Memorable Manitobans: Edgar Douglass Richmond Bissett (1889-1990)
Physician, MP (1926-1930).
Born at Louisburg, Nova Scotia on 3 May 1889, son of James D. Bissett and Annie Gardiner, he was educated at Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick), the University of Toronto, and the University of Manitoba (MD, 1915). He practised medicine at Pine Falls and Beausejour, and was surgeon to the Abitibi Pulp and Paper Company, and the Canadian Pacific Railway (Kenora to Winnipeg). He served as Medical Health Officer for Town of Beausejour, Rural Municipality of Brokenhead, and Rural Municipality of Whitemouth, and he was a Provincial Coroner. He was a member of the Canadian and Manitoba Medical Associations.
He was married to Jean Catherine Balfour of Wolseley, Saskatchewan, with whom he had two daughters. He surveyed and mapped the lakes of Manitoba and wrote a book on the freshwater fish of the province. He served as Vice-President of the Manitoba Motor League, in charge of eastern Manitoba. Defeated in the 1920 provincial general election and 1925 federal general election, he was elected to the House of Commons for Springfield in 1926. Defeated in 1930 by Thomas Hay, he returned to the practice of medicine. During the Second World War, he served with the rank of Major in the Canadian Army Medical Corp. He moved to British Columbia late in his life, serving as a doctor at Woodfibre for over 20 years until his retirement in 1981.
He died at Squamish, British Columbia on 14 January 1990 and was buried in Ocean View Burial Park at Burnaby. The community of Bissett was named for him.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 January 1990, page 32.
Geographic Names of Manitoba, Manitoba Conservation, 2000.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 April 2018
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