Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Roy Joseph Matas (1920-1986)

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Roy Joseph Matas
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Lawyer, judge.

Born at Winnipeg on 10 July 1920, youngest of six children of Russian immigrants Simon Matas (1881-1971) and Anna Posler (?-1954), he was educated at Norquay School, Aberdeen School, St. John’s High School (where he was valedictorian) and the University of Manitoba. He practised law with the firm of Cantor Matas Simkin Cantor and Goltsman until he was elevated to the Court of Queen’s Bench in 1967. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1973. He chaired subcommittees for the Law Society of Manitoba from 1976 to 1979 on competence and legal education.

He and wife Ruth Churchill had two daughter and a son. Matas was a prominent member of the Winnipeg Jewish community. He also served as Chair of the Winnipeg School Board (1959-?), Chair of the Manitoba Association of School Trustees (1960-1961), President of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and President of the Liberal Party of Manitoba.

He died at Winnipeg on 11 November 1986.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: McKiechan House / Matas House and Grocery (121 Euclid Avenue, Winnipeg)

MHS Resources: Personal Memoirs: Matas Family History by David Matas (December 2016, PDF format)


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Simon Matas], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 1971, page 41.

“Justice Matas dies of cancer,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 November 1986, page 5.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 November 1986, page 52.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 October 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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