Memorable Manitobans: Paul Vincent Coldrey Adams (1920-2019)
Born at North London, England in 1920, only child of Edward Coldrey Adams (1873-1965) and Grace Elizabeth Roberts (1897-1995), he came to Winnipeg as an infant and spent his childhood in St. James. When he was 13, the entire family converted to Catholicism and he attended high school and university at St. Paul’s College where he served as Senior Stick and was the founding editor of The Paulinian newspaper. After completing a BA degree in 1942, he enlisted in the Canadian Army and was a training officer at Red Deer, Alberta before going overseas, rising to the rank of Captain, and completing his military duty as a logistics officer at Paris, France.
After returning home, he completed a medical degree and, in 1950, married Louise Marguerite Bernier (1925-2011, daughter of Alexandre Bernier) with whom he would have seven children, including Christopher J. Adams. He began practicing medicine in 1952 and, the following year, moved his young family to Langdon, North Dakota where he had a general practice until 1959. At that time, he returned to Winnipeg to specialize in obstetrics and gynaecology. As the only Catholic obstetrician in the city during the 1960s, he was drawn into the debate about birth control, and established a series of organizations catering to women who wished to use natural methods of doing so. He and his wife founded Pregnancy Distress Service which operates today as the Thrive Community Support Circle. He became President of the medical staff at St. Boniface Hospital in 1978, serving until retirement, after which he worked as a hospice volunteer, wrote two volumes of family memoirs, and was active in the community and his church. In 2017, he was invested into the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Francis.
He died at Winnipeg on 13 November 2019.
Obituary [Edward C. Adams], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 February 1965, page 37.
Obituary [Grace Elizabeth Adams], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 March 1995, page 30.
Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Christopher J. Adams for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 20 November 2019
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