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No. 87


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Memorable
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Memorable Manitobans: Gordon Ellwood Johnston (1920-2005)

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Gordon Ellwood Johnston
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Businessman, MLA (1963-1966), MLA (1966-1969), MLA (1969-1973), MLA (1973-1977).

Born at Portage la Prairie on 15 October 1920, he attended the Portage Collegiate Institute. During the Second World War, he was a pilot with the Royal Air Force and, from 1943 to 1945, was a prisoner of war in Germany. On his return to civilian life, he worked as an insurance underwriter for the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company before working at the post office at Portage la Prairie from 1948 to 1952. He later operated “Johnston’s Solo Store,” a grocery.

He served on the Portage la Prairie city council from 1959 to 1962 and in 1962 was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for the Portage constituency. Re-elected in 1966, 1969, and 1973, replaced by Lloyd Hyde in 1977. From 1966 to 1968 he served as Executive Director of the Liberal Party of Manitoba and from 1969 to 1977 was House Leader. In 1978 he was appointed Manitoba’s Citizenship Court judge serving two three-year terms and retiring in 1984. From 1984 to 1998 he was Marriage Commissioner for Manitoba. He was a member of the Elks Club, Portage Rotary Club, Portage Golf Club, Portage Flying Club, and Royal Canadian Legion. In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.

He died on 7 November 2005.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 2005, page 37.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 January 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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