Richard Spink Bowles

Richard Spink Bowles (November 16, 1912 July 9, 1988) was a lawyer and office holder in Manitoba, Canada. He served as the province's 16th Lieutenant Governor from 1965 to 1970.

The Honourable

Richard Spink Bowles
16th Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
In office
November 1, 1965  September 2, 1970
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralGeorges Vanier
Roland Michener
PremierDuff Roblin
Walter Weir
Edward Schreyer
Preceded byErrick Willis
Succeeded byWilliam John McKeag
Personal details
Born(1912-11-16)November 16, 1912
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
DiedJuly 9, 1988(1988-07-09) (aged 75)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Political partyLiberal
Alma materUniversity of Manitoba
Manitoba Law School

Bowles had no political experience prior to his appointment as Lt. Governor, and was only the second non-political appointee to the position (James Duncan McGregor was the first, although McGregor had previously worked for the federal government in a non-partisan capacity).

Bowles was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and was educated at the University of Manitoba and Manitoba Law School. He practiced law from 1937 to 1965, starting his own firm in 1940. He became the first President of Winnipeg's Home and School Association in 1952, and was Chairman of the Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation in 1956-57. He was named President of the Manitoba Bar Association in 1961, and also served as President of the Law Society of Manitoba in 1964-65.

His appointment as Lt. Governor came in recognition of his legal and community work. The position was primarily ceremonial by this time. Bowles might have been entrusted with determining Manitoba's government after the inclusive 1969 election, but the defection of Liberal MLA Laurent Desjardins to the New Democratic Party made this unnecessary.

Bowles returned to private law practice after his term in office ended. In 1969, he presented an essay on Adams George Archibald (the first Lt. Governor of Manitoba) to the Manitoba Historical Society. He later served as Chancellor of the University of Manitoba from 1974 to 1977.

In 1972, Bowles campaigned for the federal House of Commons as a Liberal, in the rural riding of Lisgar. Due to the prestige of his former office, there was widespread speculation that he would be appointed to the cabinet of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau if elected. As it happened, however, he lost to Progressive Conservative Jack Murta by 17253 votes to 4469, and did not return to political life thereafter.

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