Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: George Edward Collins (1902-1968)

Engineer, civil servant.

Born on a farm near Clearwater on 3 June 1902, son of Francis James Collins (1862-1926) and Annie Stead Affleck (1867-1958), he received secondary education at the Crystal City School. After earning his engineering degree from the University of Manitoba in 1928, he worked as a municipal engineer for the Rural Municipalities of Strathcona, Riverside and Argyle. Laid off from this position in 1930, he returned to Winnipeg and spent two years as a paving engineer for the Good Roads Branch on water and sewer construction projects launched as unemployment relief for Greater Winnipeg. He was later made supervisor of the Greater Winnipeg Relief Clothing Depot on Portage Avenue East (1932) and worked with the Single Men’s Unemployment Relief Commission until 1935. He continued relief efforts as supervisor of unemployment relief in unorganized and disorganized territories of the province and secretary of the Single Men’s Unemployment Relief Commission (1937). In January 1940, he became director of unemployment relief and was promoted to Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Works in 1941. During the Second World War, he worked on the British Columbia Security Commission. He returned to Manitoba in 1944 and succeeded Manson Ainslie Lyons as Deputy Minister of Public Works in 1946. When the department was divided in 1965 into the Department of Public Works and the Department of Highways, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Highways. On 8 April 1929, he married Nellie Lillian Martin (?-2000) at Winnipeg and they shared one son, James “Jim” Collins. He belonged to the Waverley Skeet Club and was notably a Manitoba “B” Class champion in 1946. He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 1968.


Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“A varied career,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 September 1948. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 48]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 December 1968.

Obituary [Nellie Lillian Collins], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 March 2000, page 46.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 April 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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