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Memorable Manitobans: Edward Cecil Gilliat (1887-1960)

Civil servant.

Born at Nottingham, England on 26 August 1887, son of Edward Ephraim Gilliat and Faith Thraves, he came to Canada after apprenticing as an architect in England. Originally settling in Regina, he homesteaded briefly at Nokomis and worked as a cashier and office manager for International Harvester in Saskatoon (1910). In 1920, he moved to Vancouver where he lived before taking a job as credit manager for North Star Oil in Winnipeg two years later. He stayed in this position for only a short time and soon became manager of the Manitoba division of the Canadian Credit Men’s Trust Association. A charter member and one of the founders of the Canadian Credit Institute, on 1 April 1928, he became managing secretary of the Board of Trade (later the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce). He occupied this position for 24 years, eventually resigning in 1952.

Shortly after moving to Winnipeg, he helped to organize the Manitoba Associated Boards of Trade. During the Second World War, he participated in four Victory Loan drives and served as sales conference manager on the Manitoba division of the National War Finance Committee, becoming provincial chairman of its speakers committee. In 1949, he was elected President of the Manitoba Associated Chambers of Commerce.

He held memberships in the Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, Rotary Club, and Masons. He was also an honorary vestryman of St. George’s Anglican Church. He and his wife Blanche Hermonie Gilliat (1889-1982), whom he married in 1912, had two children: Marjorie Gilliat (wife of Morgan Rhodes) and Cecil Roy Gilliat (?-1944).

He died at Victoria, British Columbia on 15 October 1960 and was buried there.


“Tireless worker for free enterprise,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 August 1948. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical scrapbook B10, page 34]

“Promoter-of-Winnipeg quits after 24 years,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 January 1952, page 1.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Ex-Official of city C of C dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1960, page 3.

Obituary [Blanche Hermonie Gilliat], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 1982, page 44.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 May 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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