Memorable Manitobans: Robert John Taylor (1914-1991)
Journalist, municipal official.
Born at Calgary, Alberta on 17 June 1914, son of William Stanley Taylor and Mary Gawley, he attended the Calgary Commercial College while working as a telegraph operator for the Canadian Press. He joined the staff of the Calgary Albertan in 1935, working as an oil reporter and assistant editor. The following year, he moved to a sister publication, The Northern Mail, a newspaper that served all of northern Manitoba, based at The Pas.
On 30 July 1938, he married Anne Roper (?-?, daughter of the newspaper’s late publisher William Henry Roper) at The Pas. In 1939, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served at Manning Depots in western Canada before being transferred to Ottawa in 1940, commissioned in 1941, and working in the RCAF Printing Department. He transferred to the Public Relations Department in 1942 and went overseas where he was posted at several units in England and France. as a public relations officer. He returned to The Pas after the war and became publisher of The Northern Mail.
Active in the community, he was one of the founders of the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival, a Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Canadian Legion (The Pas branch), and Mayor of The Pas (1958-1959). In 1959, the newspaper was sold to Abe Ostrey and Orson Wright of Flin Flon, he lost a bid for re-election as Mayor, and changed his name legally to Robert Roper Taylor. He moved to Selkirk then, five years later, to White Rock, British Columbia. Four years later, he moved to Agassiz where he operated a motel.
He sold the motel in 1975 and retired to Hope, British Columbia. He died there on 12 June 1991 and was buried in Queen’s Park Cemetery at Calgary.
His publications for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Vets find The Pas gateway to success,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 September 1947, page 30.
Death registration [Robert Roper Taylor], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
“The story of The Pas' 16th Mayor, Robert John Taylor” by Ralph McLean, Opasquia Times, 27 September 2019, page 16.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 May 2020
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