Memorable Manitobans: Norman Elliot Rodger (1907-2010)
Engineer, soldier, businessman.
Born at Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1907, he was educated at the Royal Military College and McGill University, graduating as a civil engineer. In 1928, he was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Engineers. He was posted to England in 1939 where he served in various capacities, concluding as Chief of Staff of 2 Canadian Corps. His army career included post-Second World War appointments as Quartermaster General (1946-1950), General Commanding Officer of Prairie Command (1952-1955), and Vice-Chief of the General Staff, as well as the first Colonel Commandant of the Cadet Service of Canada.
After retiring from the military in 1956, he moved to Winnipeg where he was appointed to the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission, serving at its Chairman (1962-1969). He was also Executive Director of the Manitoba Heart Foundation (1956-1959). He was a member of the board for St. John’s College and St. John’s Ravenscourt School. An enthusiastic outdoorsman, he spent many summers during the 1950s and 1960s in a canoe, retracing the routes of early explorers and fur traders. He was a founding trustee of the Fort Whyte Nature Centre, in 1966. In recognition of his community service, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).
In 1983 he moved to Ottawa, Ontario where he died on 15 September 2010.
“Rodger liquor board chief,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 1959, page 3.
The Fort Whyte Story: Human. Nature. by Jake MacDonald, Winnipeg: FortWhyte Alive, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9813732-0-1.
Obituary, Globe and Mail, 18 September 2010.
We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 20 October 2023