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Munroe, Hugh Edwin (1878–1947)

Although the Great Depression of the 1930s hit Saskatchewan particularly hard, British parliamentary tradition ostensibly justified the appointment of Hugh E. Munroe to the office of Lieutenant-Governor on March 31, 1931. Munroe was born June 16, 1878, in Glengarry, Ontario. He received his medical degree from McGill University and pursued post-graduate training in Edinburgh. He later moved to Saskatoon where he established a practice and entered municipal and provincial politics. Munroe earned the rank of lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for distinguished service during World War I. He resumed his medical practice and political activity upon returning to Saskatoon.

Despite the conspicuous contrast between the vice-regal lifestyle and that of most Saskatchewanians, Munroe and his wife Myrtle did not ignore the hardships outside of Government House. He supported functions and raised money for relief projects and veterans while she served as an honorary president and patroness of numerous charitable organizations. Understandably, the official functions at the vice-regal residence seemed frivolous when 66% of Saskatchewan’s rural population was on relief by 1932. However, the provincial Legislature overwhelmingly defeated a motion to suspend the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor in 1934. With the public’s support, Munroe carried out his duties as King’s representative in Saskatchewan until September 9, 1936. He died in Florida on March 12, 1947.

Holden Stoffel

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Further Reading

Hryniuk, Margaret and Garth Pugh. 1991. “A Tower of Attraction”: An Illustrated History of Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan. Regina: Government House Historical Society/Canadian Plains Research Center.
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