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Memorable Manitobans: George Taylor Richardson (1924-2014)

Businessman, philanthropist.

Born in Winnipeg on 22 September 1924, son of James A. Richardson and Muriel Sprague, he attended St. John’s Ravenscourt School and the University of Manitoba then joined the family grain company in 1946. He rose through the ranks to serve as Vice-President (1954) and President (1966). His notable accomplishments included the expansion of Pioneer Grain, the construction of Lombard Place, and development of Richardson Securities into an international brokerage firm. In 1993, he stepped down to make way for his son Hartley Richardson and assumed the positions of Chairman and Managing Director. He retired formally in 2000 but remained Honorary Chairman and Director Emeritus until his death. He was a Director for such companies as CIBC, Inco, Dupont Canada, Great West Life Assurance, and Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas. He was also a Canadian Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company (1970-1982) and was influential in its decision to transfer extensive archival collections to the care of the Archives of Manitoba.

He was married to Tannis Thorlakson, daughter of Paul H. T. Thorlakson, with whom he had four children, including his successor Hartley T. Richardson. He was a founding members of several community organizations, including Junior Achievement of Manitoba, United Way of Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Museum. He was instrumental in bringing a replica of the ship The Nonsuch to the Manitoba Museum in 1970 in recognition of Manitoba’s 100th anniversary and the Hudson’s Bay Company's 300th anniversary. An avid outdoorsman, he was a founding trustee of the Fort Whyte Nature Centre (1966), a director of Ducks Unlimited Canada, and a member of the Lakewood Country Club. A licensed pilot, he was an Honorary Director of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, Honorary Patron of the Western Canada Aviation Museum, and Honorary Colonel of the City of Winnipeg 402 Squadron.

In recognition of his exemplary community service, he received honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (1969) and the University of Winnipeg (1990), the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2000) and the Order of Canada (2003).

He died at Winnipeg on 14 May 2014. He is commemorated by the George T. Richardson Building at Brandon University and the Richardson Marsh at FortWhyte Alive.

See also:

MHS Centennial Business: James Richardson & Sons Limited

Just Common Sense: The Life and Times of George Taylor Richardson by Tim Higgins, Winnipeg: Heartland Associates, 2010.

Sources:

“Icon remembered for impact on city,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 May 2014, page A4.

“A rich man, but wealth only part of it,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2014, page B4.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2014, page B15.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 October 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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