Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Henry “Harry” Sandison (1861-1942)

Tailor, municipal official.

Born at Banffshire, Scotland on 28 February 1861, he attended public school there and, at the age of 12, apprenticed in a merchant tailor shop. As a journeyman at the age of 19 he emigrated to Canada and settled at Winnipeg and, within a few months, had opened his own tailor shop. He retired from business at the age of 41 to devote himself to public service.

He served on the Parks Board for 14 years, as chairman for three of them. He was chairman of the Carnegie Library Committee in charge of the opening of the library in 1904. He was elected to Winnipeg City Council for ward 2 and served from 1904 to 1906 during which time he was chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Works and Property, Fire, Water and Light, Trade and Commerce, and Entertainment Committees. Sandison has an enduring monument in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park for whose founding he was responsible. He attended the 1905 founding meeting, in Brandon, of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities.

On 6 November 1885, he married Christina Ross (1865-?) of Galt, Ontario and they had six children: Lillian “Lily” Sandison (1886-?, wife of William O. Edmunds), William Ross Sandison (1888-?), Harry McFarlane Sandison (1894-?), Vera Bell Sandison (1896-?, wife of Frederick J. Roschman), Jean Hendry Sandison (1898-?), and Helen Wilhelmina Sandison (?-?, wife of Ewart Lyman Brisbin). He was a member of Knox United Church, Masons (St. John’s Lodge), and St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg (President, 1903-1904).

He died at Winnipeg on 1 May 1942 and was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Harry Sandison, retired tailor, dies early Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 May 1942, page 2.

Obituary, Western Municipal News, May 1942, page 115.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 July 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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