Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Walter Maxwell Hlady (1924-1986)

Archaeologist, community activist.

Born at Winnipeg on 20 November 1924, one of four children of Maximilian “Max” Hlady (1894-1969) and Mary Matt (1906-1996), he attended Lord Selkirk School, Prince Edward School, and St. John's High School. During the Second World War, he served in Europe as a signaller with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and was severely wounded in April 1945. He returned home and became active in archaeological works and studies starting in 1947. He received a BA degree in Anthropology from the University of North Dakota (1951) and an MA degree in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (1972).

He taught school at Gillam, served as roadmaster's clerk on the CNR Hudson Bay line, and was a research assistant to Jean-Henri Lagasse on the Manitoba Royal Commission on Indians and Metis (1957-1959). He did a pilot project in community development with the Chipewyan Band in Churchill (1960) leading to a full-scale program by Indian Affairs in the 1960s. He was a Northern Training Officer for the Centre for Community Studies at the University of Saskatchewan (1960-1961), a Regional Liaison Officer for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (1962-1968), a Community Development Officer for the Department of Secretary of State (1968-1979), and a member of the Immigration Appeal Board (1980-1986).

As an amateur archaeologist, he was involved with the excavation of a site at Lockport. He was a founding member and President (1965-1967) of the Manitoba Archaeological Society. In commemoration of Manitoba's centenary, he edited the book Ten Thousand Years: Archaeology in Manitoba (1970). He served on the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba (1971-1976) and, in recognition of his archaeological work, received a Manitoba Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society (1970).

In 1950, he married Ora Elmaye Gigstad (1924-2016) at Springfield, Oregon and they had two daughters and six sons. He became politically active while living in Gillam, and later at Cranberry Portage. He was a Liberal candidate for the Winnipeg North constituency in the 1979 and 1980 federal general elections but was defeated each time.

He was a founding member and first Secretary-Treasurer of the Middlechurch Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and a member of the Manitoba Human Rights Association (Chairman), Public Service Alliance of Canada (Treasurer), Boy Scouts of Canada, Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Gillam School Board (Chair), Canadian Associate for Adult Education (Vice-President), Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Ugandan-Asian Refugee Committee, Federation of Ukrainian-Canadian Business and Professional Clubs, and Canadian Archaeological Association.

He died at London, England on 24 April 1986 and was buried in the Glen Eden Memorial Gardens.

His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Indian Migrations in Manitoba and the West
MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1960-1961 Season


Obituary [Maximilian Hlady], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 July 1969, page 27.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 May 1986, page 56.

Obituary [Mary Hlady], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 February 1996, page 86.

Obituary [Ora Elmaye Hlady], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 December 2016.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 February 2023

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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