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Memorable Manitobans: Ronald David “Ron” Turner (1915-1965)

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Ronald David Turner
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Lawyer, MLA (1946-1949), MLA (1949-1953), MLA (1953-1956), aviation pioneer.

Born at Carman on 19 August 1915, son of John Turner and Bessie Frisken, he was educated at John M. King School and the University of Manitoba (BA, 1935). He was a champion swimmer at university, setting a record for a swim at Lake of the Woods. He received his law degree in 1939 (being made a Queen’s Counsel in 1954) and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Pilot Officer, being discharged in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He was elected MLA for RCAF veterans in the 1945 general election, and later elected as an MLA for Winnipeg South in 1949 and re-elected in 1953. He was Provincial Treasurer (1951-1956), later adding the portfolio of Industry and Commerce, then that of provincial Railway Commissioner (1954-1956). His budget presentations were recognized for their detail. He resigned all his appointments in 1956 to become President of TransAir Limited. He served as President of the Manitoba Arts Council in the late 1950s.

In 1941, he married Mavis Gordon Curry (1920-2015) and they had four children: Jacqueline Linda Turner, John David Turner, Patricia Elaine Turner, and Catherine Elizabeth Turner. He was a member of St. Andrews River Heights United Church.

He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 15 March 1965. His honorary pallbearers included Douglas L. Campbell, R. G. B. Dickson, C. Irving Keith, Gildas Molgat, Conrad S. Riley, and George H. Sellers.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“John M. King ‘a must’ in booming city of ‘05” by Claire Tisdale, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 February 1949.

“5 Manitoba lawyers named Queen’s Counsel,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1953, page 3.

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1956.

“TransAir's Ron Turner dies at 49,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 March 1965.

“R. D. Turner, head of TransAir, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 March 1965.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 March 1965, page 42.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituary [Mavis Gordon Turner], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 2015.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

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