Memorable Manitobans: Robert McKay (1879-1949)
Born at Brora, Sutherlandshire, Scotland on 14 November 1879, son of George and Marion McKay, he came to Winnipeg in 1881 where he was educated at the North Central School. He commenced a career as junior clerk with William Rae Allan, in 1893. He was later a partner in the firm of Allan, Killam, and McKay. He was President of the Western Canada Board of Fire Underwriters and of Archibald, Martin Motors Limited. He was a director of the British Dominions Finance Corporation of London, England
On 26 December 1906, he married Margaret Elizabeth McCallum (1884-1968) and they had three daughters: Margaret Catherine McKay (1909-1989, wife of Sydney James Stevenson), Marion Elizabeth McKay (1911-1963, wife of William Sherwood Tomlinson), and Mary Jean McKay (1912-1986). He was a member of the Carleton Club, St. Charles Country Club, AF & AM, Manitoba Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, Khartum Temple, Winnipeg Rotary Club, Winnipeg Fellowship Club, and St. George’s Anglican Church. He served as President of the Soldiers Settlement Board of Canada and Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 1118 Wolseley Avenue, on 6 November 1949 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. His honorary pallbearers were William Henry Carter, A. McHattie, William Hicks Gardner, Peter Lowe, Norman Douglas, Norman J. Black, A. B. Gardiner, John Vincent Nutter, V. D. Hurst, Herbert Mason Tucker, Edwin C. Ryan, W. G. Kotchapaw, and R. J. Chore.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, 1911. C. W. Parker, editor. Canadian Press Association, Vancouver.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Norquay sits where Selkirk Settlers once sowed grain” by Claire Tisdale, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1949.
“Robert McKay, city business head, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 November 1949, page 5.
“Dies in fire,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 October 1963, page 3.
Obituary [Margaret Elizabeth McKay], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 January 1968, page 29.
Obituary [Margaret Catherine Stevenson], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 October 1989, page 31.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Dawson Haack for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 31 August 2020