MHS Awards: Dr. Edward C. Shaw Award
This award is designed to encourage Manitoba students to develop or pursue an interest in history, one of the late Dr. Edward Shaw’s own enthusiasms and one he loved to share.
His vocation was medicine. At 16, he tested his aptitude for it by working as a night orderly for six months. Then, in the Second World War, he served overseas with the medical corps of the Royal Canadian Air Force. On his return he studied medicine at the Manitoba Medical College and graduated in 1955 as a general practitioner. He practised in the River Heights area of Winnipeg for 25 years, and in many cases was the family doctor for a generation of patients in one family.
After the war he continued his involvement with the Air Force. He served overseas at #3 Fighter Wing R.C.A.F. in Zwiebrucken, Germany, in the summer of 1953, and was active in #17 Wing R.C.A.F. from 1955-64 retiring with the rank of Wing Commander.
But history was his special love. An avid reader, his library eventually contained a large number of history books, some rare, particularly on the West and the Arctic. One book, Women of Red River, a gift from his eldest daughter to his wife, was particularly influential. In it he read of a stone house on the River Road at St. Andrews he later owned and turned into the Red River House Museum. It is now the government-owned Kennedy House in the River Road Heritage Parkway. Dr. Shaw wanted it to reflect the cultural contributions of all Manitoba especially native Indians. It was his centennial project and one which continued for 13 years and to which he and his family devoted much time, energy, and research. His efforts brought Captain William Kennedy from relative obscurity to a figure of provincial, if not national significance.
Dr. Shaw was president of the Manitoba Historical Society from 1973-76 and chairman of the Macdonald House Completion Fund Committee; vice-president of the Red River Valley Historical Society; and Governor of Heritage Canada for the Prairie and Northwest Territories, 1974-79, being instrumental in the decision of that board to commit its initial $500,000 to the Albert Street Conservation Project in Winnipeg.
In 1974 a Provincial Historical Sites Plaque honouring the home of Captain Kennedy was erected at Red River House. Dr. Shaw also received a Margaret McWilliams Medal, a Pioneer Historian Award (Red River Valley Historical Society), and a Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Shaw married Margaret Elizabeth (nee Munro) in 1954 and they had five children - four daughters: Janet, Sandra, Margaret, Irene, and a son, Edward. No more fitting memorial could be made to the memory of a historian and a doctor who was one of Manitoba’s leading citizens. The competition is open to all Senior High students of Manitoba. The family and the Manitoba Historical Society hope that the recipients of this award will find their own unique rewards and satisfactions from endeavours in the broad field of history.
This award of $100 is presented to the best Senior High entry in the Young Historians competition.
For further information on this award, please contact the MHS office.
If you have questions about the Dr. Edward Shaw Award program, please contact the MHS office.
Page revised: 12 June 2013