How They Lived
It’s Louis Riel day on Feb. 21, but just a few days before one of his relatives died.
Allan Riel’s roots in St. Vital went back more than 100 years to a founder of Manitoba and one of the country’s Fathers of Confederation.
Riel, who died on Feb. 3, lived in St. Vital his entire life and volunteered much of his time at the Glenwood Community Centre and for both the major and minor St. Vital hockey clubs.
His relation to Riel? Allan was Louis’ great nephew. Read more about Allan.
David Margolis was a prominent criminal lawyer here back in the 1980s and 1990s.
But Margolis, who was 81 when he died on Feb. 6, learned his people skills decades earlier.
Margolis said his ability to relate to people was acquired by delivering groceries from this parents’ grocery store on his bicycle during school lunch hours.
The provincial government recognized Margolis’ skill as a lawyer and honoured him by appointing him a Queen’s Counsel in 1990.
Miriam Bergen’s dad founded the company which built the ornate Fort Garry Place — and she later headed it.
Bergen, who died on Jan. 30, was raised in the family business — her dad was Martin Bergen.
So, after he died and she became president of Edison Properties, she had already learned from him how to treat the more than 200 employees at the company.
And she continued the company’s building and developing, creating Smith Street Lofts, Ruth Gardens, and the soon to be completed Bergen Gardens. Read more about Miriam.
Bill Chubaty was literally the candyman.
Chubaty, who was 85 when he died on Feb. 6, was born in Stuartburn, about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, and grew up on a farm.
He moved to Winnipeg and got a job here. But not just any job.
Chubaty worked as a candy maker at Paulin Chambers for more than three decades making candy and rose to become a supervisor there. Paulin Chambers was known for producing Cuban Lunch among other treats. Read more about Bill.
Generations of Winnipeggers ate meals — or had functions catered — thanks to Luigi D’Abramo.
D’Abramo, who died on Feb. 7 at 82, was born in Italy and came to Canada when he was only 13 years of age.
He began working in the restaurant and hospitality industry and by 1961, when he was only in his early twenties, he opened Luigi’s Restaurant and Catering on Erin Street.
D’Abramo’s business had great success through the decades and it is still open today. Read more about Luigi.
A Life’s Story
William Gordon was not just a music teacher at Brandon University — he was a builder there.
Gordon, who was 75 when he died on Oct. 14 , helped design the university’s Queen Elizabeth II Music Building in the 1980s.
Bill Gordon in 1981 conducting the BU Show Band at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair; he’s wearing his Manitoba tartan jacket from the 1979 Canada Winter Games held in Brandon. (Supplied)
“He knew every detail of that building,” said Kathie, Gordon’s wife, in a recent Free Press interview.
“Like how many scores could fit on a shelf in the ensemble library.”
Long before that, Gordon was born in England and learned piano before playing the French horn — which helped him play with the Beatles. His horn is one of the instruments you can hear on the title track of the Beatles’ masterpiece album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — go give it a spin in his honour.
Read more about Gordon’s life.
Until next time, I hope you continue to write your own life’s story.