Memorable Manitobans: John Russell Stuart (1908-1970)
Born at Selkirk, Manitoba on 19 March 1908, son of Robert Miller Stuart and Alice Hannah Steinhoff, grandson of James Stuart, he was the first full-time Personnel Manager of any city in Canada. Educated at the University of Minnesota and the University of Manitoba, he first worked as a clerk at Winnipeg Hydro in 1925. He remained there until 1948 during which time he became the organization’s employment officer. Loaned to Jules Preudhomme as a secretary in 1944, he was instrumental in the creation of the Preudhomme Report. Issued in 1945, this report reviewed wages and qualifications for every municipal job. When the city of Winnipeg set up the Employer-Employee Advisory Board, he was appointed secretary (1948-1950). In 1950, he became Personnel Manager for the city, a title he held until his death.
A specialist in his field, he was a member of the Greater Winnipeg Personnel Association, serving as its President from 1946-1947. International president and honorary life member of the Public Personnel Association in 1967, he was also chairman of the Founding Committee of the Canadian Chapter of the Public Personnel Association, a founder and honorary life member of the Canadian Western Region of the Personnel Association, and a member of the civics bureau of the Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Medical Service.
A member of Harrow United Church who was active on the board of stewards, he also served this church as chairman of the board of trustees and of the building committee. He was a past president of the Optimists Club (elected in 1948), associated with the Sea Cadets in Winnipeg and the Junior Chamber where he founded the first Blood Donor Clinic. He was also a board member of Roslyn House.
He and his wife Ina shared three children: Sandra Stuart, John Stuart, and James Stuart. On 27 May 1970, he died at Winnipeg General Hospital.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 May 1970, page 27.
This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden.
Page revised: 15 July 2012
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