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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Gordon Smellie (1923-2005)

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Robert Gordon Smellie
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Lawyer, MLA (1959-1962), MLA (1963-1966).

Born at Russell on 23 August 1923, son of Albert George Smellie (1895-1974) and Jessie May Cummings (1897-1986), grandson of A. G. P. Smellie, he was educated at Russell Collegiate Institute, Brandon College and Manitoba Law School. During the Second World War, he served overseas with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, was wounded in Normandy, and graduated as a commissioned officer from the Royal Military College in England. On 4 July 1946, he married Lois Evelyn Cochrane, daughter of Robert Stuart Cochrane of Russell and they had three children. He was a member of the Canadian Legion, Chamber of Commerce, A.O.T.S., Manitoba 83 Highway Association, and Manitoba Travel and Convention Association. He was a candidate for Birtle-Russell in the 1958 provincial general election but was defeated by Rodney Clement. He was first elected as a Progressive Conservative to the Manitoba Legislature in 1959 and was re-elected in 1962, the same year in which he was made a Queen's Counsel. He served as Minister of Municipal Affairs (1963-1966) and Minister Without Portfolio (1966). He was defeated at the 1966 general election. In 1977, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service. He died at Winnipeg on 29 September 2005.


The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1960.

“Province names ten lawyers Queen’s counsels,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 December 1962, page 13.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 October 2005.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 October 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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