Memorable Manitobans: Cecil Leckie (1902-1986)
Born at Winnipeg on 25 August 1899, son of stonemason James Leckie (1853-1938) and Margaret McDonald (c1852-1932), he attended Victoria-Albert School and the Central Collegiate. He worked as a stenographer before misrepresenting his age on enlistment papers to serve overseas with the Lord Strathcona Horse during the First World War.
He returned from military service and joined the Winnipeg Fire Department in April 1923, where he would work 44 years. In May 1940, he again returned to active military service with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps and retired with the rank of Captain. Returning to the Fire Department in July 1946, he made Lieutenant (1951), Captain (1952), and Deputy Chief (1957) becoming Fire Chief of Winnipeg (1964-1967). He retired from the post in August 1967, but remained active with the department, attending fire chiefs’ conferences around Canada and the United States.
He was a member of the Fire Fighters Historical Society, International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Institute for the Blind, Fellowship Club, Khartum Drum and Bugle Corps, YMCA Health Club, Royal Canadian Legion No. 1, Mason (Ionic Lodge), UCC of E (Bethany Preceptory No. 68 and Carnaugh Chapter). He was twice-married, to his first wife Faith Leckie (?-1970), with whom he had three children; Lawrence “Larry” Leckie, William J. “Bill” Leckie, and Margaret Leckie (wife of J. Knight). He remarried following the death of his first wife, to Winnifred “Win” McNamara (c1903-1990).
He died at the Grace Hospital on 25 February 1986.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“No inquest into the death of Mrs. Margaret Leckie,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 May 1932, page 11.
Obituary [James Leckie], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 April 1938, page 6.
“They want Dunnett as City Fire Chief,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 November 1956, page 4.
“New Deputy acts for Fire Chief,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 September 1967, page 5.
Obituary [Faith Leckie], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 August 1970, page 31.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 February 1986, page 48.
“Former Winnipeg Fire Chief dies at 83,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 February 1986, page 2.
Obituary [Winnifred Leckie], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 July 1990, page 36.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 2 September 2014
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