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Memorable Manitobans: William “Bill” Moncur (1910-2001)

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William Moncur
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Farmer, archaeologist.

Born on the family farm near Boissevain on 23 January 1910, the first of four children of William Moncur (1881-1965) and Helen “Nellie” Low (1889-1965), he attended Royal School up to grade 8 then spent much of his adult life farming, retiring only in 1989. His life-long fascination with Aboriginal artifacts began when, at the age of 14, he found an old spear point on his father’s farm. He amassed an extensive collection which, in April 1986, formed the basis for the Moncur Gallery in Boissevain. In 1942, he was adopted by the Mandan people and given the title “Pipe Carrier.” Recognized as the “pioneer archeologist of southwestern Manitoba,” in 1987 the Manitoba Archaeological Society awarded him its Vickers-Hlady Award for helping to raise awareness of archaeology in Manitoba.

On 9 October 1937, he married Hattie Martha Brindle (1909-2005), daughter of Carter Brindle and Ida Lora Lawson (c1879-1959), formerly a teacher at Dunallen School, at Souris. They had four children: Allyne Moncur, Blaine Moncur, Barrie Moncur, and Louisa Moncur. He performed in the Royal Troubadours, a popular dance band, in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the 1970s, he worked as curator and administrator of the Manitoba Agricultural Museum at Austin. He was a founder and, in 1978, was elected President of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame. He was an elder in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, and served as a trustee and secretary-treasurer of Royal School. He was a member of the board of the Beckoning Hills Museum (1966-1970, 1980-1984) and contributed to two local history books. Also interested in wildlife preservation, in August 1994, he donated 160 acres of his farm land north of Boissevain to the Manitoba Wildlife Federation Habitat Foundation “to re-establish the flora and fauna that flourished here only a generation ago.” In March 1984, his exemplary community service was recognized by a Good Citizenship Award.

He died at Boissevain on 12 May 2001.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Moncur Natural Habitat Monument (Municipality of Boissevain-Morton)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (558 Cook Street, Boissevain, Municipality of Boissevain-Morton)

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Arrowheads are his passion” by Bill Redekop, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 August 1996, page 5.

Obituary, Brandon Sun, 16 May 2001, page B4.

“Community loses amateur archeologist” by Paul Rayner, biographical clipping at Boissevain & Morton Regional Library.

“Thirty years ago,” Brandon Sun, 4 May 2008, page A6.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 September 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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