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Memorable Manitobans: Hugh Cairns Macfarlane (1890-1988)


Born at Knowlton, Quebec on 30 May 1890, son of George and Ellen McFarlane, he was educated at Knowlton Academy before becoming a clerk in the sleeping and dining car department of the Canadian Pacific Railway in spring 1910. He had a series of postings in this department that took him to St. John, Halifax, and Ottawa. He then spent 14 years as general manager in Montreal’s Windsor Station. In 1924, he came to Winnipeg but quickly moved on to Calgary for three years. He spent time in Banff before returning to Winnipeg where he became assistant manager at the Royal Alexandra Hotel in spring 1935. A year later, he was made manager of this establishment, eventually retiring in 1956.

He served as governor of the St. Charles Country Club and belonged to the Gyro Club, Khartum Shriners, and the Winnipeg Court of Jesters, an affiliation of the Masonic order. A baseball and hockey player in his youth, he enjoyed golf later in life. He and his wife Eila Isabel shared one son, Clinton Macfarlane.

He died at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia on 20 June 1988.


“Boniface by instinct,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 October 1948. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 59]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 June 1988, page 33.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden.

Page revised: 6 March 2011

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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