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Memorable Manitobans: Lawrence Ross “Lawrie” Mitchell (c1931-1997)

Athlete, lawyer, judge.

Born around 1931, the son of Andrew Ross Mitchell (1901-1986) and Ethel Ann Goodall (1903-1983), he attended Sir John Franklin School where he played on the school hockey team within the Greater Winnipeg Bantam Hockey League before later playing forward for the Monarchs hockey club and Winnipeg Maroons hockey club.

In 1958, he graduated with Honours from the University of Manitoba Law School and joined the Canadian Pacific Railway and focused on Air Law until joining the Attorney General’s Department, where he served as a prosecutor (1962-1967). In the latter year, he joined the law firm of Thompson, Dilts, and Company. He was named a Magistrate in November 1968 and Provincial Court Judge in January 1973, a position he held until his death.

On 30 March 1962, he married Thorlein Brothan at the Provincial Judges Court in Winnipeg. As the final court docket item for the day, the proceedings were initiated before Magistrate I. V. Dubienski, to which he was charged with “unlawful conspiracy [... to] commit matrimony.” He entered a no-contest “guilty” plea to the “indictable offence” and was sentenced to “life imprisonment” and “additional $150,000 costs,” after which they were pronounced a couple. They had three sons.

He was an active member of the Winnipeg Winter Club and served as the first President of the Manitoba Magistrates Association (1972-?, later the Provincial Judges Association), was a long-time member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Board of Directors, and Board of Director member of CJOB Shut-Ins. Pastimes included all manner of sports, as well as barbequing and golfing at Naples, Florida.

He died at his cottage in Victoria Beach on 12 July 1997.

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“West End Orioles dominate bantams,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 January 1946, page 11.

“Canadiens drop close one, 7-6,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 January 1949, page 13.

“Third-period burst gives Maroons lead,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1954, page 22.

“‘Live’ term is imposed on crown prosecutor,” Winnipeg Free Press Final Edition, 31 March 1962, page 2.

“Magistrates agree to form association,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 December 1972, page 3.

Obituary [Ethel Ann Mitchell], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 Nov 1983, page 34.

Obituary [Andrew Ross Mitchell], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 1986, page 40.

Obituary [Thorleif Ivor “Ted” Brothan], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 October 1990, page 34.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 1997, page B6.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 1997, page C7.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 4 May 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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