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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Addison “Mac” McCoubrey (1885-1942)

Engineer, mountaineer.

Born at Glasgow, Scotland in 1885, the youngest of five sons born to James and Isobel McCoubrey, he spent several boyhood years in Spain. At the age of 15 years, he emigrated to Canada with his mother and worked on the farm of an older brother at Crandall. In 1904, he was hired by the Canadian Pacific Railway to undertake survey work in Saskatchewan. He would remain in the company’s employ for the next 37 years, becoming Chief Draughtsman of Western Lines and later Assistant Engineer. In 1917, he undertook studies at the University of Manitoba, culminating in a BSc degree. While there he helped to establish the University of Manitoba Students’ Union and served as its President (1919).

In 1912, he married Jennie Etta Manthorne (1888-1918) and they had two children, Dorothy Jean McCoubrey (?-?, wife of Olaf Valentine Knudson and ? Fields) and William Alexander McCoubrey (1915-2001). He married again, on 30 January 1922, to Florence Alberta McCallum (c1895-1974) of Winnipeg and they had a son, Neil John McCoubrey. He was a keen athlete, and especially enjoyed golf, tennis, curling, skiing, and mountain climbing. He was a member of numerous organizations, including the Royal Geographical Society, Scientific Club of Winnipeg, Natural History Society of Manitoba, Ski Club of Great Britain, Winnipeg Ski Club, Puffin Ski Club, Snow Birds Ski Club, La Riviere Ski Club, Alpine Club of London, American Alpine Club, Club Alpin Francais, and Dolomite Club of Winnipeg. He joined the newly formed Alpine Club of Canada in 1908 and served as its Vice-President (1928) and President (1932-1934), and editor of its Canadian Alpine Journal (1930-1942).

He died at his work desk in Winnipeg on 12 February 1942 and was buried in the Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery.

Sources:

Marriage registration [Alexander Addison McCoubrey, Florence Alberta McCallum], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Marriage registration [Dorothy Jean McCoubrey, Olaf Valentine Knudson], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Ski tracks,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 1942, page 18.

Obituary [Florence Alberta McCoubrey], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 1974, page 19.

Obituary [William Alexander McCoubrey], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 August 2001.

“Dr. Ferris Neave, F.R.S.C.: Manitoba’s unknown mountaineer of the 1930’s” by Karl E. Ricker In: Manitoba Climbers: A Century of Stories from the Birthplace of The Alpine Club of Canada. Winnipeg: Alpine Club of Canada – Manitoba Section, Christine Mazur, Simon Statkewich, and David Relkoff (editors), 2006, pp. 47-69.

“In memoriam, Alexander Addison McCoubrey 1885-1942” by Ferris Neave In: Manitoba Climbers: A Century of Stories from the Birthplace of The Alpine Club of Canada. Winnipeg: Alpine Club of Canada – Manitoba Section, Christine Mazur, Simon Statkewich, and David Relkoff (editors), 2006, pp. 77-81.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 April 2023

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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