Gordon Leonard Church, son of George and Margaret Church of Lena, Manitoba, was born July 27, 1913. He married Audrey Colter on July 18, 1953 they had two sons; Ronald and Garry. Ron lives on the farm in Lena, with his mother Audrey, Garry married Wendy Bracken and they reside in Clandeboye, Manitoba with children Rosalyn and Gordon.
Gordon completed grade 8 at Plum Hollow school, he remained at home to farm with his father. Their farm was the typical mixed farm with an acreage of grain, hay and pasture land, as well as a variety of livestock such as beef cattle, a few milking cows, some poultry and swine, and, of course, horses.
Gordon and Audrey continued farming with Shorthorn cattle and Clydesdale horses. As Gordon’s interest and love for the Clydesdale grew, he began to show the horses in parades and at local fairs. This became a hobby in which the whole family participated. The “Churchcroft Farm” six horse hitch show season grew to include 15 – 20 appearances a year at various fairs. Including the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon, Morris Stampede, Buffalo Days in Regina and the Toronto Royal Winter Fair.
In November 1975 Gordon was elected as Reeve of the RM of Turtle Mountain, a position he enjoyed and held 10 years until his death in 1985. He actively promoted Killarney and district whenever he could. 1969 Gordon received the Honourary Member of the Killarney 1st Wolf Pack; 1978 the Kiwanis Club of Brandon Assiniboine “Don Wood Memorial Award” to recognize community service work; 1980 The Red River Exhibition “Mr. Manitoba Farmer” award which honors agricultural contributions to the community and province.
Gordon’s most memorable accomplishments with his horses were; driving his horses in the official opening to the new Keystone Center in Brandon in 1973 with the Governor General, the Right Honourable Roland Michener at his side; participating in the opening of the Canada Winter Games in Brandon in 1979; escorted Her Royal Highness Princess Anne around the Provincial Exhibition grounds in Brandon.
Gordon passed away just 3 weeks prior to his 50th year as a competitor in the heavy horse show at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in 1985. Gordon’s volunteer services included; Member of the Lena Killarney United Church; member and past president of the Manitoba Clydesdale Club; member and past Master of the Killarney Masonic Lodge #50; past worthy Patron of the Killarney Eastern Star # 53; Treasurer of the Lena Church Sunday School; Board member of the first Killarney Hospital Board; Member of the Killarney Ag. Society; member of the Manitoba Pool Elevators-Livestock Division; member and president of the Manitoba Horse Breeders; 25 years a Director of the Provincial Exhibition; President of the Provincial Exhibition; President of International Centennial Heavy Horse Show in Brandon; Coordinator of Manitoba Exhibit at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair; member and chairman of the Manitoba Association of Ag. Societies; Director of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame; Board member and Transportation Chairman of the Turtle Mountain School Board.
Gordon was known to be a man of integrity, of firm convictions and deep kindness