Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Alfred Reginald “Reg” McDiarmid (1878-1944)

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Alfred Reginald McDiarmid
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Lumber merchant, Mayor of Brandon (1919).

Born at Fingal, Ontario on 23 March 1878, son of John S. McDiarmid and Mary Amelia Ferguson (1853-1930), he came with his family to Brandon at the age of four. He subsequently attended two years at Manitoba College in Winnipeg. In Fall 1898, he went into the lumber business with John Hanbury, afterwards going to Rat Portage [now Kenora, Ontario] with the Rat Portage Lumber Company.

He returned to Brandon to organize McDiarmid & Clark, a branch of the Assiniboine Lumber Company, with John Clark. This company was succeeded four years later by Sword & McEachern, then by McDiarmid & McEachern. He continued business by himself for two years. He was a stockholder in the Manitoba Windmill & Pump Company and the Brandon Brick & Lumber Company. He was the manager of the Brandon branch of the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission until ill health forced his retirement.

In 1903, he was married to Jean Elizabeth Burr (1879-1926, daughter of M. W. Burr of Guelph, Ontario) and they had a daughter, Helen Elizabeth McDiarmid (1915-1994, wife of Emmett Joseph Riordan). He served as Mayor of Brandon in 1919 and was for many years a member of the Brandon Board of Trade.

He died at Brandon on 30 October 1944, after many years of poor health, and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


“Helen Elizabeth McDiarmid weds Emmett J. Riordan in church in Vancouver,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 October 1941.

Death registration [Jean McDiarmid], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Former Mayor of Brandon dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 October 1944. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 160]

“A. R. McDiarmid,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 1944, page 4.

We thank Sandy Jasper for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 November 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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