Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Richardson Family

Richardson Building Portage and Main
The passing of way of George Richardson in the last day at 89 is being remembered by many in Winnipeg.

The family has been the richest family in Manitoba pretty much in the lifetime of every resident on the province. Suffice to say that the majority of the people really only knew the name of the family through the Richardson Building as it seemed eternal and as permanent as the corner of Portage and Main itself.

Winnipeg's first skyscraper and still premiere address. Some people are not aware that the property includes a number of buildings including the Fairmont Hotel, another office tower, a parkade and part of the Concourse.

Many people on the street when asked might be hard pressed to name the businesses the Richardson family were in. To say they were an agricultural company would be to overlook the many other areas of business they were dominant in.

In some respects the quiet eternal nature of the Richardson name is the story of Winnipeg itself. Hard working, understated and doing many things, some of them very well.

We probably will never know just how many people the Richardson family and George Richardson in particular touched. Many other business people have indicated the partnerships they had with the family have been part of their own success. Certainly some of the people who have worked with the the family have done so all their professional lives.

And let's not forget about the charity. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet would not be where it is today without the patronage of the family. It would be difficult to find any cultural organization that didn't see Richardsons as a faithful supporter.

George Richardson had handed over the baton sometime ago. That is a Richardson tradition. The family figures out how to pass things along, remain private, remain humble and remain eternal for Winnipeg and the province they call home.

In so many ways, Winnipeggers will really never know the family but they will always know the Richardson name.

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