Memorable Manitobans: Earl Phillip Dawson (1925-1987)
Businessman, hockey coach and executive, MLA (1966-1969).
Born at St. Boniface on 17 December 1925, son of William Thomas “Bill” Dawson (1890-1970) and Irene Dion (1898-1993), he was educated at Provencher School. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Army during the Second World War. In 1951, he moved to Rivers where he operated a dry-cleaning business for 19 years. He served as a Rivers town councillor (1957-1965) and President of the Rivers Chambers of Commerce, and was active in the Rivers Air Cadet Squadron.
On 29 June 1949, he married Madeline Kathaleen O’Callaghan (1927-2015) and they had five children. A coach of the local hockey team, he joined the executive of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association in the early 1950s, eventually serving as its president for five years. He then joined the rules committee of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, and became its Vice-President in 1966, the same year he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature as a representative for the Hamiota constitutency. Elected in the 1966 provincial general election, he was defeated in 1969 by Morris McGregor. He became CAHA president in 1968 and resigned in 1970 to work for Sports Canada in Winnipeg, where he was instrumental in organizing the Canada Games. That same year, he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society.
He died of lung cancer at Winnipeg on 28 March 1987 and was buried in the Glen Eden Memorial Gardens.
Marriage registration [William Thomas Dawson, Irene Dion], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1926 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.
Obituary [William Thomas Dawson], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 June 1970, page 32.
“Hockey loses Dawson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1987.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1987, page 33.
Obituary [Irene Dawson], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 July 1993, page 14.
Obituary [Madeline Kathaleen Dawson], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 September 2015.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 November 2022