Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Lane (1903-1975)

Railwayman, ornithologist.

Born at Brandon on 13 May 1903, he worked as a conductor for the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1968. A self taught ornithologist, in 1958 he and his wife Nora started the Brandon Junior Bird Club. With the Junior Birders he started the “Bluebird Line,” a line of bird houses stretching from Sidney to Broadview, Saskatchewan. He was the first to notice the hybridization between Mountain and Eastern bluebirds. Lane wrote a chapter on the Baird Sparrow in “Bent’s Life Histories of North American Birds” for the Smithsonian Institute in 1968. He was the first person to spot the Cattle Egret in Western Canada, and Yellow Trail nests in Manitoba. Lane was a member of the American Ornithological Union, and co-founder of the Brandon Natural History Society. He worked as Curator of the B. J. Hales Natural History Museum in Brandon. In 1971 he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Brandon University and, the next year, received a Manitoba Good Citizenship Award. He was made a Life Member of the Manitoba Naturalists Society in 1973.


“John Lane,” Brandon Sun, 16 June 1969.

Obituary, Brandon Sun, 24 April 1975.

“BU Honours Lane,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 May 1971.

“Honorary Degrees,” Brandon Financial Post, 12 June 1971.

This page was prepared by Angela Graham and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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