Memorable Manitobans: John Aird (1855-1938)
Born at Longueil, Quebec on 15 November 1855, son of William and Margaret Aird, he was educated at the Toronto Model School. He engaged in railway work for six years and in banking for thirty-one. He was Manager of the Commerce Bank in Winnipeg (1899-1908) and Superintendent of Western Canadian operations (1908-1911) before returning to Toronto. Knighted in 1917, he chaired the Aird Commission on Radio Broadcasting (1928-1929). The Aird Commission recommended the nationalization of broadcasting in Canada, leading to the establishment of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, which in 1936 became the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
He was married to Eleanor Lawlor Johnston (1858-?), with whom he had three sons and three daughters, including Margaret Helen Aird (1884-1981, wife of Francis F. Carruthers), Phoebe E. Aird (1888-?), Hugh R. Aird (1892-?), and Eleanor W. Aird (1898-?). He was a member of the Toronto Club, Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, and Carleton Club. His recreations including golf, curling, bowling, and lacrosse. In 1911, he lived at 432 Assiniboine Avenue, Winnipeg.
He died at Toronto, Ontario on 30 November 1938.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, 1911. C. W. Parker, editor. Canadian Press Association, Vancouver.
“Sir John Aird, noted Canadian banker, is dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 November 1938, page 1.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 February 2019
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