Winston Menard

January 26, 1942 – August 9, 2008

After a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer, Winston passed away on August 9, 2008 at the age of sixty-six. He is survived by his wife Barbara and their three sons David, Hugh and Ian. He was predeceased by his father Aime, mother Flora and sister Florence.

Winston was born on January 26, 1942 in Winnipegosis, Manitoba. He was raised in the Parkland Region, finally calling Bigstone/Duck River his home where he raised his family and worked on his PMU operation ranch since 1973.

Winston’s love of helping people expanded when he was asked to join and receive full support to various committees and boards. He willingly volunteered his energy, creativity and leadership skills on the LGD of Mountain, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), Northwest Local Management Board, Bigstone MMF Local, the Dauphin Plains Credit Union and the Swan River Headstart Advisory Committee.

Winston was always up for a good joke and many who knew him could find him laughing at any given time. He loved his horses and watching sports, especially hockey (Go Toronto Maple Leafs Go!), football and baseball. Winston loved music immensely and played guitar since he was fifteen years old. If there was music, laughter, dancing going on, Winston could be heard singing and playing guitar.

Winston was also President of the Swan River Friendship Centre for 25 years, a feat which was notably unheard of in the Friendship Centre Movement right across Canada. He also served as the provincial board member of the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres (MAC). At the NAFC’s 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM), held July 5-8, 2005 in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Winston was honoured and awarded an Honourary Lifetime member of the NAFC.

A familiar delegate to the NAFC Annual General Meetings during his Presidency at the Swan River Friendship Centre, Winston never missed a meeting until his illness prevented him from attending. His last NAFC AGM he attended was 2005 in Grande Prairie, AB. His presence will be greatly missed and he will be fondly remembered for his consistent AGM attire of blue jeans, blue jean shirt, blue jean jacket, white cowboy hat and cowboy boots.

Winston was a hard working, kind and proud Métis man. He was a humble man of humble means who never sought fortune or fame but instead dedicated his life to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal people in the community of Swan River. He has made a lasting and meaningful contribution through his many years of volunteer service in the Friendship Centre Movement.

Ongoing Initiatives