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Memorable Manitobans: Michael “Mike” Spack (1922-2011)

Educator, municipal official.

Born at Winnipeg on 5 March 1922, he served as a pilot officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942 to 1945. While stationed overseas, he met Kathleen Saint of Nantwich, Cheshire, England on 10 April 1945. The couple returned to Winnipeg where Spack obtained BA (1948), BEd (1958), and MEd (1963) degrees from the University of Manitoba. He became the physical education director for the East Kildonan School District then the Norwood School District. He taught at Silver Heights Collegiate, eventually becoming Vice Principal (1960-1965). He was the first Principal of Athlone School (1965-1966), resigning in September 1966 to take a teaching position at Brandon College. He and Kathleen lived there for 40 years and raised three children.

Elected to the municipal council of East Kildonan in 1964, he was Reeve in 1966. A lifelong athlete, he was a star player on the St. John’s High School football team and Manitoba Bisons basketball team. He was a member of the legendary 1954 Winnipeg Paulins with Carl Ridd that took the national title and went on to place fifth at the world championships in Rio de Janeiro. He has been inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in three categories: player, coach, and builder.

He died at Winnipeg on 16 December 2011. He is commemorated by Basketball Manitoba’s Mike Spack Award given annually to someone who significantly contributes to the growth and development of basketball in Manitoba.

Sources:

1954 Winnipeg Paulins, Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

“Appoint EK Athletic Director,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1956.

“University results,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 1963, page 57.

“Spack resigning Sept. 15,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 September 1966.

A History of Silver Heights Collegiate Institute, 1957-1974 by Mrs. J. Betty Watson, Mrs. Joyce B. Frame, and Mrs. Clara R. Evans. [St. James Assiniboia School Division]

“MacCulloch tall in hall,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 May 2009.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 January 2012.

In Memory of Mike Spack, Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame.

East Kildonan School District Trustees, 1916-1967, MMC Alumni Association.

Members of East Kildonan Council and Key Office Holders, 1914-1971, Miles Macdonell Alumni Association.

This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 April 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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