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Memorable Manitobans: John William “Bill” Arbuthnot (1917-2005)


Born at Victoria, British Columbia on 24 January 1917, son of John William Arbuthnot (1888-?) and Theresa Anna McDonnell (1895-1956), grandson of John Arbuthnot, he moved with his parents to Winnipeg as a small child. He lived there for the majority of his life working in the electronics business, eventually as the owner and manager of Arbuthnot Audio Electronics. Many Winnipeg musicians started their recording careers in his studio on Taché Avenue in St. Boniface. For many years, he provided the sound systems for the floats in the annual T. Eaton Santa Claus Parade. He loved music and spent countless hours in his basement listening to recordings and sharing his passion with others. He was also an avid collector of antique telephones. In 1977, he and his wife Isabel Rosalie Derrien (1917-2012), whom he married in 1942 and with whom he had four children, moved to Vancouver Island for their retirement years. He died there on 6 October 2005.


Marriage registration [John William Arbuthnot, Theresa Anna McDonnell], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“The social whirl,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 July 1914, page 6.

Obituary [Theresa Anne Arbuthnot], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 July 1956, page 2.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 November 2005.

Obituary [Isabel Rosalie Arbuthnot], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 September 2012.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 July 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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