Memorable Manitobans: Aristotle John “Telly” Mercury (1934-2010)
Lawyer, sports executive, athlete.
Born at Winnipeg on 2 September 1934, son of Greek immigrant J. M. Mercury, he graduated from the University of Manitoba Law School, articled with the law firm of Campbell and Haig, received his Bachelor of Laws Degree with Honours in 1960, and was called to the Manitoba Bar later that year. He practiced law with Lorne Campbell as a partner in the firm Campbell and Mercury. In 1964, the firm merged with the Aikins, MacAulay firm where he continued the practice of law until his retirement. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984.
He assisted Ben Hatskin in establishing the World Hockey Association (WHA) and he concluded the million dollar deal that brought Bobby Hull to Manitoba as a player for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. As General Counsel to the Jets and the WHA he oversaw the establishment of hockey franchises in Canada and the United States. He was the Chairman of the legal committee and General Counsel of Judo Canada. He held a fifth-degree black belt in judo, was a former Manitoba Black Belt Champion, and represented Manitoba seven consecutive times in the Canadian National Judo Championships.
He was President of the Manitoba Bar Association from 1977 to 1978, a member of the Bar Planning Committee from 1979 to 1980, and a past Provincial Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Committee. He was a director of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association, a board member of the Air Cadet League of Canada (Manitoba), a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 182 (Gimli) and of the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation. He incorporated the Hellenic Greek Orthodox Church of Winnipeg, served as its General Counsel and was a member of the board for many years.
He died at Winnipeg on 22 February 2010 and was buried at Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery.
“Province names Corrin, 12 other lawyers Queen’s counsel,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1983, page 6.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 February 2010.
We thank Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP for providing the photograph used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 December 2019