Memorable Manitobans: Charles Holmes McFadyen (1889-1949)
Born at Selkirk on 1 March 1889, son of Elizabeth and M. McFadyen, he was educated at Selkirk schools then became an accountant with the firm of William Robinson & Company. He then branched out on his own, in the contracting and insurance business, establishing the McFadyen Company in 1913. He built many of the fine residences of Greater Winnipeg. He also served as Vice-President and Managing Director of Commercial Securities Corporation Limited. He served as a Director of Amphitheatre Limited, Osborne Stadium Limited, Olympic Rink Limited, Modern Dairies Limited, Trans-Canada Insurance Company of Montreal, Commercial Securities Limited, Canadian Mercantile Insurance Company, Western Recreations Limited, Garrick Finance Limited, Property Investments Limited, and Western Canada Trust Company.
During the Second World War, he was instrumental in beginning the system of children’s playgrounds in Winnipeg. He was a member of the Winnipeg Parks Board for 12 years (1935 to 1947), two of which years he was Chairman. He was Chairman of City Recreation for five years. He was also a member of the Winnipeg Town Planning Commission from 1945 to 1946. A hockey and rugby enthusiast in his youth, he organized the Westminster Soccer Club and was one of a group of businessmen who reorganized the Maroons baseball team.
On 23 September 1922, he married Hazel E. Best, daughter of Edward E. Best. They had no children. They lived at 263 Waverley Street. He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, and the Masons (St. John’s Lodge No. 4).
“Men of Winnipeg in Diamond Jubilee Sketches,” Winnipeg Free Press, December 1934. [Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 8, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections]
“Executive, sportsman, C. H. McFadyen, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1949, page 6.
“Playground renamed to honor C. H. McFadyen,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 1950, page 3.
Page revised: 19 October 2014
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