Grain News


James Richardson & Sons, Limited Announces Passing of George Taylor Richardson

Date Posted: May 15, 2014

Winnipeg, MB—James Richardson & Sons, Limited announced May 15 the passing of George Taylor Richardson in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Wednesday, May 14.

George Richardson was born in Winnipeg on September 22, 1924, son of the late James and Muriel Richardson, brother to Kathleen and to the late Hon. James A. Richardson and the late Agnes M. Benidickson.

He married Tannis Thorlakson, and they had four children: Pamela, David, Hartley and Karen.

He was predeceased by his daughters Pamela (1981) and Karen (2013).

They have nine grandchildren.

George was educated at Grosvenor School, St. John’s Ravenscourt School and the University of Manitoba, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1946.

Mr. Richardson joined James Richardson & Sons, Limited in 1946, and was assigned to Richardson Terminals in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he had worked the previous two summers.

While at the Terminal, he gained valuable experience which would prove greatly beneficial to him throughout his career.

In 1954, Mr. Richardson became Vice-President of the firm.

At that time, he focused much of his attention on developing two companies: Marine Pipeline Construction of Canada and Patricia Transportation Company.

Marine Pipeline built the first 42-inch pipeline and the first commercial natural gas pipeline north of the 60th Parallel, while Patricia Transportation Company played a significant role in opening up Northwestern Ontario and northern Manitoba.

In 1966, he was appointed President of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, a position he would hold for 27 years.

He made an outstanding contribution to the development of the firm during his time in office, most notably the expansion of Pioneer Grain, the completion of Lombard Place which includes Richardson Centre and The Fairmont Winnipeg, and the growing of Richardson Securities of Canada into an international brokerage firm.

During the 1980s and '90s, many of Mr. Richardson’s greatest contributions involved the securities division of the company.

In 1982, Richardson Securities of Canada merged with Greenshields Inc. to form Richardson Greenshields of Canada Limited.

Greenshields was a prestigious firm with which the Richardsons already enjoyed a well-established business relationship.

At the time, the combination produced the largest privately-owned Canadian investment dealer in terms of national and international presence.

In 1993, he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of James Richardson & Sons, Limited.

He officially retired from the firm in 2000, although he remained Honorary Chairman and Director Emeritus until his passing.

His availability to company personnel and business associates alike was exhibited by the fact that his office door was always open and by his unique habit of answering his own telephone.

His mark of distinction is left not only in the companies he fostered over six decades, but also on the commerce and history of this country.

Mr. Richardson contributed greatly to companies outside the JR group.

He served as Board Chairman of The Great West Life Assurance Company and as a Director of CIBC, Inco, and Dupont Canada.

His most significant contributions to external organizations were to the Hudson's Bay Company and Hudson's Bay Oil and Gas.

In 1970, he was appointed Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company and in 1972 he became its first Canadian-born Governor.

During his tenure, Hudson’s Bay Company moved its headquarters from London, England to Winnipeg, Manitoba and transferred ownership from Britain to Canada.

George Richardson was a founding member of several community organizations including Junior Achievement of Manitoba, United Way of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Museum.

He was instrumental in bringing a replica of the 53-foot ketch the Nonsuch (originally built in 1668) to the Museum in 1970, in recognition of both Manitoba’s 100th Anniversary and the 300th Anniversary of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

A Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba, Honorary Director of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, Honorary Patron of the Western Canada Aviation Museum, Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba (1969) and University of Winnipeg (1990), and Honorary Colonel of 402 “City of Winnipeg” Squadron, Mr. Richardson also held numerous corporate Board appointments and volunteer leadership positions.

A dedicated family man, he was also an active conservationist, concerned environmentalist, avid helicopter pilot and sportsman.

The Shareholders, Directors, personnel and retirees of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and its affiliated companies are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of George Taylor Richardson.

He was a proud Manitoban and a proud Canadian.

A private family service will be held.

For more information, call 204-953-7952.

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