Memorable Manitobans: Murray McLandress (1918-1996)
Born at Winnipeg on 21 January 1918, one of three sons of Wallace Ian McLandress (1883-1974) and Mary Florence McKechnie (1886-1967), he grew up in Crescentwood, attended Kelvin High School, and graduated from the University of Manitoba with a medical degree in 1941.
He then joined the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. On loan to the British Royal Navy, he served as ship’s doctor on HMS City of Durban, an armed merchant cruiser in the North Sea while the Nazi German Bismarck-class battleship Tirpitz was stationed in Norway. In 1942 he attended the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and was stationed at a field hospital in Kenya, Africa until 1943 when he returned to serve at the Royal Canadian Naval Hospital at Halifax. He achieved the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander (RCNVR) and for his wartime service was awarded the Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, and War Medal (1939-1945).
Following the war, he served on the medical staff at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital (1945-1951). In 1947 he completed speciality certification in Pediatrics at the Toronto Western Hospital, then practiced at the Winnipeg Clinic (1947-1966), and continued in private practice until 1982. In 1957 he was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine (Pediatrics) at the University of Manitoba. He was Medical Director at the Manitoba Development Centre at Portage la Prairie from 1982 until retirement in 1984.
On 20 November 1943, he married Ruth Elliott (1915-1990, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Elliot) at Port Arthur, Ontario. Together they had three children: Mary McLandress (1944-1954), Murray Robert McLandress, and William Alan McLandress (1950-1980). He was an avid sportsman. He and his wife were among the founders of the Maitland B. Steinkopf Foundation for the Mentally Retarded (1968).
He played goal for the University of Manitoba Bisons hockey team and for junior and senior clubs. He was offered a chance to play in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, but opted for a medical career. He was an excellent golfer, winning a championship at St. Charles Country Club in 1952. Beginning in 1955, he was team physician for the minor professional Winnipeg Warriors Hockey Club, working with team owner, former Bisons teammate and family friend John Draper “Jack” Perrin. Later in life, he enjoyed game bird hunting with his sons and treasured times with his family at Victoria Beach.
Birth registration [Murray McLandress], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“A senior now,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 December 1938, page 16.
“Port Arthur girl is bride of Surg. Lt. Murray McLandress,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 November 1943, page 12.
Obituary [Wallace McLandress], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1974, page 27.
Obituary [William Alan McLandress], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 August 1980, page 40.
“Manitoba school gets new medical director,” Manitoba News Service, 15 January 1982.
Obituary [Ruth McLandress], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 1990, page 52.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 August 1996, page 31.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank M. Robert McLandress for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 8 February 2023