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Memorable Manitobans: Alan William Scarth (1922-2021)

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Alan William Scarth
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Lawyer, community activist.

Born at Winnipeg on 9 March 1922, son of Harold St. Clair Scarth and Winnifred Lillian Coulson (1894-1995), he graduated with a commerce degree from the University of Manitoba in 1942. Later that year, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served in England with the Royal Air Force.

He commenced studies at the Manitoba Law School in 1945 and articled in law with his father. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1948. He practiced with the firm of Scarth, Honeyman, Scarth, and Simonsen, and was later a partner in the law firm of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman. He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1962, and served as counsel on significant environmental cases.

Active in a number of organizations, he played a key role in the founding of the Fort Whyte Nature Centre (now FortWhyte Alive). He served on a sports committee of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1975) and the Order of Canada (2001), he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and a Distinguished Service Award from the Manitoba Bar Association (2014).

On 6 February 1953, he married Helen Isabel Dundee (1921-2015) at Winnipeg and they had three daughters and a son.

He died on 13 August 2021.


“Chapel ceremony marks Helen Dundee's vows with Alan Wm. Scarth,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1953, page 14.

“Province names ten lawyers Queen’s counsels,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 December 1962, page 13.

Obituary [Winnifred Lillian Scarth], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 September 1995, page 47.

The Fort Whyte Story: Human. Nature. by Jake MacDonald, Winnipeg: FortWhyte Alive, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9813732-0-1.

Obituary [Helen Scarth], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 September 2015, page 34.

Obituary, The Globe and Mail, 28 August 2021.

We thank Jonathan Scarth for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 October 2021

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