Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years


Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Top 10

Manitoba History No. 89

No. 89

Summer Field Trip 2019
Field Trip

Fall Field Trip 2019
Field Trip

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Helgi Jones (1916-2000)

Click to enlarge

Helgi Jones
Click to enlarge

Fisherman, tourism promoter, community activist.

Born on Hecla Island on 25 September 1916, son of Anna and Thorbergur Jonsson, the family moved to a homestead on Hecla Island where he spent his childhood. At the age of 13 years, he joined his father, who was a commercial fisherman, on Lake Winnipeg and he continued to fish for the next 60 years. On 21 March 1942, he married Frances Annie Hirst (1916-2005) and they subsequently had five children.

In 1954, he and his wife started a business at Gull Harbour that offered rooms, cabins, and concessions, and they were active in the development of Hecla Island as a tourist destination. He served for 17 years on the board for Hecla Island School, was instrumental in bringing electrical service to the island, and worked to develop roads, ferry service, and eventually a causeway. He was a councillor for the Rural Municipality of Bifrost and a member of the advisory board to the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. In 1970, he moved to Riverton after his home was expropriated for the development of a provincial park. The following year, he received captain’s papers and, in 1972, he designed and built the fishing boat “Lady Frances.” He moved to Gimli in 1975 then to Winnipeg in 1998.

In recognition of his community service, he received the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation Medal in 1993. He was made a Life Member of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party. He died at Winnipeg on 2 January 2000 and was buried in the Hecla South Cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 2000, page 34.

Obituary [Frances Annie Jones], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 November 2005, page 17.

We thank Marjorie Henry for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 October 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.