Memorable Manitobans: Aimé Rawleigh “Pete” Adam (1913-2009)
Born at Radville, Saskatchewan on 5 December 1913, son of Lionel and Marcella Adam, he got his nickname from being small for his age; his French-speaking mother called him petit, which evolved into Pete. The family moved to Manitoba, first to Toutes Aides, and later to Crane River. The family business involved commercial fishing, fur trading, a general store, post office, and tourism.
On 19 January 1937, at Toutes Aides, he married Mary Didychuk (?-?) and they eventually had four daughters: Doreen Adam, Lorraine Adam, Marie Adam, and Karen Adam. Soon after their marriage, the couple moved to Winnipeg where he worked for the Canadian National Railway. They later returned to Crane River at the behest of his father. He helped Nick Werbiski at Rorketon in the implement dealership and hotel during the summer. This led, in 1949, to him establishing an International Harvester implement dealership at Ste. Rose du Lac with his brother Romeo Adam. He was President of Local 509 of the National Farmers Union. During his term, he consolidated the Local and attracted over 300 new members.
In 1961, he bought and began operating a farm outside Ochre River. In 1969, he was recruited by the New Democratic Party of Manitoba to stand as a candidate in the 1971 by-election for the Ste. Rose constituency. He was subsequently elected then re-elected in the general elections of 1973, 1977, and 1981, serving in the governments of Edward Schreyer and Howard Pawley. He served as Minister of Municipal Affairs (1981-1983), Minister of Cooperative Development (1981-1982), and Minister of Government Services (1983-1985). While Minister of Municipal Affairs he oversaw the creation and implementation of the Mainstreet Manitoba Program, which benefitted many communities in rural Manitoba. It earned him the nickname “Mainstreet Pete.” In 1977, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service.
After his retirement from politics, he and his wife sold their farm and moved to Dauphin. He died there on 7 January 2009.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 January 2009.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
We thank Ron Adam for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 August 2019