Memorable Manitobans: Robert William “Bobby” Bend (1914-1999)
Educator, MLA (1950-1953), MLA (1954-1957), MLA (1958-1959).
Born at Poplar Point on 16 April 1914, son of John Pigott “Jack” Bend and Annie Ada Wilson (1887-1978), he was educated at Poplar Point High School, Portage Collegiate, and the University of Manitoba (BSc 1937, BEd 1960). He taught school in Manitoba for fifteen years, including at Tilston School (1937-1940) and Teulon School (1940-1942), and service as Principal of Victory School (1960-1961) and Garden City Collegiate (1961-1964), and Superintendent of the Transcona-Springfield School Division.
First elected to the Manitoba Legislature at the 1949 general election, re-elected in 1953 and 1958, he served in the government of Douglas Lloyd Campbell as Minister of Health and Public Welfare (1955-1958). Defeated in the 1959 general election, he served as leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party in 1969. He ran against Harry Enns in the 1969 general election but was defeated.
On 18 September 1938, he married Laura Kathleen Fisher, daughter of R. F. Fisher, of High Bluff. They had three sons. He was a member of the Stonewall Hockey and Baseball Clubs. In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame (1997).
He died at Stonewall on 24 September 1999 and was buried in Stonewall Cemetery. He is commemorated by R. W. Bobby Bend School in Stonewall.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1951.
Reflections of Time: A History of the RM of Albert by RM of Albert History Book, 1984. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.A43 Ref]
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1999, page C7.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 April 2022