Gordon Beard

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Gordon Wilbert Beard (September 27, 1921[1] in Neepawa, Manitoba – November 12, 1972[2]) was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Manitoba Legislature from 1963 to 1968, and an independent member from 1969 to 1972.[1]

Beard was educated at Neepawa schools,[2] and worked in a variety of projects in northern Manitoba. He served as President of Norrec Ltd., and Secretary of Arctic Investments Ltd., as well as becoming President of the Northern Restaurants Association through a hotel project that he owned.[citation needed] He served in the Canadian Army from 1942 to 1945, attaining the rank of Sergeant.[3] In 1960, he moved to Thompson.[2]

Beard was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in January 1963, in a deferred race from the 1962 general election. Running in the vast northern constituency of Churchill,[1] he defeated Liberal candidate Francis Bud Jobin by 197 votes. He was re-elected by a greater margin in the 1966 election.[1]

Beard resigned from the Progressive Conservative Party and stepped down as an MLA in 1968, complaining that the PC government was neglecting northern affairs. He later attended the Liberal Party's nomination meeting for the by-election that chose his successor.[4] He ran as an independent in the 1969 election, and narrowly defeated three other candidates to regain the Churchill riding.[1]

For the next three years, Beard was a legitimately independent MLA—siding with or against the NDP government of Edward Schreyer on a case-by-case basis. He died in Thompson of a heart attack in 1972.[2]

He was married to Mabel and had two children, Holly Christine Beard, who later served on Thompson city council and as an appeal court judge,[5] and William Fredrick Beard.

The Gordon Beard arena in Thompson was named in his honour.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "MLA Biographies - Deceased". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Gordon W. Beard (1921-1972)". Memorable Manitobans. Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  3. ^ "Hansard". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. March 7, 1973. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  4. ^ Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 1969, p. 3.
  5. ^ a b "Former Thompson councillor now on Manitoba's Court of Appeal". Thompson Citizen. November 11, 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-28.