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MacMurchy, Gordon (1926-2005)

Gordon MacMurchy.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A9410

Gordon MacMurchy was born in Semans on July 4, 1926. In 1962 he was elected trustee of the Govan school unit and served until 1971 including two years as chairman. MacMurchy ran as the NDP candidate in Last Mountain in 1967, but lost. He was appointed provincial director of organization for the Saskatchewan NDP in 1969. The party became internally divided over the Waffle. MacMurchy ran for party president at the 1970 leadership convention, unseating incumbent president and Waffle sympathizer, Bev Currie. MacMurchy won Last Mountain for the NDP in 1971 and was appointed to Allan Blakeney’s first Cabinet as Minister of Education, where he institutionalized the salary aspects of the collective bargaining process between teachers and school districts as the direct responsibility of the provincial government. In 1975 he was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs. MacMurchy was appointed to the Political Committee of Cabinet and, along with Elwood Cowley and Bill Knight, increasingly took control of party matters, including running the party’s election campaigns. In 1979 MacMurchy was appointed Minister of Agriculture as the government focused on agriculture and transportation issues. He fought for the retention of the Crow Rate, the country elevator system, and an end to Rail Line Abandonment. The government helped purchase a fleet of grain hopper cars. After his defeat in 1982, MacMurchy returned to Semans and became active in the community. He helped establish the Family Farm Foundation. He was elected mayor of Semans in 1982 and held that position until 1997. In 1986, he made one more attempt at provincial political office but was defeated. Gordon MacMurchy received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1999. He died on April 20, 2005.

Brett Quiring

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