Memorable Manitobans: Edward Gordon McGill (1929-2021)
Farmer, community activist.
Born on a farm near Clearwater on 1 September 1929, youngest child of David McGill (1877-1942) and Sarah Margaret McGill (1892-1972), his father died when he was 12. After attending Clearwater School to grade 10, he began working on local farms, raking and stacking hay, and worked at an iron mine at Wawa, Ontario for a winter in the 1940s.
On 20 November 1954, he married Merle Fairley Gardiner (1930-2010) and they settled on a farm three miles north of Clearwater, renting it until 1964 when they purchased it. In 1971, he began working for Manitoba Natural Resources, first at Rock Lake and later at Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. He retired in 1994 after 24 years of service.
An active volunteer in many facets of heritage work, he chaired the Clearwater Centennial Committee (1976) and contributed actively to the local history book Prairie Pride Land: Rural Municipality of Louise (1998). He spent 30 years as a founding member of the Boundary Commission North West Mounted Police Trail (later renamed the Boundary Trails Heritage Region) and was its Chairman for more than half of that time. He was active with the Pembina Threshermen Museum, Cartwright Heritage Park Museum, and Clearwater Agricultural Museum.
In recognition of his community service, he received a Regional Volunteer Award from the Manitoba Heritage Federation (1999) and the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Historical Preservation and Promotion (2016).
He died at Crystal City on 2 February 2021 and was buried in the Clearwater Cemetery. He was survived by three children, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Obituary [Merle Fairley McGill], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 July 2010.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 February 2021.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Leona Devuyst.
Page revised: 12 February 2021