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David J. McDowell

Click to enlarge

David J. McDowell
Click to enlarge

Educator, historian.

Born at Brandon, son of Herbert W. McDowell (1906-1967) and Dorothy F. Webb (1912-2013), he trained as a teacher at Brandon College. He joined the Manitoba Historical Society while completing his BA in historical geography, working under John Tyman.

His 37-year work career included teaching elementary school in rural Manitoba and Brandon; geography, anthropology and history at Westwood Collegiate and John Taylor Collegiate in Winnipeg; and seven years with Distance Education out of Winkler. He and his wife Linda are, of March 2005, semi-retired, both teaching in the Education program at the University of Winnipeg. Both are busy in history-related projects. He has served since 1974 on the Board of the Manitoba Social Science Teachers Association. He has contributed a short chapter on the history of Assessippi for publications in Manitoba Geography.

While continuing his teaching career he served as a Western Manitoba member on the MHS Council, and joined the Executive while doing MA work in historical geography at the University of Manitoba in 1968. He chaired the Margaret McWilliams Award committee and became part of the Executive who worked with Steward Martin and Dr. Shaw to see Macdonald House (Dalnavert) restored and opened. He served as President from 1976 to 1978 and was, until 1980, on the MHS Museum Management Committee, which was responsible for Dalnavert. Since then he has kept his interest in MHS by serving on the Centennial Farm Committee. He has chaired Heritage Winnipeg for two terms and was Manitoba Governor of the Heritage Canada Foundation from 1997 to 2003.

In recognition of his contributions to the historical community of Manitoba, he was awarded the Canada 125 Anniversary Medal and a Heritage Winnipeg Distinguished Service Award. In 2012, he received the John Wested Award for service to geography from the Prairie Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers.

His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Honorary Secretarys Report
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 28, 1971-72 Season

Honorary Secretarys Report
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 29, 1972-73 Season

“On With The Dance ...” - Historic Balls in Manitoba
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 21, Number 4, Summer 1976

One Hundred Years Young
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 24, Number 4, Summer 1979

Areen Mulder
Manitoba History, Number 7, Spring 1984

Sources:

Obituary [Herbert W. McDowell], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 July 1967, page 28.

Obituary [Dorothy Flora McDowell], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 2013.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 July 2017

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