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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Durward (1885-1970)

Labour leader, municipal official.

Born at Aberdeen, Scotland on 8 November 1885, he came to Canada in 1904 and settled on a farm near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Four years later, he lost everything when a prairie fire swept through his property so he moved to Winnipeg and found work at the post office. He was one of 403 workers dismissed for taking part in the 1919 General Strike, where he served as Assistant Secretary of the Strike Committee. After the strike, he and some 300 others were not rehired, having been blacklisted by postal officials. He was later elected to the Winnipeg School Board then, in 1925, he became a Winnipeg city councillor, filling the vacancy left when A. A. Heaps became a Member of Parliament. He served until 1926, and again from 1928 to 1931 when he was defeated by Taras Ferley. He was a Labour candidate for the Winnipeg constituency in the 1927 provincial general election. He later worked for the Manitoba Department of Labour and was a factory inspector until his retirement in 1951. He died at Winnipeg on 20 September 1970 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.


“Six candidates are seeking aldermanic seats in ward three,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 November 1931, page 6.

“Winnipeg’s aldermen and school trustees for 1932 announced,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 December 1931, page 1.

“Strike leader on blacklist,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 July 1970, page 91.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 September 1970, page 29.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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