Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Robert “Bob” Almey (1895-1988)


Born at Leicester, England on 25 March 1895, he came to Canada at age 16 and attended the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph. During the First World War, he enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps then returned to college after his military discharge. He was appointed Manitoba’s first provincial horticulturalist in 1921, then joined the Canadian Pacific Railway as chief horticulturalist of the western lines in 1928. He was responsible for most of the landscaping at CPR railway depots. He was promoted to general agriculture agent in 1946, and he retired in 1960. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Manitoba Horticultural Association (1923-1927), and President of the Winnipeg Horticultural Society and Winnipeg Gladiolus Society. A rosybloom ornamental crabapple developed at the Morden Experimental Farm in 1945, named for him, was chosen Canada’s centennial tree in 1967. In 1970, he was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt for his contributions to Manitoba horticulture. He was married twice, first to Sarah Pearl “Sadie” Rogers (1890-1963) with whom he had a daughter and second to Olive M. Wright (1901-1989). He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 17 July 1988.


Obituary [Sarah P. Almey], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1963, page 23.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 July 1988, page 36.

Obituary [Olive M. Almey], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 1989, page 46.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 April 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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