Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Hastings “Bill” Cockburn (1902-1975)

Click to enlargeAthlete, grain merchant.

Born at Toronto, Ontario on 23 December 1902, son of Francis Cockburn and Marion McDonald, he moved with his family to Winnipeg at an early age. During his childhood, he was active in a variety of sports including lacrosse, baseball, rugby, and hockey. In the 1920s he worked as a grain merchant, for a time in Montreal. He played on the Royal Bank team that won the Commercial League Championship in the 1924-25 season. During his time in Montreal he also played for the Montreal Victorias. He was active in the Tammany Tigers rugby, baseball, hockey, and lacrosse teams.

His greatest sporting achievement came as the captain and goalkeeper for the Winnipeg Senior Hockey Club that won the Allan Cup in 1931 and the gold medal at the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York. He continued to be involved with hockey after his return to Winnipeg, coaching and managing local teams such as the Brokers Hockey Club and the Dokey Tigers. He was also a member of Westminster United Church, the Masons (Northern Light Lodge), Khartum Shriners, and the Winnipeg Winter Club.

He died at Winnipeg on 21 March 1975. At the time of his death, he lived at 295 Montrose Street. His collection of sports memorabilia, photographs, and clippings is held by the Archives of Manitoba.

More information:

William H. Cockburn (1902-1975), RearView Manitoba, Archives of Manitoba.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1975, page 45.

“Former sports star, Bill Cockburn, dead”, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1975, page 72.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 May 2011

Memorable Manitobans

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