Memorable Manitobans: Allen Gerald “Gerry” Bedford (1925-2008)
Born at Isabella in 1925, the oldest child of Ernest Hamilton Bedford (1894-1988) and Janet Ruth Iverach (1903-2003), his early years were spent on the family’s farm between Isabella and Decker. In 1938 his family moved to Melita where he spent his high school years.
In 1943, he entered United College (now the University of Winnipeg) on a student scholarship. His association with the University lasted for the remainder of his life. He became one of United College’s outstanding graduates. He served as Senior Stick (student president) in 1945 to 1946. For three years, 1946 to 1949, he taught mathematics in the College. Following a period of graduate study at the University of Toronto, he returned in 1951 to the English Department and over the next 40 years one of the great joys of his life was to teach great works of literature to several generations of students, mostly Manitobans, but many, also, from various parts of the world. United College was a small institution in Gerry’s early years as a faculty member, and, in addition to his teaching duties, he served for seven years as the College’s Registrar.
He received many honours including the Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, Robin H. Farquhar Award for Excellence in Contributing to Self Governance, and Distinguished Alumni Award. He died a Fellow of United College. His deep affection for the students, colleagues, and forbears at United College was reflected in the years he devoted to writing a two-volume history of the University of Winnipeg, the second volume of which he completed in 2007. The first volume was selected for the Margaret McWilliams Award.
He was well-known for his passion for sports. For sixty years he could be found every winter in curling clubs, in the early years at the old Strathcona and, thereafter, at the Granite Curling Club and, latterly, at the Heather Curling Club. His enthusiasm for baseball was legendary, as was his knowledge of the game’s history. For over forty years, he was a devoted member of John Black Memorial United Church which he served as a teacher, Board member and, one of the founders of the John Black Foundation.
He died at Winnipeg on 4 December 2008.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 2008, page C10.
Obituary [Janet Ruth Bedford], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 2003.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 February 2023