Memorable Manitobans: Laurence Vinton “Laurie” Smith (1891-1974)
Businessman, community activist.
Born at Southampton, England on 12 March 1891, son of Daniel Robert Smith, he emigrated to Canada in 1904 and settled at Franklin. He later moved to Russell and then to Brandon where, in 1930, he became employed with the Brandon Sun. Two years later, he became Advertising Manager for the newspaper, holding the position until retirement in 1958. He continued on a part-time basis until 1968.
During the First World War, he served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was award the Military Cross. After returning to Canada, he began active work with the Army-Navy Veterans and later the Royal Canadian Legion. During the Second World War, he was a Captain in the Veterans Guard. He was a long-time member of the Rotary Club and St. Mary’s Anglican Church. As People’s Warden and Rector’s Warden of the latter, he prepared weekly service bulletins and church newsletters, and drew memorial illuminations that hung on the church walls. He was one of the first boy scout leaders in Manitoba. In 1965, in recognition of his community service, he was given a Golden Boy Award.
He died unmarried at the Brandon General Hospital on 13 November 1974 and was buried in the Veteran’s Section of the Brandon Cemetery.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“Golden Boys honor 12 Manitobans,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 1965.
“Laurie Smith died today,” Brandon Sun, 13 November 1974, page 1.
Obituary, Brandon Sun, 15 November 1974, page 16.
We thank Avril Oglesby Cude for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 August 2020