Fonds 143 Robert Millar fonds


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1923-1957. — 2.5 cm of textual records, 46 photographs.

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Biographical Sketch

Robert Millar was born in Fernie, BC, in 1909, but from the age of five onward lived in Drumheller where he took his schooling and started to work in the automotive business. From 1931-1933 he was employed as a stockman for the Grande Prairie Garage Company but found he had come north at a bad time for establishing himself here so returned to Drumheller and a year later was partner in a garage business there. When WWII broke out, he sold his business and enlisted in the Canadian Army with the R.C.E.M.E. (Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), serving two years in England, one in Italy and several in Europe. In March, 1946, he moved to Grande Prairie with his wife, Vera, and son, Bruce, where he and Les Longmate went into partnership in Windsor Motors. That same year he was elected to the school board and began his ten year civic service record. Elected to town council in 1951, he headed the finance committee for two years, and in 1953 was elected mayor. He was a member of the Kinsman Club, Canadian Legion, Rotary Club, Curling Club and Rodeo Association. He held executive posts with the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce for almost ten years. One of his favorite memories during his tenure was when Governor General Vincent Massey paid an official visit to Grande Prairie in 1954.
Robert Millar resigned as mayor in 1957 and moved to Red Deer, where he and Mr. Longmate opened a car dealership, Millar Motors. When not busy with business or civic duties, Bob Millar loved hunting and fishing. Robert Millar died in 1981.

Custodial History

The records were donated to Grande Prairie Museum by his family from his estate in 1994. In 2000, they were transferred to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives. In 2004, a small accrual was added by the family.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of photographs of Robert Millar as mayor, and on various hunting and camping expeditions as well as photographs of Chrysler dealerships in the Peace country; newspapers containing articles relating to his tenure as mayor; copies of speeches; programs from event; financial statements; yearly report booklets; and correspondence all relating to his tenure as councilor and mayor. Also included is a 1923 calendar.


Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Table of Contents

Series 143.01 Civic Duties
Series 143.02 Newspapers and Booklets and Paper Artefacts
Series 143.03 Photographs
Series 143.01 Civic Duties. — 1951-1957. — 1 cm of textual records.

The series consists of financial statements of the town of Grande Prairie 1951-1953; a submission to the Province of Alberta in application for a City Charter; a poster “Millar For Mayor”, programs of events attended; correspondence to and from the mayor; and news articles and documents related to the visit of Governor General Massey in 1954.

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Series 143.02 Newspapers and Booklets and Paper Artefacts. — 1954-1957. — 2.5 cm of textual records.

The series consists of 1954 and 1955 Grande Prairie annual review booklets; 1956 Chamber of Commerce booklets; a 1955 Edmonton Souvenir booklet and a Mutual Life booklet containing words to 47 popular 1950s songs. Also included is a 1923 calendar. Millar kept newspapers (Herald Tribune Peace River Magazine, and The Herald-Tribune) detailing important events during his tenure as mayor. The dates of the Peace River Magazine were Nov. 22 1955, Jan. 24 1956, and Feb. 14 1956. The dates of The Herald-Tribune were May 27 1954, Mar. 8 1955, Oct. 28 1955, Nov. 4 1955, Nov. 8 1955, Nov. 11 1955, Nov. 15 1955, Nov. 22, 1955, Nov. 25, 1955, Dec. 9 1955, Dec. 13 1955, Dec. 16 1955, Dec. 20 1955, Dec. 23 1955, Jan. 13 1956, Jan. 20 1956, Jan. 24 1956, Feb. 17 1956, April 27 1956, July 31 1956, Mar. 12 1957, Oct. 15, 1957. Oct. 22, 1957, and Oct. 25 1957.

Alberta’s Next City -Grande Prairie- In the Famous Peace River Country, 1956
Booklet describing the expansion of the town
Location: 1994.06.046,047,51
“Grande Prairie Alberta – 1955 ‘A Year of Unprecedented Growth'”, 1955
Grande Prairie’s yearly report for 1955.
Location: 1994.06.048-49
“Grande Prairie, The Year in Review, 1956”, 1956
Grande Prairie’s yearly report for 1956.
Location: 1994.06.054
The More We Are Together, n.d.
Song book with words to many songs
Location: 1994.06.073
Souvenir Views of Edmonton, 1955
Souvenir Views of Edmonton, produced for Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities Annual Conference
Location: 1994.06.075
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Series 143.03 Photographs. — 1952-1957. — 46 photographs.

The series consists of 10 photographs related to civic duties; 9 related to Millar’s business, Windsor Motors, and other Chrysler dealerships, 23 related to hunting and camping expeditions, 3 winter scenes of downtown Grande Prairie, and 1 of the Dunvegan ferry.

Robert Millar as Chrysler Dealer, Grande Prairie, 1957 c.
2 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Chrysler promotional photo with Robert Millar in the driver’s seat with 3 other men leaning into open car doorway.
Location: 1994.06.077-78
Mayor Millar & Jack Soars with 2 Visiting Dignitaries, 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Robert Millar, Jack Soars, Edmonton Mayor Hawrelak, and another dignitary.
Location: 1994.06.079
Mayor Hawrelak, Mr. Twist, Mayor Millar, 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Mr. Twist, General Manager of Domestic Airlines, meeting with the two mayors.
Location: 1994.06.080
Windsor Motors, Grande Prairie, 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
The Windsor Motors – Chrysler Dealership – Texaco Station building in Grande Prairie.
Location: 1994.06.081
Barry Phillips, General Manager, C.P.A., 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Millar, with cigar and speech in hand, and Barney Phillips, General Manager of C.P.A., at a function.
Location: 1994.06.082
Mayor Millar with Mr.Bielman, 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Mr. Bielman and Mayor Miller showing ducks bagged on an evening hunt.
Location: 1994.06.083
Robert Millar and friends on hunting & camping expeditions, 1952-1955
12 photograph; colour & b & w; 3 x 5
4-5 men with horses, hunting, camping
Location: 1994.06.084-95
Robert Millar? posed commercial portrait of a cowboy, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A tourist attraction photo using props?
Location: 1994.06.096
Robert Millar and friends on hunting & camping expeditions, 1952-1955
9 photograph; b & w & colour; 3 x 5
4-5 men with horses, hunting, camping
Location: 1994.06.097-105
Mayor Millar speaking at some outside function, 1955 c.
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Mayor Millar addressing a group outside with two men in hats, two without
Location: 1994.06.106.A-B
Governor General Massey’s visit, 1954
3 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Mayor Millar with Governor General Massey and other dignitaries and Chrysler cavalcade
Location: 1994.06.107 B-D
United Church – New Building Dedication, 1957
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
The back of the photograph reads: “This is proof that I go to church. It is the dedication of the new United Church, where I was speaking for the town.”
Location: 1994.06.108
Robert Millar and Plymouth, 1954
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Chryslar representative showing a new Plymouth to Robert Millar.
Location: 1994.06.109
Mayor Millar and Governor General Massey, 1954
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 8
Robert Millar greeting His Excellency Govenor General Vincent Massey. An RCMP stands in background.
Location: 1994.06.110
Governor General Massey’s Visit, 1954
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 8
Mayor Millar with Governor General and other dignitaries coming out of a two-storey building.
Location: 1994.06.111
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