Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edith V. Paterson (1905-1995)

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Edith V. Paterson
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Musician, journalist, historian.

Born in Ontario in 1905 and raised in Saskatchewan, she came to Winnipeg with her husband who worked for the Bank of Commerce. She studied with Herbert Sadler and obtained a LTCL diploma in 1942, when her examiner was Healey Willan. She subsequently served as organist at a number of churches in Winnipeg, gave piano lessons and acted as accompanist at the Winnipeg Music Festival.

In 1958, she joined the Winnipeg Free Press and, in 1969, began her weekly local history column “It Happened Here.” She published a number of books on Manitoba history including Tales of Early Manitoba (1970), 100 Years Pictorial History of Winnipeg (1973), Tales of the Early West (1978), and histories of the Grace Hospital, Winnipeg Police, and Winnipeg Construction Association. She also presented a television show “Memories of the Past.” She was President of Penhandlers in 1966. She retired from the newspaper in 1976.

She received considerable recognition for her historical work, including a McWilliams Medal (1969), certificate of merit from the Canadian Historical Association (1971), and Heritage Canada Communications Award (1977) for her columns in the Free Press. She was a member of the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba (1971-1974).

After her husband John Paterson (?-1975) died, she married George Patrick Risk (1901-1985) in 1977.

She died at Winnipeg on 25 May 1995. She was survived by a daughter and a son.


“Writer gets merit certificate,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 June 1971.

Obituary [John Paterson], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 1975, page 44.

“Risk – Paterson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 January 1977, page 53.

Obituary [George Patrick Risk], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 February 1985, page 58.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1995, page 50.

We thank Sharon Light for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Keith Davies Jones and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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