Memorable Manitobans: John Thomas Boyd (1885-1950)

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John Thomas Boyd
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Born in Castleton, Ontario on 13 March 1885, son of George Boyd, he came west with his parents at the age of 13. Educated in Argyle, Aberdeen, and at Central Collegiate, he held high positions at four breweries in Manitoba. A former president of the Dominion Brewers’ Association, he was President of Kiewel Brewing Company and Brewery Products Limited, Vice-President of Pelissiers Brewery Limited as well as President and General Manager of Shea’s Winnipeg Brewery Limited. He was a Director of the Manitoba Sugar Company and the Central Manitoba Flying Training School Limited in Portage la Prairie.

Active in community affairs and local organizations in Manitoba and the Winnipeg area, he was a member of the Winnipeg Public Park Board (1939-1945) and also served the board as Chairman (1940-1943, 1949). A trustee of the City of Winnipeg Sinking Fund, he acted as Governor and Vice-President of the Navy League of Canada (Manitoba Division) as well. In 1940, he was named Honorary Colonel of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada and assisted in the inauguration of the Brewers’ and Hotelkeepers’ War Fund the same year. Associated with the Winnipeg General Hospital, he was named Life Governor of the hospital (1938), acted as Director and Vice-President, and served as Chairman of the Finance Committee (1945-1948). He was also a member of the local Board of Governors of the Shriners’ Hospital for Crippled Children.

Boyd also held several positions in many of Winnipeg’s sporting organizations. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Maroon Baseball Club, President of the Elmwood Maple Leaf Hockey Club, Winnipeg North End Athletic Club, member of the honorary committee of the Winnipeg Rugby Club and an honorary steward of the Manitoba Jockey Club.

He was associated with various fraternal organizations and lodges including the Masonic Order, Meridian Lodge, Khartum Temple, and Knights Templar. He was a life member of the St. John’s Masonic Lodge, No. 4; Worshipful Master of Meridian Lodge, No. 140; honorary member of Meridian Lodge, No. 140; Windsor Lodge, No. 138; The Pas Lodge, No. 124; Fidelity Lodge, No. 146; Emerson Lodge, No. 6; and Manitouwapa Lodge, No. 146. He was district Deputy Grand Master of the twelfth district in the Grand Lodge of Manitoba (1929), which he served as Grand Master (1937). Appointed grand representative of the Grand Lodge of Ireland (15 October 1935), he was honorary grand master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota as well as life member of the Prince Rupert’s chapter, No. 52, Royal Arch Masonry (1939). Other chapters that he was associated with include the Connaught Chapter, No. 9, G.G., Manitoba; Cambrian Chapter, No. 17, Flin Flon; Grand Chapter of Manitoba, R.A.M.; the Grand Chapter of Ireland; Wisconsin council; the Supreme Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Canada, Council No. 2, Winnipeg; and the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Western Canada. He served the General Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of America as a member of the committee on general purposes (1946 to 1948).

Elected supreme grand master of the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada, Knights Templar (1941), he became an honorary member of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America with the rank of past grand master (1949). He was also created a knight York Grand Cross of Honor with four quadrants (1949). A member of the military orders of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine, K.H.S. and St. John the Evangelist, he assisted in the establishment of the Selkirk Conclave, No. 6, Grand Imperial Conclave of Canada, Winnipeg (1934). After being received into the Khartum Temple (1914), he was later elected treasurer emeritus (1946). He also belonged to the St. Charles Country Club, Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, and Motor Country Club.

He and his wife Kate McCullough, who he married on 25 September 1907, once resided at 61 Waterloo Street.

He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 6 June 1950 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Shoreacres Cottage (311 Gimli Road, Dunnottar)


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Brewery head, businessman dies at 65,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 1950. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 145]

We thank Stan Barclay for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 June 2024

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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