Memorable Manitobans: Henri Letourneau (1907-2002)
Collector, curator, raconteur.
Born at Ste. Delphine, Saskatchewan on 13 September 1907, his love of history began early in life. In the 1940s, he began collecting antique guns and, through a long association with the St. Boniface Historical Society, he travelled the prairies collecting artefacts. This work accelerated in the 1960s when he collected many of the artefacts now housed in the St. Boniface Museum. He became its curator when the museum opened in 1968.
Letourneau recorded stories and songs of Metis and early settlers for the federal government, some of which were collected in his book Henri Letourneau Raconte. He brought some of these tales to Francophone television, playing a pipe-smoking storyteller between dramatized inserts in the CBWFT series “Autrefois a la Riviere Rouge”. In 1970, his work on behalf of preserving Manitoba history was recognized with an MHS Centennial Medal.
He died at Winnipeg on 28 November 2002.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 December 2002.
“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, pages A8-A9.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 July 2015
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