Memorable Manitobans: James Thomas Laurance “Laurie” Ward (1925-1985)
Born at Winnipeg in 1925, the son of James Ward (1887-1974) and Mabel Morgan (1889-1973), he was raised in West Kildonan. He attended Centennial School, winning the Governor General’s Award upon graduation, after which he went on to St. John’s College and the University of Manitoba, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture in 1947.
He worked at the architectural firm of Moody and Moore for one year before joining the office of Edgar Prain in 1949. In 1951, he became a junior partner in the firm of Prain and Ward. From 1958 to 1969, the firm was known as Ward and Macdonald, with Gerald D. Macdonald becoming a parter and Edgar Prain resigning his partner standing. In 1969, the firm became Ward, Macdonald, Cockburn, McLeod, and McFeetors, until 1974 when Ward withdrew from active partnership and established his own small home-based architectural practice. The firm continued under the name of Macdonald, Cockburn, McLeod, and McFeetors. At the time of his death, he worked for the Manitoba Department of Education as the Chairman of the School Buildings Projects Committee.
He was a choir member, People’s Rector, and People’s Warden at St. Anne’s Anglican Church, where he also was cubmaster for 33 years. He was also a lay reader in River North Anglican Churches and a board member of Sir John Hugh McDonald Hostel and the Metro Election Committee (1964). On 25 June 1954, he married Elizabeth Blanche “Betty” Hiddleston (1928-2001) at St. John’s Cathedral in Winnipeg. The couple had four children and resided at Old Kildonan and West Kildonan.
He died of cancer at Winnipeg on 6 July 1985.
Some of his architectural works in Manitoba:
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Elizabeth Blanche Hiddleston has six attendance at wedding,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 July 1954, page 14.
“Prain and Ward - Architects,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 January 1958, page 40.
“Tenders for redecoration of Fort Garry Municipal offices,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 February 1959, page 35.
“Tenders for Viscount Alexander School addition,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 April 1959, page 71.
“Tenders [Princess Margaret School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 1959, page 45.
“Tenders [Wayoata School, Regent Park School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1959, page 37.
“Tenders [Brandon School Division],” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 November 1959, page 37.
“Tenders [Radisson School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 March 1960, page 9.
“Tenders [Miles Macdonell Collegiate],” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 March 1960, page 17.
“Tenders [Carman School, Miami School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 August 1960.
“Tenders,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 October 1960, page 61.
[Photo caption, River East Collegiate], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 February 1961, page 6.
“Election committee officers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 1964, page 3.
“Tender notice Jameswood Elementary School addition,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 April 1967, page 63.
“Tender notice Assiniboine School addition,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 April 1967, page 63.
Obituary [Mabel Ward], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 January 1973, page 35.
“Ward, Macdonald, Cockburn, McLeod, & McFeetors,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 1974.
Obituary [James Ward], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 December 1974, page 41.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 July 1985, page 28.
Obituary [Elizabeth Ward], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 August 2001, page C8.
We thank Gail Singleton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 7 February 2021