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Memorable Manitobans: Nathan “Nate” Nurgitz (1934-2019)

Lawyer, municipal official, judge, senator.

Born at Winnipeg on 22 June 1934, son of Hymie Nurgitz (c1903-1973) and Dora Nurgitz (c1902-1994), he received degrees from the University of Manitoba (BA 1954, Law 1958) and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1959. Made a Queen’s Counsel in 1978, he practiced law with the firm of Thompson, Dorfman, Sweatman from 1979 and 1993, and served as a Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba (1978-1982). In 1993, he was appointed a judge on the Court of Queen’s Bench, serving until 2009. He also served as a Deputy Judge of the Nunavit Court of Justice (2005-2009). In 2009, he rejoined his former law firm and worked there until retirement in 2012.

Active in politics as an alderman for the City of West Kildonan (1963-1969), he ran unsuccessfully in the 1966 provincial general election. A founding board member of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation, he was later Vice-President and President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (1970-1971). In October 1979, he was summoned to the Canadian Senate, representing Winnipeg North, and served until February 1993, serving as Chair of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on Scrutiny, and on numerous committees related to agriculture and forestry, foreign affairs, banking, trade and commerce, and national finance. He was a member of the Boards for the Red River Exhibition (1978-1985) and Simkin Centre (1992-1995). In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)

He died at Winnipeg on 19 October 2019.


“These Manitobans will help plan centennial,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1963, page 9.

Obituary [Hymie Nurgitz], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1973, page 37.

“12 lawyers receive QC titles,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1977, page 160.

Obituary [Dora Nurgitz], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 October 1994, page 23.

The Honourable Nathan Nurgitz QC LLB, Parliament of Canada.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 23 November 2019.

Nathan Nurgitz, Wikipedia.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 November 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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