Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Derward Alton Duncan (1895-1990)

Lawyer, municipal official.

Born at Rosebank on 8 June 1895, son of John Duncan and Isabelle Patterson, he was educated at Rosebank country schools as well as in Winnipeg and Morden. He articled in law to S. E. Richards of the Winnipeg law firm of Richards, Sweatman, Fillmore and Riley. In 1916, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and served in France at Lens, Hill 70, Passchendaele, and Arras until being wounded in action at Amiens in early August 1918, returning to Winnipeg and continuing his law studies. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1920.

He established a law practice at Miami in 1921 where he served as Solicitor for the Rural Municipality of Thompson and Canadian Bank of Commerce. He later practiced law at Morden until his retirement in 1976, being appointed a police magistrate in 1941 and serving in that position for nearly twenty years, being appointed a Queen’s Counsel (1960) and serving as a bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba (1961).

He served as the Mayor of Morden (1946-1952) and during his tenure, Morden became one of the first rural Manitoba towns to establish a waterworks and sanitary sewerage system. In 1951 he was selected as Morden’s Citizen of the Year. He was a Mason, a Presbyterian, and a Liberal. His recreations included curling and golf.

He died at Morden on 26 August 1990. He is commemorated by Duncan Street in Winnipeg.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Nine Manitoba lawyers named Queen’s counsel,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1960, page 32.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 August 1990, page 36.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 July 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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