Memorable Manitobans: Walter Cox-Smith Weir (1929-1985)
Funeral director, MLA (1959-1962), MLA (1962-1966), MLA (1966-1969), Premier of Manitoba (1967-1969), MLA (1969-1973).
Born at High Bluff on 7 June 1929, son of James Dixon “Dick” Weir (1898-1985) and Christina Maude Cox-Smith (1900-1977), he was educated at High Bluff Village School and Portage Collegiate Institute. In 1953 he moved to Minnedosa, where he owned a funeral home until 1963. He was active in municipal affairs in Minnedosa, serving as Chairman of the Minnedosa Hospital Board (1955-1957) and member of the Minnedosa Town Council (1958-1959). In 1959, he was elected MLA for Minnedosa, and was re-elected in 1962, 1966, and 1969. He held ministerial portfolios of Municipal Affairs (1961-1963), Public Works (1962-1967), and Highways (1967).
When Duff Roblin stepped down from the premiership in 1967, Weir was elected as his successor by the Progressive Conservative Party at a convention in November. He was an outspoken fiscal conservative. He and his government were defeated by the NDP under Ed Schreyer in the 1969 election. Soon after, Weir left politics and moved to Ontario but he returned to Minnedosa in 1976. Two years later he was appointed Vice-Chair of the Manitoba Public Utilities Board and later to the Manitoba Assessment Review Committee.
On 3 November 1951, he married Harriet Alexandra “Tommie” Thompson (1923-2013) and they had four children.
He died at Minnedosa on 17 April 1985 and was buried in the Minnedosa Cemetery.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Ex-Premier Walter Weir dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1985, page 1.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituary [Harriet Alexandra Weir], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 December 2013.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 29 November 2022