Memorable Manitobans: Michael “Mike” Kawchuk (1931-2021)
Farmer, MLA (1966-1969), businessman.
Born at Keld on 23 April 1931, eldest son of Nicholas Kawchuk (1902-1983) and Annie Baran (1912-1988), he was educated at Lemberg School, Dauphin Collegiate, Brandon Agriculture School, and the University of Manitoba, receiving from the latter a Diploma in Agriculture (1955).
On 8 June 1957, he married Nettie Frykas and they had four children. The family moved to Gilbert Plains in 1964. He started a farm implement business there in 1969 and expanded it to Dauphin in 1974. It soon became one of the largest businesses of its kind in western Manitoba. He later built two wood product manufacturing businesses in Dauphin. After retirement, he moved to British Columbia for several years, returning to Manitoba to spend time between Brandon and Clear Lake.
In 1966, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for the Ethelbert Plains constituency, serving a single term. Following a redistribution of his electoral district in 1969, he was defeated in the general election later that year. He then served a term as Mayor of Gilbert Plains (1969-1973).
He was also Secretary-Treasurer of the Lemberg School district, a trustee of Gilbert Plains District Hospital Board, a director of the local Manitoba Pool elevator, and Manitoba Farmer’s Union, and an appointed member of the Manitoba Water Commission, Manitoba Public School Finance Board, and Farm Machinery Board. He was President of the Keld Ukrainian Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church of Surrey, BC.
He died at Brandon on 24 January 2021.
Obituary [Annie Kawchuk], Dauphin Herald, 7 June 1988, page 39.
Obituary, Memories Chapel.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (Living), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 November 2023