Memorable Manitobans: Valentine “Val” Werier (1917-2014)
Born at Winnipeg on 29 June 1917, one of six children of Russian immigrants Mania and Mischa Werier, who had immigrated to Manitoba in 1908. During the Second World War, he served as a navigator for the Royal Canadian Air Force, receiving permanent injuries as a result of a crash in November 1944. Returning from military duty, he began a 70-year career as a newspaper journalist, becoming known as the “Prince of Print Journalism” as a result of many years spent working at the Winnipeg Tribune then, after its demise in 1980, for the Winnipeg Free Press. Long an advocate for the underprivileged, Werier sat on the Manitoba Law Reform Commission and, in 1994, he was appointed the first non-lawyer to be a complaints commissioner for a Canadian law society.
The husband of Eve Werier, he had three children. In recognition of his exemplary community service, he was inducted into the Order of Canada (1998) and the Order of Manitoba (2004). He has also received the Prix Manitoba (1989), Distinguished Service Award from Heritage Winnipeg, Citizen Activist Award from the Joseph Zuken Memorial Association (1994), Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Winnipeg Press Club President’s Award (2012), and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
He died at Winnipeg on 21 April 2014.
“Free Press writer honoured,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 November 1994, page 55.
“Big talent fought for the little guy,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 2014, page B5.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 April 2014, page B17.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 April 2014