Memorable Manitobans: Andrew Edward McGavin (1876-1948)
Physician, municipal official.
Born at Paisley, Ontario on 29 May 1876, the youngest of twelve children born to James McGavin (1813-1877) and Elizabeth Wright (1838-1904), his father died when he was a baby. His uncle, Archibald Francis Wright, brought his family west to join the rest of the family who were farming in the Rural Municipality of Springfield. Being the youngest of the family, Andrew postponed his education to manage the family farm until his mother died in 1904. He sold the farm in 1905 and, following the lead of his sister Jessie M. McGavin and brother Hugh McGavin, undertook medical training. He graduated from the Manitoba Medical College around 1911 and practised medicine in Carman for 37 years. He held a life membership in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (President, 1923).
On 22 June 1910, he married Margaret MacAulay (1882-1969) of Morden, the eldest of the seven children of Finlay MacAulay (1842-1918) and Margaret MacDonald (1860-1930), and sister of John A. MacAulay and Archibald MacAulay. They had five children: Edward Percival “Percy” McGavin (1911-?), Donald Cameron McGavin, Margaret Grace McGavin (1917-?, wife of John S. Reive), Helen McGavin (?-?, wife of David F. Low), and Kenneth Ross McGavin (1921-1998).
He served on the Carman town council and on the board of St. Andrews’s United Church. In 1915, he helped to build a dam on the Boyne River to provide a public swimming pool for the area and he built four tennis courts. He was an avid curler, an accomplished tennis player and swimmer, and a keen hunter. He shared ownership with some friends in a hunting lodge at Flee Island on Delta Marsh, near Lake Manitoba. He was a member of a group which leased and developed land for the first golf course in the Carman area. A member of the Carman Choral Society, his favorite quote was “music and flowers, two of life’s extra beauties.”
He died at Carman on 7 February 1948. His obituary reports that he died “while travelling to Sperling in connection with the fatal shooting which occured at that town during the night.” He was buried in the Carman Cemetery.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
“Dr. A. E. McGavin, Carman coroner, dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1948, page 11.
“Dr. A. McGavin funeral is held,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 February 1948, page 23.
Obituary [Margaret McGavin], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 April 1969, page 29.
We thank Marilyn Boyle, Brenda Wardrop Miller, James Arnett, and Eileen McIntyre for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 April 2019
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