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Manitoba History: In Memorium: Dr. Edward C. Shaw, 32nd President of the Manitoba Historical Society

Manitoba History, Number 3, 1982

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make it available here as a free, public service.

Please direct all inquiries to webmaster@mhs.mb.ca.

Dr. Shaw was a man of vision. During his war service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he had a vision to keep him going—becoming a medical practitioner. Accordingly, with the dedication and hard work he normally accorded to causes he believed in, he put in long hours as a hospital attendant and used every bit of his spare time preparing himself for a medical career. This vision came true in 1955, when he was admitted to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.

Dr. Edward C. Shaw

This singleness of purpose was an attribute which set Dr Shaw apart from others, and allowed him the extra strength necessary to achieve his goals. These goals were many and varied. He worked unceasingly for the cause of doctors in Manitoba; he raised large sums of money for the completion of Macdonald House (now named Dalnavert); he working untiringly when a director of Heritage Canada, both for Macdonald House and the revitalization of the downtown area of Winnipeg; now known as Market Square.

With all these projects in hand, he found time to be first a member of the Council of the Manitoba Historical Society, and eventually its 32nd president. He was later the President of the Charleswood Historical Society, and as mentioned, a director of Heritage Canada for 5 years.

Dr. Shaw also found time to write a book about Captain Kennedy, whose Arctic expedition to try to find Sir John Franklin won world acclaim. He purchased Kennedy’s house at St. Andrews, Manitoba, and operated it as Red River House Museum in tribute to Captain Kennedy. At his instigation, the street running near the house was renamed Captain Kennedy Road. His book has not as yet been published—hopefully his family will want his work to be seen and appreciated in a most visible manner.

Dr. Shaw was also a writer of articles and editorials, appearing many times in the pages of the Winnipeg Free Press. He was also a very hardworking member of the Canadian Authors Association, Winnipeg Branch, functioning as its First Vice-President at the time of his unfortunate demise.

One perhaps can gain a glimpse of this remarkable man in some poetry found in his papers:

“I live for those who love me
For those who know me true
For the heaven that smiles above me
And awaits my spirit too.

For the cause that needs assistance
For the wrong that needs resistance
For the future in the distance
And the good that I can do.”

Dr. Edward C. Shaw will be missed by the many sections of society he loved and worked for so diligently. He set an example for all to follow, of dedicated, untiring service.

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Edward Charles Shaw (1924-1980)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Captain William Kennedy House (417 River Road, RM of St. Andrews)

Page revised: 24 March 2018

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