Memorable Manitobans: Edwin Loftus (1868-1948)
Born on a farm near Orillia, Ontario on 12 March 1868, he taught school for several years in Ontario, including the Chatham Collegiate Institute. He came to Manitoba in 1893 to become Principal of the schools at Portage la Prairie, a post he held until 1898. While there, he enrolled in the Arts program of the University of Manitoba, from which he graduated in 1895. He enrolled in the Manitoba Law School in 1897. Over the next three years, he completed his law articling, the LLB program, and an MA thesis. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in June 1900, first in his class. He practiced law in Winnipeg as a partner in the firm of Aikins, Loftus, Aikins, Williams, and MacAulay, and was made a King’s Counsel in May 1918.
He served as a member, and for many years secretary, or the Board of Directors for Wesley College, and a member of the joint executive board of the United Church Colleges of Winnipeg. From the inception of the Manitoba Law School he was a member of its Board of Trustees, initially as a representative of the University (1915-16 and 1918-22) then as a representative of the Law Society (1922 to 1946). He lectured on real property and landlord/tenant law at the Law School from 1917 to 1934. Between 1926 and 1929, he assisted in the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, H. A. Robson, in running the Law School. He served as President of the Law Society of Manitoba from 1934 to 1935. In 1928, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba. He was also active with the Winnipeg General Hospital, Manitoba Amateur Athletic Association, Manitoba Football Association, Winnipeg Board of Trade, Young Liberal Club, YMCA, and Motor Country Club (President, 1944-1945).
He died on 18 January 1948 and was buried in the Hillside Cemetery at Portage la Prairie.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
“Winnipeg’s new King’s Counsel,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 May 1918, page 7.
“Pioneer barrister Edwin Loftus, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 January 1948, page 6.
“Hundreds pay tribute at Loftus funeral,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 January 1948.
The Law Society of Manitoba, 1877-1977, edited by Cameron Harvey, Peguis Publishers Limited, 1977, pages 248-249.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 8 March 2023