Memorable Manitobans: Gordon Harold Aikins (1887-1954)
Born at Winnipeg on 20 August 1887, son of James Albert Manning Aikins and Mary B. McLellan (?-?), he was educated at the Toronto Church school and the University of Manitoba, graduating with an Arts degree from the latter, in 1907. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1910, then joined the Winnipeg law firm established in 1879 by his father. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1925. At the time of his death, he was senior partner in the law firm of Aikins, MacAulay, Moffatt, Dickson, Hinch and McGavin. He served as President of the Canadian Bar Association (1942) and the Manitoba Sugar Company (1940-1952). He was also a director of several companies, including the Great-West Life Assurance Company, Canada Permanent Trust Company, Canada Permanent Mortgage Company, Canada Cement Company, Canadian Indemnity Company, Canadian Fire Insurance Company, and Holt Renfrew and Company.
During the First World War, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force, going overseas with the rank of Major and returning as Brigade Major of the Third Canadian Infantry Brigade. He was wounded in action and had a leg amputated that caused life-long pain. He was mentioned in despatches and received the Distinguish Service Order in 1918. He was later made an honorary Colonel of the Winnipeg Rifles.
On 28 June 1911, he married Myrtle Chalmers Clint (1888-1975, daughter of Dr. G. J. Clint) and they had four daughters: Jean Somerset Aikins (?-?, wife of Robert D. Mulholland), Margaret Anne Aikins, Myrtle Frances Mary “Dime” Aikins (1917-?, wife of Conrad Sanford Riley), and Mrs. R. W. Farren. He was a member of Grace United Church. Fond of golfing, shooting, riding and fishing, he was a member of the Manitoba Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, and St. Charles Country Club. He received an honorary doctorate from Laval University. He served as Chairman of the Board for the Riverbend School from its establishment to when it joined with the Rupert’s Land Girls School to form the present Balmoral Hall School.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 218 Roslyn Road, on 1 May 1954 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“Col. Aikins, city lawyer, dies at 67,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 1954, page 1.
“Col. Aikins is buried in St. John’s,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 May 1954, page 30.
Obituary [Myrtle Chalmers Aikins], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 November 1975, page 54.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 22 December 2019