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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Burns Findlay (1902-1972)

Municipal official, community activist.

Born at Glasgow, Scotland in 1902, he accompanied his parents to Canada in 1909, first settling in Winnipeg where he attended Strathcona School. They later moved to Municipality of St. James. On 9 January 1924, he married Sigrun Sveinsson (1900-1990) at the Rural Municipality of Argyle. They had one daughter, Dr. Joyce Lorraine Findlay (wife of Dr. Michael Kevin Grace). He worked for Jenkins Brothers Limited (1925-1967), retiring as Manager for Midwestern Sales.

An active member of his community, he served as School Trustee (1943-1953) of the St. James School District, including eight years as Chairman, prior to becoming Mayor of St. James (1954-1961), after which he served on the Winnipeg Metro Council (1962-1969, Division No. 10). He resigned due to ill health in July 1969, after which he and his wife relocated to Transcona.

He was President of the Suburban School Trustees Association, Assiniboia Boy Scouts Association, and Honourary President of the St. James Home and School Association, Executive Member of the Canadian Mayors’ Federation, St. James YMCA, Western Canada Water and Sewage Conference, Chairman of the Airport Commission and both the Metro Finance Committee and Metro Parks and Protection Division, General Chairman of the St. James United Campaign Committee, and a members of the Board of Directors for the Grace Hospital and the Society for Crippled Children and Adults. He was a member of the St. James Chamber of Commerce, Greater Winnipeg Investigating Commission, Greater Winnipeg Water and Sanitary District, Winnipeg Rotary Club, Manitoba Club, Transcona Memorial United Church, and the Masons (Fort Osborne Masonic Lodge, Past Master and Life Member). He also co-authored the Report of the Greater Winnipeg Commission on Metro Government.

In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the St. James-Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizenship Award (1970).

He died at the King Edward Hospital on 6 January 1972 and was buried in the St. James Cemetery.


Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Mrs. Findlay hostess at trousseau tea,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 June 1951, page 13.

“Findlay seeks Mayor’s post in St. James,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 October 1953, page 3.

Birth notice [Grace], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 February 1959, page 35.

“3 seek Metro post,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 1969, page 3.

“Stanes now Councillor,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 1969, page 10.

“Findlay dies at 69,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 January 1972, page 2.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 1972, page 27.

Obituary [Sigrun Findlay], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 1990, page 32.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 22 July 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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