Memorable Manitobans: Ivan Llewellyn Traill (1932-2022)
Educator, community activist.
Born at Sinclair on 8 May 1932, first child of David Llewellyn “Lew” Traill (1907-1975) and Helen Elizabeth Curtis (1912-2004), he was endlessly curious about the natural world, history, anthropology, archaeology, mathematics, and anything else that came to his attention.
He taught at Elm Valley School (1948-1949), Melita School (1955-1956), and Camp Shilo School (1957-1966) before serving as the Principal of the Princess Elizabeth School (1966-1968) and Neepawa Collegiate (1968-1978). He later taught at Ste. Rose du Lac School and Carberry Collegiate (1980s).
As an educator and community leader, he always followed the principle that “if it is educationally desirable, then it is administratively feasible.” So administer he did. The list of events and projects that he led and/or facilitated included Margaret Laurence Home, Silver Foxes Den (senior billiards), Elder Hostel, Lily Festival, Railway Museum, 1976 Summer Games, barbequing at large festival events, and Prairie West (two-week bus and camping trip for all grade 9s). One of his more unique ideas was to create a “longest curling rock throw event”, which he did on Neepawa’s Park Lake, promoting it to become a record in the Guinness Book of World Records (1989).
He was an avid member (53 years) of the Neepawa Rotary Club, twice President and a member of the Executive for about half that time, including up until his death in 2022. He loved the principles and values of this service organization. Much of his activity was connected to work as a Rotarian. At the local and district level, he ran RYLA (youth camp experience) for a number of years. He was a leader and counsellor of Rotary Student Exchange and the chair of many projects. He was always one of the first to volunteer for other people’s projects as well.
After retiring from teaching and his Traill Meats business, he looked for more ways to contribute to his community. For 40 years (1977-2016), he was the heart and soul of NACTV, Neepawa’s local access television station. Working strictly as a volunteer for all those years, he single-handedly was the leader and face of NACTV. He loved the innovation and craft of the pioneers and did not want their wisdom to be lost so he personally made programs about everything from beekeepers and fish farmers to threshing gangs and woodworkers as well as an any number of sports events, musical events, and faith services. He created a huge archive of original video footage of wildlife.
He was a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 1981 provincial general election (Progressive Conservative) and 1990 provincial general election (Liberal) and came in second place each time. In recognition of his community service, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and a President' Award from the Manitoba Heritage Federation (1999).
He died at Neepawa on 21 June 2022.
Marriage registration [Helen Elizabeth Curtis, David Llewellyn Traill], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Helen Traill], Brandon Sun, 31 January 2004, page 106.
Obituary, White's Funeral Home.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Robyn Traill, Dave Bennet, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 September 2022