THE STORY OF

TWO MACHRAYS

Robert Machray the Good & John Alexander Machray the Bad

by George Siamandas

 

ARCHBISHOP MACHRAY

Robert Machray was born in Aberdeen Scotland on May 17 1831. While he was brought up a Presbyterian, he became an Anglican and studied at Cambridge and was ordained in 1856. In 1865 he became the youngest Bishop taking charge of Rupertsland. At Red River he took an interest in the changes about to take place in the late 1860s and spoke up against the Canadian government for lack of consultation and for their surveying work. But at the same time Machray was not supportive of the violent method by which Riel was seizing power.

Machray became archbishop in 1893, was chosen as the first primate for Canada. he also served as the chancellor of the University of Manitoba from 1877 to 1904. Machray never married but had living with him for many years his nephew John Alexander Machray. On March 9 1904 the distinguished Anglican Archbishop, Robert Machray passed away after 41 years of service in Winnipeg.

THERE IS ANOTHER MACHRAY NOT HELD IN AS HIGH ESTEEM: THE OTHER MACHRAY THE $2 MILLION MAN

John A Machray was the nephew of the esteemed Anglican Archbishop. He was adopted by the Archbishop and received his training in law at Cambridge. He began his law practise in Winnipeg about 1903 and by 1912 had become a Kings Counsel. John Machray rose to the top of Winnipeg society; Bursar to the University of Manitoba and on its Board of Governors. Chair of the red Cross Chancellor of the Archdioceses of Rupertsland, president of the league for Nations.

But after shortage started to be discovered after the 1929 crash, Machray became known as the $2 million man. In today's terms he might be the $30 million man. In 1932 a Royal Commission found out he had been misappropriating funds since 1903.

Machray lost $971,000, which was most of the University's endowment funds. He also stole $800,000 from the Anglican Church including from the widows and orphans fund and from the clergy's retirement funds from three provinces. The University losses were made up by hiking tuition fees and cutting salaries of the professors. Machray was sentenced to 7 years and died in prison within the year in 1933.

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