Memorable Manitobans: George Depres (1927-2008)
Athlete, coach, businessman.
Born in Winnipeg on 28 October 1927, he was educated at Immaculate Conception School and St. Paul’s High School. From adolescent years through his early twenties, he was an avid athlete participating in hockey, football and baseball. He played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and, after a knee injury ending his playing career, he turned to coaching hockey and football. During 10 years as coach of the Winnipeg Rods Junior Football Club, he took the team to the Junior Canadian Championship five times, culminating in three national titles. He revived the dormant University of Manitoba Bison’s Football Club and, within four years, the team won the Western Canadian Championship.
He assisted with the purchase, ownership and management of the St. Boniface Saints Junior Hockey Club. He served as Vice President and President of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, and he played a founding role with the Festival du Voyageur. He was a member of the committee that organized the first World Junior Hockey Championship in Winnipeg in 1974. In the 1970s and 1980s he served as an Aide to Lieutenant Governor Bud Jobin. He was a member of the Manitoba Hockey Foundation from 1979 and served as its President from 1997 to 2006. His athletic accomplishments were recognized by the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 as a member of the 1955 Rods Football Club and later he was inducted as a builder in 2006.
His business career included a range of occupations, including airline mechanic and life insurance sales. He participated in the starting, ownership and operation of the Red Top Restaurant, Red Top Car Wash, Red Top Sporting Goods and a venture into wholesale giftware and artificial flowers. In 1979, he became the General Manager of Winnipeg Enterprises Corporation where he was responsible for operation of the Winnipeg Arena, Stadium and Velodrome, as well as the Highlander Sports Complex.
He died on 2 March 2008.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 2008.
“Manitobans’ Legacy a Better Province,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 January 2009, page B2.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 29 October 2022