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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Melville “Mel” Gunson (c1926-1972)


Born at Crandall around 1926, son of John Gunson, he attended Crandall School and Hamiota School, later earning BA and BEd degrees en route to a career in education. During the Second World War, he served in the military for three years. He then taught for 24 years, at Eriksdale School, Birch River, Grandview School, the latter where he met and married Marjorie Adele “Marge” Lawson (1931-2005) at the United Church in Grandview on 30 June 1954. The couple had two sons. They settled at Beausejour where he was Principal of Beausejour Collegiate (1954-1961). When faced with the School Board’s offer of transferring to Whitemouth Collegiate as Principal or returning to Beausejour Collegiate as a teacher, he refused and took legal action against the Agassiz School Division before departing for Fort Garry, where he was Principal of Ralph Maybank School and Dalhousie School. He worked for the Department of Youth and Education (Curriculum Branch) and was President of the Principals Association and President (Tache District) of the Boy Scout Association. He died on 3 July 1972. He and his wife are commemorated by the Marge and Mel Gunson Memorial Award at the University of Manitoba.


“Miss Marjorie Lawson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 1954, page 20.

“Trip to Mexico follows Gunson - Lawson bridal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 July 1954, page 14.

“Principal sues Board,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 July 1961, page 3.

“Court order refused,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 July 1961, page 3.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 July 1972, page 35.

Obituary [Marjorie Gunson], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 January 2005, page 29.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 21 May 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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