Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Vernon L. Watson (1918-1984)

Dentist, musician, artist.

Born at Dauphin on 26 October 1918, son of Howard Milroy Watson and Edna Mae Watson, he attended local schools, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Toronto, graduating with a dental degree from the latter in 1944. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War, which posted him to Rivers. In 1946, he took over the Dauphin dental practice of Dr. Bewell. He practiced as a dentist for over 30 years.

He was active in community organizations, as Chairman of the Dauphin School Board; President of the Dauphin Musical Club, the Dauphin Music Festival, and the Dauphin Flying Club; and a member of Canadian Legion (Dauphin Branch), the Dauphin Lions Club, and the Dauphin Boys and Girls Band Committee. He founded the Dr. Vern Watson Stage Band and the Dauphin Orchestra. In 1972, he spearheaded the formation of the Dauphin Allied Arts Council, which brought cultural and artististic groups to Dauphin, serving as its President from 1973 to 1979. During his tenure, the former Dauphin Town Hall was renovated and transformed into the Dauphin Allied Arts Centre (now the Vernon Watson Arts Centre). He served on the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the International Music Camp.

He taught water colour classes at the Dauphin Art Club and the Wasagaming Summer Arts Camp. He was selected for membership in the Academy of Restorative Dentistry as a result of his research on “Colour in Dentistry,” for which he gave lectures at the Faculties of Dentistry at the Universities of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He was a member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and the Midwest Watercolor Society.

After the death of his first wife, he married Frances Elizabeth Lorraine Port.

He died at Winnipeg on 12 June 1984 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Dauphin.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dauphin Town Hall (Vernon Watson Arts Centre)


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 June 1984, page 43.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 June 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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