Memorable Manitobans: Harold Walker “Hal” Grant (1922-2002)
Born at St. James on 10 April 1922, he served as a flight instructor with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War then joined active duty before D-Day as a fighter pilot with the RAF 209 Spitfire squadron. He flew in combat from England and on the European continent, and witnessed the liberation of Bergen-Belson concentration camp.
After the war, he returned to Winnipeg and, in 1950, earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba. He rejoined the Air Force after graduation and served three more years before resigning to join Standard Aero Engine Limited in 1953. He spent 30 years with the company, establishing its Engineering Department and bringing the gas turbine engine to the firm in the 1960s. Starting as Manager of Engineering and Contracts, he became Vice President of Engineering and Contracts, and later Vice President and General Manager. In 1974, he was promoted to President of Standard Aero Limited. He served as Chair of the Air Industries Association and received the Medal of Paris in 1967.
After his retirement from Standard Aero, he was appointed by the Government of Manitoba as advisor and temporary President of the Assiniboia Downs, advisor and temporary President of McKenzie Seeds in Brandon, and Chair of the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation. He was a founding member of Silver Heights United Church, and he served on the Board of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and St. James-Assiniboia Seniors Centre.
He died on 1 August 2002.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 August 2002.
“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, pages A8-A9.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 10 July 2016
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