Memorable Manitobans: Helgi Halldor Austman (1922-2005)
Agriculturalist, community activitist, municipal official.
Born at Vidir, Manitoba, the only child of Anna and Halldor Austman, he was educated at Arborg and Teulon. In 1948, he graduated from the University of Manitoba, receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal. His career began as the district Ag Rep for Teulon. He later became Assistant Director of the Extension Service, and still later Assistant Deputy Minister of Agriculture responsible for Rural Development. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, graduating with MSc (1959) and PhD (1961) degrees. He retired to Gimli in 1977 and, while in retirement, worked with CIDA in Guyana, Swaziland, and India.
He served as President of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the Western Canadian Farm Safety Conference and the Canadian Society of Rural Extension, and Chairman of the Advisory Council on Scientific Affairs and the Manitoba Veterinary Services Commission. He was a Charter Member of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists and the Canadian Society of Rural Extension. He was made a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada in 1984. He was inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2008.
He served as a councillor in the Rural Municipality of Gimli, President of the Gimli Rotary Club and its District Governor (1991-1992). He served six years on the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, was President of the Icelandic National League and an active member of its Gimli chapter. He also served as a Director of the New Icelandic Heritage Museum. He was a member of the Guttormor Memorial Committee and the Rural Municipality of Gimli Centennial Committee.
He died on 17 December 2005.
Citation, Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 December 2005.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 September 2011
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