Memorable Manitobans: Eric B. Irwin (1955-2017)
Lawyer, municipal official, community activist.
Born at Neepawa on 6 September 1955, his mother died in 1957 and, the following year, he was adopted by Lloyd and Margaret Irwin of Isabella. He grew up on a small family farm and attended Brandon University, receiving a BA degree in History. He then studied law at the University of Manitoba. After a six-month trip to Europe with his wife, they moved to Dauphin where he articled with the Legal Aid Society. In 1980, he established his own law practice. He was a Life Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba.
Active in the community, he was a New Democratic candidate for the Rock Lake constituency in the 1977 provincial general election and the Dauphin-Swan River constituency in the 1988 federal general election. He joined the board of directors for the Dauphin Consumers Co-op and, in 1982, became its President, serving until his death. This made him the longest-serving President of a Co-op district in the federal organization’s history. He was President of the Dauphin Countryfest (1998-2017) and was a Dauphin city councillor (1998-2002) and Mayor (2010-2017).
In recognition of his community service, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
He died while snorkelling in Florida on 24 November 2017.
“Dauphin Mayor Eric Irwin died while snorkelling, daughter say,” CBC News, 27 November 2017.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 December 2017.
We thank Bill Blaikie for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 January 2022