August 23: Alex. Macdonald of Macdonalds Consolidated, FrancoManitoban leader Joseph Royal.

August 23, 1928 - Alexander Macdonald dies in Winnipeg at the age of 85. He was a former alderman and mayor of Winnipeg and founder of the Macdonalds Consolidated chain of wholesalers and retail stores that extended throughout Western Canada.

Macdonald came from Scotland in 1871 and was active in the creation of many of Winnipeg's first businesses. He helped organize both the Winnipeg Tribune and the Free Press, even helping to work the presses for the FreeP's first edition. He was also the first chairman and president of the Great West Life Assurance Company.

He was a philanthropist involved in charities such as Laura Crouch's Home of the Friendless and helped finance and furnish the first Children's Home in Tuxedo. While president of GWL he donated his salary to public institutions. During the war he regularly purchased tens of thousands of copies of  newspapers to send overseas for local troops and had thousands of copies of khaki-bound bibles produced for them.

When he died, the Free Press wrote : "With the passing of Macdonald, Winnipeg, and indeed western Canada, has lost one whose beneficence has possibly never been matched"

"I was here at Winnipeg's birth, I was here at her christening, and I have stayed to see her grow into one of Canada's mightiest cities."
Alexander Macdonald

August 23, 1902 - Joseph Royal dies. Invited to Red River by Bishop Tache in 1871, he published Le Metis, Manitoba's first French newspaper. He became a Francophone leader in the Legislature, House of Commons and was the first Reeve of St. Boniface. (Also see.)

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