Memorable Manitobans: Edward “Ed” Vickar (1915-2003)
Automobile dealer, community activist.
Born at Winnipeg in 1915, son of pioneer farmers Gella and Sam Vickar, brother of Ike Vickar, as a boy he worked on the family farm and store at Brooksby, Saskatchewan. His first business venture was the purchase of a general store at Fairy Glen, Saskatchewan. In 1946, he moved his family to Melfort to sell Cockshutt farm equipment. Soon afterward, he took over the local franchise of the Ford Motor Company then switched to a General Motors dealership. His partnership with General Motors continued for the next 47 years. During his years in Melfort, he served as President of the Melfort Board of Trade, President of the Melfort Rotary Club and a town councilor for six years. He was President of the Beth Israel Synagogue and Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal and was the founder of the Melfort Bnai Brith Lodge. He was also President of the Saskatchewan Motor Dealers Association and Vice-President of the Saskatchewan Implement Dealers Association. In 1963, he moved to Winnipeg and took ownership of Community Chevrolet Oldsmobile. From 1978 to 1979, he was President of the Federation of Automobile Dealer Associations of Canada, now known as the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association. In 1994, in poor health, he sold the business to his nephew, Larry Vickar, who had worked with him for many years.
He was a member of Better Business Bureau of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Rotary Club, Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, and Glendale Golf and Country Club. In the 1960s, he was Chairman of the Winnipeg Histadruth Campaign and Chairman of the Israel Bonds Campaign. In the 1970s, he was Chairman of the Combined Jewish Appeal, Chairman of the Midwest Region of the Federated Zionist Organization and a board member of the Jewish Foundation of Winnipeg. In the 1980s he was Chairman of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Canadian Associates for Ben Gurion University, a Member of the Board of Governors for Ben Gurion University in Israel, a member of the Multiple Appeals Commission of the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council and a member of the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Chapter of the Jewish National Fund. In 1997, he endowed the Marion and Ed Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada. In 1998, in recognition of his exemplary philanthropic work, he received an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University in Israel.
He died at Winnipeg on 21 February 2003.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 April 2003.
“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2003, pages A6-7.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 December 2015
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