Memorable Manitobans: Roy Wilfred Milner (1892-1986)
Born at Brampton, Ontario on 23 March 1892, son of William Edwin Milner and Charlotte H. Roberts (c1867-1953), in 1907 he came to Winnipeg with his family and attended the Winnipeg Collegiate and Wesley College. His work in the grain industry began at an early age when he carried barley samples to Toronto on behalf of his grain merchant father. After working at Zenith Grain from 1909 to 1911, he was a travelling salesman in Western Canada for Ganong’s Chocolates then operated his own business, Motor Cartage, using the first motorized truck in Winnipeg. In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and served overseas with the Motor Transport Corps, receiving the Meritorious Medal in 1917.
Following his military discharge in 1919, he returned to Winnipeg and the grain industry, working at Jackson Brothers and serving as President of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange (1935-1936). He retired in 1950 as Vice-President and Managing Director of the Alberta Pacific Grain Company at Calgary, Alberta. Later that year, he was appointed Alberta representative on the Board of Grain Commissioners and, the following year, as Transport Controller for Canada, serving until 1956. Returning to the Board of Grain Commissioners, he retired as its Chairman in 1960 and moved back to Winnipeg where he lived at 225 Wellington Crescent. He was also a Director of the Canada Steamship Lines (1961-1972), Crown Trust Company, and Sovereign Life Assurance Company.
He was married twice, first on 4 October 1920 to Margaret Jean Watson (1897-1961) at Winnipeg. They subsequently had five children: Mary Milner (wife of A. W. Everett), Kaye Milner (wife of L. J. Minions), Marnie Milner (wife of Gordon Dunn), R. W. “Bud” Milner, and William E. “Bill” Milner. On 20 September 1963, he married Catherine Stewart at Winnipeg. He was a Life Member of the Manitoba Club, Ranchmen’s Club (Calgary), and Masons (Assiniboine Lodge No. 114).
He died at King Edward Hospital on 19 April 1986 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“50 years serving the grain trade,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 November 1960.
Obituary [Margaret Jean Milner], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 November 1961, page 47.
“Milner – Stewart,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 September 1963, page 16.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 1986, page 32.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 November 2022