunning, and Crazy Bone

92. May Johnston, 1942 St. James Collegiate Athlete of the Year, owner of Kings Florist

93. Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, well known doctor worked at the Mall Medical Group at 1868 Portage for over 30 years

94. Jean McFarlane, Medical Doctor obstetrician and gynecologist, at several hospitals, University of Manitoba Professor, 1944 Governor General Medal

95. Audrey Sheardown, Canadian National Archery Champion

96. Barbara Honey, church organist, music teacher, worked at Balmoral Hall for 20 years

97. Betty Deacon, volunteer for the Deer Lodge Hospital, member of the Altar Guild at St. Andrews Anglican Church

98. George Maltby, St. James Chief of Police, Manitoba’s first Ombudsman Order of the Buffalo Hunt

99. Carol Black Moir, crowned Miss Manitoba during Manitoba’s Centennial Year, Marketing Coordinator at the Winnipeg Convention Center, hostess of Kinsman TV Bingo

100. Harry Monk, in 1924 he established College Electric played on Jimmy Welsh’s curling team winning three Grand Aggregates, three Manitoba Men’s Curling Championships, and the 1947 Brier, in 1997 the team was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame, Harry Life Member of the Deer Lodge Curling Club.

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