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Memorable Manitobans: George Allan Lister (1873-1943)

Educator, manager, municipal official.

Born at Perth, Ontario in 1873, he attended public schools and collegiate locally before entering the teaching profession and serving at one of two local schools for six years. He moved to Winnipeg and worked as a teacher in the Winnipeg School Division (?-1893), bookkeeper for John Arbuthnot’s Western Lumber Company (1894-1900), Manager of the Keewatin Lumber & Manufacturing Company Limited (1901-c1909), and Manager of the Rat Portage Lumber Company Limited (c1910-1915).

He served as Chairman of the School Division’s School Management Committee (1907-1909) and, with John Thomas Haig, laid the cornerstone of Cecil Rhodes School in 1908. He was a School Trustee (1903-1916) and School Board Chairman (1909-1910), resigning in May 1916 to become Chief Attendance Officer (1916-c1931), in charge of enforcing mandatory school attendance in Winnipeg. He was also Superintendent of a Sunday School (1895) and Vice-President of the Intermediate Teachers’ Union (1903).

On 13 February 1895, he married Jessie May Dunbar (1869-1905, daughter of William A. Dunbar), the first marriage celebrated in the St. Andrews Church. The couple had one child, Allan Dunbar Lister (1896-1896). He would re-marry on 26 January 1910, to Annie Elizabeth Hunter (1878-?) at Winnipeg. He resided at 485 Ross Avenue (1892), 464 Elgin Avenue (1896-1903), and 383 Cumberland (1904-1931).

He moved to British Columbia around 1931 where he later died on 25 August 1943 at Victoria and was buried in Colwood Cemetery.


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Wedding Bells,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 14 February 1895, page 8.

“Sunday School work in Winnipeg,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 May 1903, page 3.

“Deaths,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 December 1905, page 13.

“Candidates elect,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 December 1906, page 10.

“New chairman of school board,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 January 1909, page 14.

“The Children’s Charter,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 November 1916, page 9.

“Local notes,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 November 1920, page 14.

“Looking backwards,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1938, page 3.

“Looking backwards,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1941, page 3.

“George Allan Lister,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 August 1943, page 2.

Henderson’s Winnipeg Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 16 March 2014

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