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MHS Awards: Dr. Edward C. Shaw Award

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This award is designed to encourage Manitoba students to develop or pursue an interest in history, one of the late Dr. Edward Shaw’s own enthusiasms and one he loved to share.

His vocation was medicine. At 16, he tested his aptitude for it by working as a night orderly for six months. Then, in the Second World War, he served overseas with the medical corps of the Royal Canadian Air Force. On his return he studied medicine at the Manitoba Medical College and graduated in 1955 as a general practitioner. He practised in the River Heights area of Winnipeg for 25 years, and in many cases was the family doctor for a generation of patients in one family.

After the war he continued his involvement with the Air Force. He served overseas at #3 Fighter Wing R.C.A.F. in Zwiebrucken, Germany, in the summer of 1953, and was active in #17 Wing R.C.A.F. from 1955-64 retiring with the rank of Wing Commander.

But history was his special love. An avid reader, his library eventually contained a large number of history books, some rare, particularly on the West and the Arctic. One book, Women of Red River, a gift from his eldest daughter to his wife, was particularly influential. In it he read of a stone house on the River Road at St. Andrews he later owned and turned into the Red River House Museum. It is now the government-owned Kennedy House in the River Road Heritage Parkway. Dr. Shaw wanted it to reflect the cultural contributions of all Manitoba especially native Indians. It was his centennial project and one which continued for 13 years and to which he and his family devoted much time, energy, and research. His efforts brought Captain William Kennedy from relative obscurity to a figure of provincial, if not national significance.

Dr. Shaw was president of the Manitoba Historical Society from 1973-76 and chairman of the Macdonald House Completion Fund Committee; vice-president of the Red River Valley Historical Society; and Governor of Heritage Canada for the Prairie and Northwest Territories, 1974-79, being instrumental in the decision of that board to commit its initial $500,000 to the Albert Street Conservation Project in Winnipeg.

In 1974 a Provincial Historical Sites Plaque honouring the home of Captain Kennedy was erected at Red River House. Dr. Shaw also received a Margaret McWilliams Medal, a Pioneer Historian Award (Red River Valley Historical Society), and a Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.

Dr. Shaw married Margaret Elizabeth (nee Munro) in 1954 and they had five children - four daughters: Janet, Sandra, Margaret, Irene, and a son, Edward. No more fitting memorial could be made to the memory of a historian and a doctor who was one of Manitoba’s leading citizens. The competition is open to all Senior High students of Manitoba. The family and the Manitoba Historical Society hope that the recipients of this award will find their own unique rewards and satisfactions from endeavours in the broad field of history.

This award of $100 is presented to the best Senior High entry in the Young Historians competition.

For further information on this award, please contact the MHS office.

Past winners of the Edward Shaw Award







Ella Thomson

The Doukhobor Settlers of Swan River Valley

Balmoral Hall

Teresa Friesen


Stephanie Enns

Manitoba Historical Society

Balmoral Hall

Teresa Friesen


Hélène Morakis

He Ho: The Significance of the Festival du Voyageur

Grant Park High School



Murphy Berzish

Suppressing the Winnipeg General Strike: Paranoia or Preserving the Peace?

St. John’s Ravenscourt



Nicole Askin

A History of Libraries in Manitoba

St. John’s Ravenscourt

Wendy Owen


Amirah Sequeira

The Life and Work of Reverend Harry Lehotsky

Grant Park High School



Nikki McLeod

Prairie Monuments

Portage Collegiate Institute

James Kostochuk


Kimmie Halwas

Life of Yosh Tashiro

Portage Collegiate Institute

James Kostochuk


Michael Bumsted

From the Red to the Nile: William Nassau Kennedy and the Manitoba Contingent of Voyageurs in the Gordon Relief Expedition, 1884-1885

St. John’s Ravenscourt



Anna Penner

Politics in the Park: Winnipeg’s Victoria Park During the General Strike

Balmoral Hall



Sian Bumsted

Lady Selkirk and the Fur Trade

St. John’s Ravenscourt



Uduak Idiong

The Third Force: Returned Soldiers in the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

Kelvin High School



Brie McManus

Francis Marion Beynon: The Forgotten Suffragist

Kelvin High School



Brock Arnason

Nya Island I Kanada: The Icelandic Settlement of the Interlake Area of Manitoba

St. John’s Ravenscourt



Andrea Deters

History of My Grandfather

Margaret Barbour Collegiate



Michael D. Greenberg

The Jewish Community of Portage la Prairie

Kelvin High School



If you have questions about the Dr. Edward Shaw Award program, please contact the MHS office.

Page revised: 12 June 2013

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