Memorable Manitobans: Edward Albert Gilroy (1880-1942)
Hockey official, community activist.
Born at Smith’s Falls, Ontario in 1880, his association with hockey began at a young age, as a player for teams at Smith’s Falls and Ottawa. He then worked as a referee, and also served on team executives. He also played lacrosse at Nelson, British Columbia for a time. He came to Portage la Prairie in 1906 to coach a professional hockey team located there. His players included “Newsy” Lalonde, “Cyclone” Taylor, Donald Smith, Art Sevriss, and Hughie Ross. The team disbanded in 1909 but he remained at Portage, except for a two-year period in Winnipeg, for the rest of his life.
He worked as a court clerk for some years, worked in the clothing store of Ernie McPherson, was the first commissioner of the Manitoba Liquor Commission at Portage la Prairie, worked for two years in Winnipeg as a purchasing agent for the Manitoba government, then returned to Portage in 1922 and worked in the wholesale business.
He held several positions with the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, starting at its formation in 1914 and holding the position of President for seven years. He stepped down to hold the presidency of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association from 1934 to 1936. He represented Canada at the Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid, New York in 1932 and also at the Munich Olympics in 1936. He served two terms on the Portage City Council. He ran for a seat in the Manitoba Legislature twice, the first at a by-election in November 1933 and in the 1936 general election, being unsuccessful at each attempt. He was President of the Portage la Prairie Hockey Club, director of the Portage Rink Company, and President for 15 years of the Delta Beach Association.
Father of Rex A. Gilroy.
He died at his summer home at Delta Beach on 8 August 1942 and was buried in the Portage Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 August 1942, page 2.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 31 July 2019