Memorable Manitobans: George Montegu Black (1875-1959)
Born at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 14 December 1875, son of George A. Black, he arrived at Winnipeg in 1882 where he was educated at public and private schools. In 1890, he entered the office of the Western Canada Loan Company. A decade later, he was admitted to partnership in the firm of Nares & Robinson. In 1911, Black was a partner in the real estate and insurance firm of Robinson & Black, later known as Black & Armstrong, of which he was President at the time of his death. He was also President of Western Dominion Investment Company, Vice-President of the Manitoba Cold Storage Company, Canadian director of Phoenix Assurance Company of London, and a Director of the Canadian Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Company and Combustion Engineering Corporation.
In 1924 he acquired the brewery business founded in 1887 by Edward Lancaster Drewry and formed a new company known as Drewrys Limited. For 28 years he was President of Western Breweries Limited and its subsidiary companies, retiring in 1950. He was one of the founders of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board in 1903. He was made a life member of the board in 1953.
On 4 September 1901, he married Gertrude Maxwell Moffat (c1880-1952). They had two children: Montegu Margaret Black (1905-?, wife of Ronald Thomas Riley, daughter-in-law of Conrad Stephenson Riley) and George Montegu Black. He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, Pine Ridge Golf Club, Motor Country Club, Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club (President, 1914-1919), Manitoba Jockey Club, St. Charles Country Club, Mount Royal Club (Montreal), and Assiniboia Club (Regina). He was a life member of the board for the Winnipeg General Hospital and a Director of the Manitoba Division of the Navy League of Canada and the Lakeside Fresh Air Camp for Children on Lake Winnipeg.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 59 Wilmot Place, on 5 July 1959 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]
“Mrs. Black, pioneer city woman dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 March 1952, page 15.
“George Montegu Black, realtor, dead at 83,” Winnipeg Fress Press, 6 July 1959, page 5.
“Free Press Necrology Files,” Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 16, University of Manitoba Archives]
We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 September 2022