Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Malcolm “Bill” McMillan (1914-2004)

Educator, municipal official.

Born at Macdonald on 26 October 1914, son of Rodney McMillan (1887-1971) and Agnes Jane Catherine Caskey (1888-1984), he received his education at West Oakland School, Portage Collegiate, Provincial Normal School, and University of Manitoba. He taught at Belle Plain School, McKay School, and East Curtis School, and was Principal at Wingham Consolidated School (1940-1941). He taught mathematics and science in Grades 9 to 12 at Elm Creek School (1941-1942).

In 1942, he married fellow teacher Florence Martha Adrian (1914-2005) who had moved to Manitoba from Joliet, Illinois, with her parents Sam and Martha Adrian. After war service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he was hired as administrator of the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie, a position he held from 1946 to 1983. In 1970, he represented the Manitoba Municipal Administrators Association at a joint convention in Montreal that was attended by nearly a thousand municipal and school officials of Quebec. Bill delivered half of his address to the gathering in French.

Following retirement, he served on the council of the City of Portage la Prairie for six years, the last three as Mayor (1986-1989). He served the community in various ways, among them as director of the Portage Fair Board, president of the Portage Curling Club, member of the executive of the Portage Golf Club, and involvement in Little League provincial play-downs. He was a 68-year member of the Oddfellows Lodge, joining in 1935, where he served as Noble Grand. He was also Past Worshipful Master of Marquette Masonic Lodge, and present member of both the Gothic Temple Masonic Lodge and the Royal Canadian Legion. He belonged to the Board of Stewards of Elm Creek United Church, and later served as was superintendent of Trinity United Church Sunday School in Portage la Prairie. In 1950, he attended the Mid-Century Conference on Christian Education in Toronto. He was also an usher and auditor at Trinity United Church for many years. He received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).

Outside of serving his community, he enjoyed curling, golfing, dancing, playing cards, and spending time at the family cottage at Delta Beach. He had three children.

He died at Portage la Prairie on 2 January 2004 and was buried in the Evergreen Memorial Gardens.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 January 2004.

William Malcom McMillan, White Family Tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 17 October 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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