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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Flye (1874-1943)

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Thomas Flye
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Labour leader, municipal official.

Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales on 6 November 1874, he worked as a blacksmith and steeplejack before coming to Canada in 1910. Flye was a foreman at Dominion Bridge during the First World War, then a blacksmith at the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Originally carrying over his Labour affiliations from Britain and becoming a member of the Independent Labour Party, he later broke with that party over the issue of ‘one man for one position’ (he disagreed with the decision to have John Queen as both an MLA and a mayoral candidate) and ran as an independent. Flye was a member of the Central Strike Committee in the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.

Flye later worked as a trade instructor at the Manitoba Agricultural College. In 1921, he was elected to Winnipeg City Council, quitting his college job two years later so he could concentrate full-time on his council duties. He remained on council until retirement in 1943. He was referred to as the “unofficial mayor of Weston.”

He died at his Winnipeg home, 1554 Ross Avenue, on 1 December 1943.

Sources:

Western Municipal News, December 1943, page 305.

“Ald. Flye dies after long illness,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 December 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 144]

Times of Trouble: Labour Quiescence in Winnipeg 1920-1929 by David Edward Hall, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1983, page 114.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank Stefan Epp for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 June 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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