Famous Residents

On this page, we will highlight those persons who were Riverview residents and went to gain city-wide, province-wide, nation-wide or international fame in some endeavour.  For your nominations, please fill in the following information: Your name; Your email address; the name of the person you are nominating; the email address and/or telephone number of the person you are nominating; a three-paragraph (maximum) explanation of why you are nominating this person, listing the person’s claim to fame.  Send this information to Famous Residents nominations.

Remembering Bill Mason
by Don Munro

after-the-gameThe painting “After the Game” was the work of the most talented artist that ever came out of Riverview or Winnipeg. Not only could Bill Mason paint, but he produced movies such as “Death of a Legend,” “Paddle to the Sea,” and many more. He was nominated twice for Academy Awards. Bill was also an excellent teacher and paddler in white water canoeing. His accomplishments are world renown. The Canadian government honoured him by commemorating a postal stamp in his honour in 1998. The picture “After the Game” was painted by Bill when he was in his early twenties about 55 years ago. His models were his nephew Bob Tipping and Don Munro. Both Bill and Bob are now deceased but Bill’s art is still in demand. Recently in an art sale in eastern Canada, his paintings were sold out within an hour. One could look up additional information on this gifted and talented man by going online towww.paddle.mb.ca/MRCA/Mason/Mason.html or www.redcanoes.ca/bill/index.html the Bill Mason Scholarship Fund annual scholarship of $1,000 to a worthy outdoor recreational or environmental studies student at a Canadian college or university http://www.paddlingcanada.com/billmason.asp.

Go back to the glory days of hockey – Leafs vs. Canadiens – with an art print of ‘After the Game’ – depicting the Riverview Community Centre of years ago.  Now available for $60.00.  Approximate Size 16 x 20. Call 475-5674 to make arrangements to pick up your copy.   Proceeds from the sale of this print will go to the Riverview Community Centre.

Dr. Sybil Shack was a Riverview resident

Sybil Shack was born in Winnipeg on April 1, 1911 in a bedroom behind her maternal grandparents store on Pritchard Ave. She showed great promise academically and was awarded an Isbister Entrance Scholarship to the University of Manitoba at the age of 14. She graduated with a B.A. in 1929 and attended Normal School to become a teacher the following. Teaching jobs were scare as the Great Depression took a firm hold of the Canadian economy. For two years she supported herself writing editorials for Weekly News the Independent Labour Council newspaper, taking general assignments for the Western Jewish News marking papers or giving private tutorials. She also found placements as a substitute teacher. Finally at the point of giving up on her chosen profession, she wrote what she refers to as her desperation letter and secured a job at Foxwarren, Manitoba. After three years in rural Manitoba she returned to teach in Winnipeg. In 1945 Shack returned to the University of Manitoba winning the Gold Medal in the Bachelor of Education program. She received a Masters of Education the following year. Between 1950-1952, she took post graduate courses in supervisionW and administration at the Ontario College of Education. She was principal of several schools starting with Sargeant Park School in 1948 and retired as the principal of Kelvin High in 1976. For thirty years she was involved in school broadcasts over television and radio with the C.B.C. In 1969 she received an Honorary Doctorate (LLD) from the University of Manitoba. Shack is the author several books including: Armed with a Primer published by McClelland & Stewart. The two- thirds minority was published by the Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto in 1973. Four years later the same publisher printed Saturday’s stepchildren. In recent years Dr. Shack has worked with Dr. Rosa Bruno-Jofre on early Manitoba education. Shack was a leading proponent of pay equity for female teachers and called for government-supported nurseries to aid working mothers. She is the past president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, was a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre on Aging at the University of Manitoba and was the only lay person on the Manitoba Judicial Council. Shack has been the recipient of several awards. She received the John M. Brown Award for contribution to education in 1976. She received three awards in 1983, the YMCA’s Women of the Year Award for Community Service, a Citizen of the Year Award from the City of Winnipeg-Knights and a Person’s Award. In 1984 she was became a member of the Order of Canada and Provost of the Buffalo Hunt. In 1987 she was elected a fellow of the Ontario Institute for Secondary Education. She received a Manitoba Human Rights Achievements Award in 1995 and entered the Winnipeg Citizens’ Hall of Fame in 1996.

The following was written by Hon. Francis C. Muldoon” (ret.), Federal Court of Canada Chair, Manitoba Law Reform Commission (1970-1977):

Sybil Shack, O.C., died on January 22, 2004 at the age of 92. She had been national president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, a director of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and president of the Manitoba Teachers Society. She was dedicated to the causes of the status of women and human rights. She wrote authoritatively and knowledgeably on topics educational. Sybil left her papers to the University of Manitoba, a magnificent gift, which elucidated her many contacts in life, as well as many insightful aspects of her philosophy and character.

Sybil resided for years with her aged and revered mother, and her adopted brother, John Hirsch, of Manitoba Theatre Centre fame. Sybil’s mother twice invited the members and secretary of the Commission to a memorable dinner, obviously prepared with much care and affection on the part of both women.

Along with the care and affection which were two of Sybil’s notable qualities, resided a powerful intellect. Once fairly informed, she was a quick study in regard to the law’s intricacies, and rarely, if ever, required a second explanation of them. So intently did she seek to expand her knowledge, that she expressed herself content to have acquired a better knowledge of law and equity.

Sybil Shack contributed much to the intellect and insight of the Commission. She was a solid participant in the 30 formal Reports and many “informal” Reports of the Commission during her terms of office. She was a law reform Commissioner in the best sense of that designation.

Dr. Gordon Ritchie

Dr. Gordon Ritchie is a former resident of Riverview who made many important contributions to the field of medicine, in particular, radiology.

Gordon graduated as a medical doctor in 1948 from the University of Manitoba and then earned his specialist qualification in radiology with a Diploma of Medical Radio- Diagnosis (DMRD) from the UK in 1954. Later, he was awarded two further designations, Fellow of the Royal College of Physcians (FRCP) in Canada and Fellow of the American College of Radiology (FACR) in the United States.

His hospital appointments included Medical Superintendent of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, Chief Radiologist of the Shriners’, Grace and St. Boniface Hospitals in Manitoba, and, Director of Radiological Services in Victoria, BC. He also was an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba.

Gordon held many offices during his medical career, such as President of the Manitoba Division of Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR), Chairman of Victoria’s Nursing Education Committee and Hospital Education Committee, and President of Pacific Northwest Radiological Society.

His research and publications were extensive, and included such topics as digital diagnostic imaging, foot deformities, digital chest imaging and computerized imaging. He also gave many presentations on radiological topics, both in Canada and the USA.

Over the years, Gordon was instrumental in the development of plans to design and equip the Department of Radiology / Medical Imaging at St. Boniface, Grace, Victoria General, and Royal Jubilee Hospitals. His education, hospital appointments, research, publications, committee participation and presentations are so numerous that it is impossible to truly credit Dr. Gordon Ritchie on his contribution to medicine.

Walter Legget Ritchie, Q.C.

Another Morley man makes good.

Born in Vancouver, Walter, at the age of six weeks, was brought by his parents to the Riverview area where he resided for the next  35 years (Arnold, Morley and Clare Avenues).  As a youth in Riverview, Walter delivered papers, worked in the vegetable gardens behind the King George Hospital, and played and coached baseball for the Southenders.

He worked and studied his way to become one of the leading trial lawyers in Western Canada.  He graduated with Honours in Law from the University of Manitoba in 1953 and was later called to the Bars in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.  He was a student at the law firm of Dilts, Baker, Laidlaw and Shepard, and on graduation, became a member of that firm.  In 1961, he was admitted as a partner in the law firm then known as Thompson, Dilts, Jones, Dewar, & Ritchie.  From 1973 to 1990, he was managing partner of that firm, now known as Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.  He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1967 and in 1986 he was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the only Manitoban to have been so honoured.  Ritchie’s area of expertise is competition, civil litigation, municipal and labor law.  He has appeared before numerous Boards and provincial and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.  He is particularly proud of the fact that he succeeded on three separate cases before the Supreme Court, acting on behalf of the union in one case, management in another, and objecting employees in another.

In other activities, he was Chief Electoral Officer for Winnipeg South in the 1958 Federal election, and in 1980, was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as Chairman of the Elections Commission of the Province of Manitoba under The Elections Finances Act.  In 1961, he was a founding member, director, and officer of Breezy Bend Country Club, and served as its counsel.  He has served on numerous boards and foundations.

Walter is a (Ret.) Honourary Colonel of the 17 (Winnipeg)

Medical Company of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Walter and his wife, Pat (retired lawyer), have three children, Walter Jr., Heather, and Ian and five grandchildren.

Quite some feats for a Riverviewer and he still practices law.