Memorable Manitobans: William Chrest (1886-1963)
Born in Greece in 1886, he emigrated to Canada and arrived at Brandon in 1910. A shoe maker by trade, he opened a shoe shop and also sold peanuts, popcorn and other confections from a specially designed vehicle. In 1933, he purchased what was known as the Fraser Block, where he opened a dry cleaning and shoe repair business called Chrest Dry Cleaners, with his three sons. The business would continue until 1976. He and wife Ellen had six children: Norman William Chrest (1911-1977), Christopher “Chris” Chrest (1917-2009), Esther Chrest (1918-1928), Mary Chrest (1919-2004, wife of R. J. Vandale), Irene Chrest (1921-2008, wife of E. Vernon Basrub and Bert E. McVay), and Nicholas “Nick” Chrest (1925-2013). An active member of the community, he belonged to the Rotary Club, Brandon Elks Club, Moose Lodge, and Orange Lodge. He died at his Brandon home, 460 Eleventh Street, on 18 June 1963 and was buried in the Rosewood Memorial Gardens.
William Chrest selling popcorn and peanuts on the streets of Brandon (circa 1921)
William Chrest and the staff of his dry cleaning business (circa 1954)
“Wm. Chrest dies at 77,” Brandon Sun, 19 June 1963, page 1.
Brandon Municipal Cemetery transcriptions.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Karen Chrest for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 December 2017