Memorable Manitobans: Gerald William Malaher (1903-1984)
Civil servant, forester, conservationist.
Born in England in 1903, he came to Canada at age 17 and began a long association with northern Manitoba. In 1922, he joined the Indian Mission School at The Pas as a farm instructor and, two years later, took employment with the Dominion Topographical Survey, performing remote surveys of northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario by canoe. He attended St. John’s College in Winnipeg and the University of New Brunswick, receiving a BSc in Forestry in 1931.
During his college years, he was employed by the Dominion Forest Service and transferred to Province of Manitoba when the province took over its natural resources in July 1930. From 1932 to 1938, he served as Forester in Charge at the Sandilands Forest Service, from 1938 to 1941 was in charge of the Whiteshell, and in 1942, was appointed Supervisor of Northern Manitoba for the Game and Fisheries Branch, with headquarters at The Pas. While in this office, Malaher played a major role in the Summerberry Rehabilitation Program and introduction of Registered Trap Lines. He became Director of Game and Fisheries in Winnipeg in 1946, an office that he held until his retirement in 1967.
In 1933, he married Margret Millicent Wade (1907-1986, daughter of Henry Gerald Wade) and they had two children: Patricia Kathleen Malaher (1934-2019, wife of David Allan Holman) and David Malaher (husband of Rosemary Malaher). He was a life member of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, an Honorary Director of Ducks Unlimited Canada, Honorary President and Life Member of Manitoba Naturalists Society, Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, Founding and Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature (now the Manitoba Museum), Founding member of the Manitoba Zoological Society, and Honorary Life Member of the Western Canada Aviation Museum. In 1970, he was given a Good Citizenship Award and, in 1981, was made a Member of the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.
Malaher died at his summer home at West Hawk Lake on 14 July 1984 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. His book of memoirs, The North I Love, was published posthumously. There are papers at the Archives of Manitoba. He is commemorated by the Gerald W. Malaher Wildlife Management Area.
His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
“Six Manitobans to receive good citizenship awards,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 November 1970.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 1984, page 36.
Obituary [Margret Millicent Malaher], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 February 1986, page 55.
Obituary [Patricia K. Holman], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 2019.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 May 2021