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Memorable Manitobans: Earl Phillip Dawson (1925-1987)

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Earl Phillip Dawson
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Businessman, hockey coach and executive, MLA (1966-1969).

Born at St. Boniface on 17 December 1925, son of Thomas and Irene Dawson, he was educated at Provencher School. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Army during the Second World War. He moved to Rivers in 1951 where he operated a dry-cleaning business for 19 years. He served as a Rivers town councillor from 1957 to 1965, was President of the Rivers Chambers of Commerce, and was active in the Rivers Air Cadet Squadron.

On 29 June 1949, he married Madeline Catherine O’Callaghan. They had five children: William, Patrick, Nancy, Donald, and Randall. A coach of the local hockey team, he joined the executive of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association in the early 1950s, eventually serving as its president for five years. He then joined the rules committee of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, and became its vice-president in 1966, the same year he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature as a representative for the Hamiota constitutency. Elected in the 1966 provincial general election, he was defeated in 1969 by Morris McGregor. He became CAHA president in 1968 and resigned in 1970 to work for Sports Canada in Winnipeg, where he was instrumental in organizing the Canada Games. That same year, he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society.

He died of lung cancer on 28 March 1987.


“Hockey loses Dawson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1987.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1987, page 33.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 December 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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