Memorable Manitobans: Harry John Enns (1931-2010)
Farmer, singer, MLA (1966-1969), MLA (1969-1973), MLA (1973-1977), MLA (1977-1981), MLA (1982-1986), MLA (1986-1988), MLA (1988-1990), MLA (1990-1995), MLA (1995-1999), MLA (1999-2003).
Born at Winnipeg on 30 November 1931, son of Johann Herman Enns and Agathe Unruh (?-1978), his father was a minister for the First Mennonite Church. He farmed near Woodlands. A life-long member of the Progressive-Conservative Party, in 1966 he became the MLA for Rockwood-Iberville (Lakeside) after some encouragement from his brother Siegfried Enns who was the Member of Parliament for Portage-Neepawa at the time. He served for 37 years under four premiers, being re-elected in 1969, 1973, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, and 1999, and retiring in 2003.
In the course of his political tenure, he held several ministerial portfolios, including Agriculture (1967-1968, 1993-1999), Highways (1967-1968), Mines and Natural Resources (1968-1969), Public Works (1977-1978), Highways and Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (1977-1978), Highways and Transportation (1978-1979), Government Services (1979-1981), and Natural Resources (1981, 1989-1993). In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
He was married twice, first to Helene Klassen (?-?) and second in 1984 to Eleanor Jones Buffie (1945-2011). He had five children. In his younger years he appeared on Rainbow Stage in such productions as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He sang with his family in charity concerts; he sang for his constituents at weddings, anniversaries and funerals; and he sang as he operated his farm.
He died on 24 June 2010 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 June 2010.
Obituary [Eleanor Enns], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 March 2011.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
We thank Gary Filmon for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 April 2022