Fonds PR4188 - Winston Backus fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Winston Backus fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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    Statement of scale (cartographic)

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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    • 1953-1975 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    2.21 m of textual records

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Dr. Winston Osler Backus was born in Eckville, Alberta in 1920 and raised in Red Deer. His family moved to England in 1930, where he completed his education. He received his medical degree from London Hospital in 1946. After serving with the British military, he returned to Canada in 1954, practicing medicine in Ponoka before moving to Grande Prairie in 1957. He served as chair of the Grande Prairie School Board in the 1960s. He married Valmai Hughes (1918-1970), and together they had four children: David, Richard, Robert, and Elizabeth. He married Myrtle Penner in 1971.

    He was elected as a Progressive Conservative MLA in 1971 for the Grande Prairie electoral district. He served as Minister of Public Works (1971-1975). He retired at the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly in 1979.

    After leaving office, he returned to his medical practice. He also became involved in various community organizations, including Grande Prairie Regional College and the Allied Arts Council of Grande Prairie. He retired from medicine in 1985 and moved to the Sylvan Lake area. He also served on the regional health authority board.

    He died in Spruce Grove, Alberta in 2020.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of the records of Winston Backus as the Minister of Public Works, including records received from his predecessors Alfred Hooke, James Hartley, Fred Colborne, and Albert Ludwig, that Backus received upon taking office. The files include correspondence relating to the development of provincial government buildings in various cities and towns throughout the province as well as subject files concerning the administration of the department. It contains a single letter from Bill Yurko.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The records were acquired by donation.


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      Script of material

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        Please consult the Reference Archivist regarding access restrictions to these records.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Subject to the Copyright Act. Permission for use required.

        Finding aids

        A file list is available.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Includes accession PR1980.0299 and PR1981.0170.

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