Wally Downer

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Wally Downer
Ontario MPP
In office
1937–1975
Preceded by Wilfred Davy Smith
Succeeded by George McCague
Constituency Dufferin—Simcoe
Personal details
Born (1904-05-01)May 1, 1904
Penetanguishene, Ontario
Died August 3, 1994(1994-08-03) (aged 90)
Collingwood, Ontario
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Phyllis Palmer
Children 3
Occupation Anglican priest

Alfred Wallace "Wally" Downer (May 1, 1904[1] – August 3, 1994[2]) was a Canadian politician and longtime member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Background[edit]

Downer was born near Penetanguishene in Simcoe County, Ontario,[1] the son of Henry Downer (1860 - 1945) and Emma Thorpe (1866 - 1940).[citation needed] He was educated at Cookstown Continuation School, Alliston High School, the University of Toronto and Wycliffe College, after completing his schooling, he was ordained an Anglican priest. He was a vicar and then a canon in the Anglican Church of Canada and a member of the Conservative Party.

Politics[edit]

He ran unsuccessfully in the provincial riding of Wellington Northeast in 1929 and then was first elected to the legislature as the member for Dufferin—Simcoe in the 1937 election,[1] he served as Member of Provincial Parliament until 1975,[3] winning a provincial record of ten consecutive elections.[1]

While an elected MPP, he also served in the military during World War II, serving as chaplain of the Queen's York Rangers in North Africa and Europe,[1] from 1955 until 1959, he served as Speaker of the legislative assembly.[3] He also served as a liquor control commissioner beginning in 1960.[1]

Downer was a candidate in the 1961 PC leadership convention, but was eliminated on the third ballot.[1]

Downer had expected to run in the 1975 election and had expected to win his party's nomination by acclamation but was upset by another candidate,[1] George McCague, at the Progressive Conservative nomination meeting.[4]

In 1994, Downer died at the age of 90.[2] in Collingwood, Ontario.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Dale, Clare A (1992). Whose servant I am" : speakers of the assemblies of the province of Upper Canada, Canada and Ontario, 1792-1992. Toronto: Ontario Legislative Library. pp. 257–60. 
  2. ^ a b Politics and Public Affairs 1994. University of Toronto Press. 2000. p. 258. ISBN 0802048285. 
  3. ^ a b Alfred Downer's parliamentary history, Ontario Legislature
  4. ^ "Former MPP George McCague dead at 84". Orangeville Citizen. July 16, 2014. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ "`Playful parson' served 38 years". The Windsor Star. August 8, 1994. p. A2.