Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Addison “Mac” McCoubrey (1885-1942)
Born at Glasgow, Scotland, the youngest of five sons born to James and Isobel McCoubrey, he spent several boyhood years in Spain. At the age of 15 years, he emigrated to Canada with his mother and worked on the farm of an older brother at Crandall, Manitoba. In 1904 he was hired by the Canadian Pacific Railway to undertake survey work in Saskatchewan. He would remain in the company’s employ for the next 37 years, becoming Chief Draughtsman of Western Lines and later Assistant Engineer. In 1917 he undertook studies at the University of Manitoba, culminating in a BSc degree. While there he helped to establish the University of Manitoba Students Union and served as its first president.
In 1912, he married Jennie Manthorne (?-1918). They had two children. He married again, to Alberta McCallum of Winnipeg and they had a son. He was a keen athlete, and especially enjoyed golf, tennis, curling, skiing, and mountain climbing. He was a member of numerous organizations, including the Royal Geographical Society, the Scientific Club of Winnipeg, the Natural History Society of Manitoba, the Ski Club of Great Britain, the Winnipeg Ski Club, the Puffin Ski Club, the Snow Birds Ski Club, the La Riviere Ski Club, the Alpine Club of London, the American Alpine Club, the Club Alpin Francais, and the Dolomite Club of Winnipeg. He joined the newly formed Alpine Club of Canada in 1908 and served as its Vice-President in 1928 and President from 1932 to 1934. From 1930 to 1942 he was editor of the Club’s Canadian Alpine Journal.
He died at his work desk in Winnipeg on 12 February 1942.
“Ski tracks”, Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 1942, page 18.
“Dr. Ferris Neave, F.R.S.C.: Manitoba’s unknown mountaineer of the 1930’s” by Karl E. Ricker In: Manitoba Climbers: A Century of Stories from the Birthplace of The Alpine Club of Canada. Winnipeg: Alpine Club of Canada – Manitoba Section, Christine Mazur, Simon Statkewich, and David Relkoff (editors), 2006, pp. 47-69.
“In memoriam, Alexander Addison McCoubrey 1885-1942” by Ferris Neave In: Manitoba Climbers: A Century of Stories from the Birthplace of The Alpine Club of Canada. Winnipeg: Alpine Club of Canada – Manitoba Section, Christine Mazur, Simon Statkewich, and David Relkoff (editors), 2006, pp. 77-81.
Page revised: 15 February 2010
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