Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Murray Rhodes Smith (1930-2002)


Born at Winnipeg in 1930, son of Charles Rhodes Smith and Luella Gertrude Lick, he held degrees from the University of Manitoba, University of London and Oxford University where he was a Rhodes scholar. As an undergraduate he was editor of The Manitoban (1949-1950) and he later served on the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, an institution to which he remained devoted throughout his life, endowing and contributing to several scholarships.

During his career with the Winnipeg School Division he worked as a teacher of mathematics, a Vice-Principal of Isaac Newton School (1965-1966), Deputy Assistant Superintendent of schools and a guidance counsellor. He fought for better pay, pensions and working conditions for his colleagues, through the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), the Retired Teachers Association of Manitoba (RTAM) and the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (CART), serving terms as President of each.

He served as Chair of the Manitoba Council of Aging, at the Manitoba Society of Seniors (MSOS), and at Creative Retirement, as an advocate, author of many articles, and a voluntary tax advisor. He served for 12 years on the Board of the Health Sciences Centre, two years as part-time Chair, and consistently followed and contributed to debates on the health care system. He was a New Democratic candidate for the Manitoba Legislature in the 1986 general election.

In 1952, he married Muriel Ann Lipsey and they had four daughters. A devoted athlete in his later years, he participated in marathons and triathlons. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted in the Order of Manitoba (2002) and received the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).

He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 2002.


“River Heights ranked only three-way race,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 March 1986, page 13.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 December 2002.

“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, pages A8-A9.

Official Register of the Order of Manitoba.

We thank Marta Smith for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 March 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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