Memorable Manitobans: Augustus Searle Leach (1909-1993)
Born at Winnipeg on 4 July 1909, son of Norman Lawrence Leach and Rosabelle Searle (1883-1953), grandson of Augustus Leach Searle, he was educated at Shattuck School (Faribault, Minnesota), Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire), and University College (Oxford, England). He joined his father’s grain company, eventually serving as Chairman of the Boards of the Searle Grain Company, Federal Grain Limited, and Federal Industries Limited. He was a director of the Greater Winnipeg Gas Company, Dominion Tanners, Winnipeg Advisory Board of the Royal Trust Company, Federal Industries Limited, Great-West Life Assurance Company, Bank of Montreal, Norcen Energy Resources Limited, Consolidated Bathurst Limited, Carling O’Keefe Limited, and Uniroyal Limited.
On 23 January 1937, he married Frances Conway Gilman (c1913-1988, daughter of Maurice Clark Gilman) and they had a daughter and four sons, including Augustus Searle Leach, F. Gilman Leach (c1943-1963), and Norman Leach. He was nominated as Volunteer of the Decade for the United Way (1965-1975), director of the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, founding member of the Universities Grants Commission, Chairman of the Manitoba Council on Higher Learning, and Chairman of the Manitoba Youth Project. He served as President of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange (1955-1956), Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1968-1969), and Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club (1941-1942). He was a member of the Advisory Board for The Winnipeg Foundation.
In 1969, he was given a Good Citizenship Award for meritorious service to his community. He received honorary degrees from the University of Winnipeg (1977), Dartmouth College, and St. Thomas University. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1974 and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. He was an Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Club.
He died at Winnipeg on 22 October 1993.
Obituary [F. Gilman Leach], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 August 1963, page 19.
“City man killed as car rolls,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 August 1963, page 3.
Obituary [Frances Gilman Leach], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 August 1988, page 49.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 1993, page 54.
Obituary [Augustus Searle Leach], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2021.
We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 January 2023