Memorable Manitobans: John “Jack” Blumberg (1892-1961)
Municipal official, agent.
Born in Hull, England in 1892, he came to Winnipeg in 1910. He worked as a streetcar motorman from 1912 until 1919, when he was elected to city council as a member of the Independent Labour Party. During the First World War, he served overseas in the King’s Rifles. He served on the council almost continuously until his death, being defeated only in 1950 by Garnet Coulter, having served what was believed the longest period of time in city history. As Acting Mayor of Winnipeg in 1933, he refused to read the riot act to demonstrators against unemployment.
After being elected to city council, he operated an insurance and real estate business. He served as Chairman of the Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission from 1956. Married with four children, he was a member of the Glendale Country Club, Young Mens Hebrew Organization, B’nai B’rith, Montefiore Club, Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, and the Masons (Mount Sinai Lodge).
He died at Winnipeg on 17 December 1961 and was buried in Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. He is commemorated by a municipal golf course in Headingley.
“Metro councilor Blumberg, 69, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 December 1961, page 1.
The Jews In Manitoba by Arthur Chiel, pp. 179-180.
Journey Into Our Heritage by Harry Gutkin, Toronto: Lester and Dennys, 1980, p. 189.
Times of Trouble: Labour Quiescence in Winnipeg 1920-1929 by David Edward Hall, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1983, page 114.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
We thank Stefan Epp for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 June 2014