Memorable Manitobans: Robert Drummond (1873-1955)
Banker, civil servant.
Born at Craighead, Manchline, Ayrshire, Scotland on 28 January 1873, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Drummond, he was educated at the local Public School. He served an apprenticeship in the Royal Bank of Scotland at Kilmarnock. At the age of 21, he went to South Africa to join the staff of the Standard Bank at Cape Town and was later transferred to its branch at Bulawayo, Matabeland. He remained there about two years but left the bank and became interested in gold mining. During the Matabele Rebellion, he was a member of the corps known as Dawson’s Horse and received the Rhodesian Medal in 1896. Prior to the Boer War, he worked in the office of the Glen Deep gold mine near Johannesburg. He escaped into Kimberley just as the Boers besieged the town and was in the siege for four months, having joined the Diamond Field with which he remained throughout the war from October 1899 to June 1902. He left Africa in 1906 after spending the intervening period with business firms in Cape Town.
In 1906, he came to Canada and was employed at the Smiths Falls, Ontario branch of the Union Bank of Canada. He returned to Scotland in 1908 then came back to Canada, this time to Winnipeg and for some time was employed by the Imperial Oil Company. He later worked for the Northern Crown Bank. On 1 June 1910, he was appointed Assistant Accountant in the Treasury Department of the Manitoba provincial government. Five years later, when the Comptroller General’s Department was created, he was appointed Chief Accountant and held the position for five years. On the resignation of the then Comptroller-General, he was placed in charge of the department. He was appointed Acting Comptroller-General effective from 31 December 1920 and formally received the appointment of Comptroller-General on 1 December 1921. He retired in 1932.
On 5 September 1911, he married Bessie Blanch Willman of Campbellford, Ontario, at Winnipeg. They had no children. In 1925, they lived at 825 McMillan Avenue, Winnipeg. He was a member of the Assiniboine Lodge 114, G.R.M and St. Augustine United Church.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Ex-Manitoba govt. official dies at 82,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 1955, page 39.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 1955, page 30.
We thank Norma Richards for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 29 November 2016