Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Douglas Henry Walter “Doug” Lawrence (1926-2015)

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Douglas Henry Walter Lawrence
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Administrator, social worker.

Born at London, England on 13 March 1926, during the Second World War he served in the British Merchant Navy (1942-1946). In 1949, he arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the RMS Aquitania and took up residence in Manitoba.

He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Social Work degree, and worked at the Logan Neighbourhood House, with the Boy Scouts, and Royal Canadian Air Cadets (Beaver Squadron) in Winnipeg. At the Knowles Home for Boys in North Kildonan, he was first the Program Director (?-?) and then Executive Director (1955-1959), followed with tenure as Superintendent of the Manitoba Home for Girls (1959-1965) in West St. Paul. From 1965 to 1967, he was as a community development consultant to the federal government and was Executive Director of Neighbourhood Service Centres of Greater Winnipeg (1967-1971).

In January 1971, he became a Program Supervisor / Rehabilitation Officer at the Headingley Correctional Institution, where he also served as Acting Superintendent (1973) and Superintendent (1973-1975). He went on to work as Director of Adult Corrections Manitoba (1977-1983) and a Senior Policy Analyst (1980s) for the provincial government, wherein he was awarded the Corrections Exemplary Service Medal (1985).

On 26 July 1947, he married Joan Marguerite Rich (1925-2012) and they had five children.

He died on 20 January 2015.

Sources:

“Man takes over Home for Girls,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 1959, page 3.

“Directors, social workers, form team,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 March 1971, page 51.

“Lawrence named Jail Superintendent,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 April 1973, page 7.

“Jail operating normally,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 April 1973, page 30.

News Service, Appointees announced for Corrections posts, 7 February 1975, Government of Manitoba.

“Archer jail-scuffle inquiry ruled out,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 January 1979, page 9.

“Evans replaces officials in corrections branch,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 October 1983, page 3.

News Service, Twelve Correctional Officers get medals, 18 October 1985, Government of Manitoba.

From Boys’ Home to Treatment Centre: A History of the Knowles Centre Inc. by Kristine Baker, 1995.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 January 2015.

Obituary [Joan Lawrence], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 2012.

We thank Janet Lawrence for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 22 September 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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