Memorable Manitobans: Patrick Anderson “P. A.” Macdonald (1857-1951)
Born at Gananoque, Ontario on 6 January 1857, he attended the Toronto Model School and the grammar schools at Gananoque and Kingston. He received a BA degree from Queen’s University in 1876. After four years of law studies, he was called to the Ontario Bar in 1880 and, later that year, moved to Winnipeg. In his early law practice there, he was affiliated with several prominent barristers, including Gerald F. Brophy, J. M. Macdonnell, and J. D. Cameron. During the 1885 North West Rebellion, he served with the cavalry. In 1888, he was appointed referee and master of the Court of King’s Bench, and was later made a police magistrate. He was appointed chairman of a board of conciliation between the Canadian Pacific Railway and its machinists in 1908. He replaced H. A. Robson as Public Utilities Commissioner for Manitoba, serving from 1915 to 1922, then retired from public life.
He served on the advisory board of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and was a life member of the Board of Governors for the Winnipeg General Hospital.
He was one of the founders of several sports organizations in Winnipeg, including the Assiniboine Curling Club and the Winnipeg Rowing Club. He was one of the original members of the Iron Rink and later joined the Granite Curling Club. He was the first winner of the Tuckett curling trophy in 1904, and the Walker trophy in 1907. Fond of canoeing, he was a member of a party that paddled to Hudson Bay. It is said that he brought the first hockey stick to Manitoba following a visit to Eastern Canada, forming a club from which developed into the Victorias Hockey Club. He was an honorary member of the Manitoba Club and St. Charles Country Club.
He died at Winnipeg on 3 April 1951 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
“P. A. Macdonald marks 90th year”, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 January 1947.
“Pioneer city barrister, P. A. Macdonald, 94, dies”, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 1951, page 1.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 April 2012
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