Memorable Manitobans: Richard Reeve Collard (1886-1963)
Born at Belmont, Ontario on 30 September 1886, he was educated at the public and high schools of Kitchener, Ontario. He joined the Dominion Government Survey Party in the North West Territories in 1903. During the First World War, he was an officer in the Canadian Field Artillery and served in Canada, England, and France. He later became General Superintendent of Construction in Canada and USA for Warren Brothers Limited of Boston. He was also President and General Manager of Hawaiian Construction Company in Hawaii and later organized and was Managing Director of the Acadia Construction Company of Halifax.
In 1924, he joined the Carter-Halls-Aldinger Company in Winnipeg. From 1939 to 1945 he was Director of Works and Buildings for the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Air Member of the Air Council for Construction Engineering based at Ottawa, Ontario. He was responsible for all RCAF construction in Canada, Newfoundland, and Labrador. In recognition of his wartime work, he was made a Commander of the British Empire in the first Honours List. On the formation of Commonwealth Construction Company in 1944, he became its President and General Manager, serving until his retirement in 1957.
On 11 December 1912, he married Mildred Gordon (1887-1968) of Thorold, Ontario. They had one daughter, Patricia Gordon Collard (1916-2010, wife of Willard John Condo). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Vancouver Club, St. Charles Country Club, Fellowship Club, St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg, Lakewood Country Club, AF & AM (Fort Garry Lodge and Niagara-on-the-Lake Lodge), and Engineering Institute of Canada.
He died at Winnipeg on 20 April 1963 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 1963, page 26.
Obituary [Mildred Gordon Collard], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 October 1968, page 27.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 January 2022