Dave at Remembrance Day 2017

Dad often represented Veterans at the annual Remembrance Day in Headingley.

Article in the Headingley Headliner 2018

Losing part of Headingley’s History

Dave Taylor was a member of one of first local families
Headingley Headliner Nov 30, 2018 By Andrea Geary

David (Dave) Chalmers Taylor died on Oct. 20 at the age of 98, taking a connection to Headingley’s origins with him.

Dave will be remembered by many local residents for his devotion to the community, including his work as caretaker at Phoenix School for 32 years, his volunteer work at Holy Trinity Anglican Church where he served as People’s Warden, and as the first chairman of the Headingley Historical Society. He also served as secretary of the Headingley local of Manitoba Pool Elevators for 20 years, and helped redefine the Headingley Agricultural Society’s property as recreational land, part of which is now occupied by the Headingley Community Centre, baseball diamonds and splash park.

Dave served as an aircraft mechanic with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. During his time in the Air Force, he met his wife Ethel and they were married in London, Ont. in 1942.

The Taylor family’s name lives on through Taylor Bridge dedicated in 1997, and the new Taylor Farm development both located on part of the original 1,200 acres first owned by Taylor’s great-grandfather the Hon. John Taylor. John Taylor was elected the MLA for Headingley in 1874 and appointed by the Norquay government as the Minister of Agriculture for Manitoba in 1878. John Taylor, who lived to age 88, was married twice and had a total of 22 children.

Dave’s son Larry, who lives in Headingley, said his father was extremely proud of his family’s history and would point out the location of former landmarks to Larry and his brother Robert and sister Sandra. He later shared his father’s stories of life in the Headingley area in the late 1880s with his grandchildren.

Dave’s other great-grandfather, on his grandmother’s side, was Dr. Henry Septimus Beddome, the first medical doctor in Manitoba and a founder of the Medical Health Board of Manitoba incorporated in 1871 and which later became the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba in 1877.

The Taylor family’s roots in the area go back one generation further than John Taylor, as John’s father James emigrated from the Orkney Islands in Scotland and arrived at the Red River Settlement in 1812. James signed on to a five-year contract with the Hudson’s Bay Company and was referred to as a ‘bowsman’ in the Hudson’s Bay archives. He was stationed at several Hudson’s Bay posts in the northern Prairies. He also served as a member of Sir John Franklin’s expedition travelling from Cumberland House to Fort Chipewyan as part of Franklin’s quest to find a Northwest Passage.

James Taylor moved back to Manitoba in 1824 and married Mary Inkster whose father was Chief Factor at Brandon House and for whom Winnipeg’s Inkster Boulevard is named.

Larry said he’s visited James Taylor’s grave in St. Anne’s Anglican Church cemetery in Poplar Point. James’ son John is buried in the Holy Trinity Anglican cemetery, a site for which he donated the land. Larry said his father volunteered to look after the cemetery’s upkeep for many years. Larry remembers accompanying his father to turn on the stove in Holy Trinity Church on a Saturday so the church would be warm enough for worshippers at the Sunday service. Dave and Ethel also helped organize church fundraisers such as rummage sales.

"He spent a lot of time in the community doing things like that," Larry said. "Dad would do anything for anybody."

Dave’s grandfather and father continued to farm the family’s land in Headingley and Dave and his brother Frank took over. About 100 acres of the original landholding along Lyons St. are still held by the family, but are now rented out, Larry said.

Asked what he remembers most about his father’s impact on Headingley, Larry said, "how much people respected him and liked him."