Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Donald Malcolm Plummer (1926-1989)

Educator, community activist.

Born at Durban on 7 December 1926, second son of Francis Albert Plummer and Elsie Marion Plummer, he attained a BA (1950) from United College and BEd and MA degrees from the University of Manitoba.

He was Principal of Benito School (1953-1955) before taking a course at Yale University School of Alcohol Studies and became involved with the Manitoba Temperance Alliance (1955-1957). As result of the Bracken Liquor Inquiry Commission, he was appointed the first Director of Alcohol Education (1957-?) and served as the Special Service Supervisor for the Manitoba Department of Education (1962), Editor of its bi-monthly bulletin newsletter The Manitoba School Journal (?-1963) and the Department of Education’s monthly news bulletin (1963-?). He was Principal of the Manitoba School of the Deaf from 1964 to 1982 and oversaw its development into a residential school for the deaf. From 1979, he was also involved in family support groups for the mentally ill and was a founder and past President of Manitoba Friends of Schizophrenics.

On 5 October 1950, he married Muriel May Lints (?-1980) at St. Matthews Church in Winnipeg and had four children, including Francis Allan “Frank” Plummer. He married Helga Berger on 7 May 1988. He was active in the Anglican Church and the Diocese of Rupertsland. He joined the Rotary Club in 1974, later receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship.

He died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 23 March 1989 and was buried in the Garry Memorial Park.

Sources:

“Manitoba pair wed in Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 October 1950, page 13.

“Temperance official to be first Director of Alcohol Education,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 April 1957, page 13.

“‘Exceptional’ children need special education,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 1962, page 59.

“School Journal to stop,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 May 1963, page 3.

Obituary [Muriel May Plummer], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 January 1980, page 36.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 March 1989, page 26.

Winnipeg estate file PR96-05-00063, Elsie Marion Plummer, Archives of Manitoba.

We thank Carol Airhart for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Kris Keen and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 5 February 2020

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