Memorable Manitobans: George Jackson Laird (1859-1940)
Born on 30 May 1859 in Barrie, Ontario, son of Methodist minister John G. Laird, following a BA degree from Old Victoria College in Cobourg, Ontario (now part of the University of Toronto), he went to the University of Breslau in Germany, where he completed a PhD in crystallography. He returned to Canada, arriving in Winnipeg in 1888 to become one the first two professors at Wesley College (now the University of Winnipeg), lecturing in Physics, Chemistry, and German.
Laird served as President of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba from 1895 to 1897. In 1900, he succeeded Isaac Pitblado as Registrar of the University of Manitoba, and he also served as a part-time lecturer in Natural Science. He lost the lecturership in 1904 but remained as University Registrar until 1907, when he moved to Edmonton, Alberta. He took a position with the R. J. Whitla wholesale dry goods firm which he held to his retirement. He returned to Winnipeg circa 1920.
Dr. Laird was a devoted member of Broadway Methodist Church, being an member of its choir for the last 20 years of his life. He had been a member of the Carleton Club and was at one time its President. He was also President of the Granite Curling Club (1904-1905).
He died unmarried at his home on 31 March 1940 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
The Canadian Album: Men of Canada or Success by Example, Vol. III, Bradley, Garretson & Co., Brantford, Ontario, 1894.
We thank Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 April 2022