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Manitoba History No. 89

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Memorable Manitobans

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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Gordon Smith (1902-1990)


Born at Carberry on 17 June 1902, eldest son of Sidney Thomas Smith and Emily J. Frogley (?-?), he was educated at Kelvin High School, followed in 1920 by two years of study at Princeton University, after which he returned to the University of Manitoba to study economics. His business career started in 1923, initially with his father’s firm of firm of Smith Murphy Company, later with the Reliance Grain Company. From 1935 to 1937, he was the General Sales Manager of the Canadian Wheat Board, and from 1939 to 1944 its Assistant Chief Commissioner. He then returned to Reliance Grain until it ceased operation in 1950. He was a Vice-President and Director of the Monarch Life Assurance Company, and a Director of several companies, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Beaver Lumber Company, Canadian Indemnity Company, Federal Grain Limited, Hudson’s Bay Company, and United Canadian Shares Limited. With George H. Sellers and Ernest H. Moncrieff, he founded Standard Aero Engine Limited. He served on the boards of the Winnipeg General Hospital and the Health Sciences Centre, including terms as Presidents of both.

On 2 February 1925, he married Isabel Margaret McLellan (?-?) at Winnipeg and they had two children: Donald Smith and Nancy Smith (wife of Alan G. Howison). He was a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, Chairman of Riverbend School, Councillor for the Town of Tuxedo, and a founding member of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature and Manitoba Centennial Corporation. In recognition of his community service, he received a Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society (1970).

He died at London, Ontario on 8 April 1990.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Smith – McLellan,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 February 1925, page 16.

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

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1990, page 37.

We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 July 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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