Honourable Pearl McGonigal, C.M., O.M. , LL.D.

Pearl McGonigal has devoted her life to public service and volunteerism. From her humble beginnings in Melville, Saskatchewan, McGonigal has grown to become a transformative figure who has had a major impact on her city, province, and country.

Ever the trailblazer, McGonigal’s political and personal life is filled with dramatic milestones. She was the first woman elected to the St. James/Assiniboia City Council. She was the first female deputy mayor of Winnipeg and female chair of the Executive Policy Council. In 1981, she became the first female Lt . Governor of the province of Manitoba. She was also the first female Campaign Chair of the United Way of Winnipeg.

McGonigal has served on dozens of boards and committees including the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, MediaCom, Manitoba Law Reform, Royal Trust Co., Manitoba Blue Cross, First Canadian Mortgage Fund, Rainbow Stage and the Winnipeg Convention and Visitors Bureau, to name only a few. She has been the recipient of dozens of awards as well, including the Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba, The Salvation Army Distinguished Auxiliary Service Cross, Citizen of the Year from the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural Centre, the B’Nai Brith Canada Humanitarian Award, an Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba and the Patriots Award from the Royal Military Institute of
Manitoba.

McGonigal has always had a strong connection with the military, serving first as the Honourary Colonel of 735 Communications Regiment then as the Honourary Colonel of the 402 City of Winnipeg Squadron.

McGonigal has been a tireless champion for Grace Hospital. She is a founding member of the Grace Hospital Foundation and was its chair for almost two decades, retiring in 2011. Under her guidance the Foundation raised more than $20 million in support of patient care at the Grace. In 2016, she co-chaired the “Tomorrow’s Grace” Capital Campaign, which raised $6 million to help build the new emergency department and MRI Building. In addition to serving as the chair of Grace Hospital Foundation, McGonigal also served two terms as the chair of the Grace Hospital Board of Management (1987-1993). All told, McGonigal has devoted more than 40 years to the Grace.

Mere words cannot express her importance to Grace Hospital. For decades she has been the guiding hand and the compassionate heart of the Grace. No single individual has ever, or will ever, have the same impact that Pearl McGonigal has had in shaping what Grace Hospital has become.

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