Memorable Manitobans: Robert Stewart “Bob” McKenzie (1938-2018)
Lawyer, municipal official.
Born at Roland on 19 September 1938, son of Bert McKenzie and Kay McKenzie, he attended Roland School and the University of Manitoba, obtaining degrees in Arts and Law. While attending the university, he edited the campus newsletter The Manitoban for a year and led the student Liberal Party. In 1964, after being called to the Manitoba Bar, he established at Carman a law firm that would become McKenzie, Mooney & Brown. Active in the community, he was a members of the Young Citizens Group, a Carman volunteer board that secured construction of the Boyne Lodge retirement home in 1967. He was a delegate to the 1968 federal Liberal leadership convention where he supported Pierre Trudeau on all four ballots. At the provincial level, he was the Liberal candidate for the Pembina constituency in the 1973 provincial general election. Locally, he served for 24 years on the Carman town council betwen 1970 and 2006, including a period as Mayor of Carman (1986-1992). As Mayor, he played important roles in acquiring land for the Carman Industrial Park and establishing Carman Community Pathway. His biggest accomplishment was securing an agreement in 1988 from all levels of government to build the Carman Flood Protection Diversion, motivated as a result of floods of the Boyne River in 1893, 1923, 1970, 1974, and 1979 that caused extensive damage and dissuaded businesses from locating in Carman. After retirement from law in 2000, he was a board member of the Southern Regional Health Authority. In the 1960s and 1970s, he contributed articles to the Winnipeg Free Press on topics of rural importance. He also enjoyed hiking, canoeing, and spending time with his three children. He died in 2018 and was buried in the Roland Cemetery.
“Carman Flood Protection Diversion, File: 3002.00,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 April 1989, page 6.
“Carman Flood Protection Diversion officially opened,” Manitoba News Release, 9 October 1992.
“Former mayor remembered for heart of gold, commitment to community,” The Valley Leader, 11 September 2018.
McKenzie family papers.
This page was prepared by the McKenzie family and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 August 2019
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