Memorable Manitobans: Leslie George “Les” Robinson (1903-1994)
Born at Fort Stewart, Ontario on 21 January 1903, eldest son of Rev. George David Robinson (1877-1950) and Elsie Ann Lebeau (1879-1962), brother of Olive Elsie Knox, he was educated at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, received BA (1930) and MEd (1936) degrees from the University of Manitoba, and a doctorate (1949) from the University of Minnesota. He taught school in Saskatchewan starting in 1923 and was Principal of Greenridge School (1926-1928), Medora School (1928-1930), and Foxwarren School (1931-1934) before coming to Winnipeg where he taught at Faraday School (1934-1937) and St. John’s High School (1937-1941).
During the Second World War, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and served at Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Quebec City, and Calgary. After the war, he returned to Winnipeg and taught at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate (1944-1945), Isaac Newton School (1945-1946), and Kelvin High School (1946-1947) until 1952 when he was appointed Principal of Wellington School (1952-1954). He later served as Administrative Assistant to School Superintendent Wesley Crawford Lorimer (1954-1955), Principal of Machray School (1955-1961), and Principal of Aberdeen School (1963-1968). He retired from teaching in June 1968.
He was married three times, first around 1924 to Flora MacLean (c1903-?) with whom he had six children: Floyd George Robinson (1926-2008, husband of Dorothy ?), Bill Robinson (husband of Vera ?), Cameron Robinson (?-?, husband of Marie ?), Ruth Robinson, Margaret Robinson, and Bette Robinson (wife of Jim ?). On 24 May 1944, he married Emily Linda Helgason (?-?) of Churchbridge, Saskatchewan. They had no children before divorcing in January 1957. His third marriage was to Elizabeth Jean “Betty” Hunter (1920-2002, daughter of Alexander Jardine Hunter).
He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 12 July 1994.
“Engagement notices,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 1944, page 8.
Winnipeg School Days, 1871-1950 by Wilfred Gilbert Pearce. [University of Manitoba Libraries]
“Dr. Robinson given high school post,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 November 1953, page 3.
“Five divorce decrees granted,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 January 1957, page 14.
Obituary [Mrs. George D. Robinson], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 June 1962, page 32.
“Three principals retiring,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 June 1968, page 16.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 1994, page 23.
Obituary [Elizabeth Jean Robinson], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 2002.
George Leslie Robinson, FamilySearch.
We thank Bridget Robinson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 December 2022