Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Aiken (1888-1974)

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James Aiken
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Printer, MLA (1937-1940), civil servant.

Born at Aberdeen, Scotland on 22 July 1888, son of Alexander Aiken and Jane Anderson Don, he was educated at Aberdeen Public Schools and Gordon's College (Aberdeen) then apprenticed as a printer and served with the Gordon Highlanders. He came to Canada in 1912 and worked as a printer until 1942 when he joined the Manitoba Department of Labour, first as an inspector and later as Manitoba’s first Director of Apprenticeship. After retirement, he remained as Chairman of an advisory board on apprenticeship training until 1966.

On 29 May 1913, he married Mabel Marguerite Leatham (1892-1977, daughter of James Leatham, of Turriff, Scotland) at WInnipeg and they had two children: Donald Leatham “Don” Aiken (1914-2004) and Doris Marguerite Aiken (1916-2014, wife of Lorne Walsh). He was a trustee of the St. James School Board from 1930 to 1935. He was elected as an Independent Labour candidate to the Manitoba Legislature at the 1936 general election but was defeated in 1941. He lived at 409 Winchester Street and at 10 Tulane Bay at the time of his death.

He died at WInnipeg on 4 November 1974.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1938.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1974, page 37.

Obituary [Mabel M. L. Aiken], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 May 1977, page 33.

Obituary [Donald Leatham Aiken], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2004.

Obituary [Doris Marguerite Walsh], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 October 2014.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 April 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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