Richard Cooke

Richard (Westall) Cooke. Business executive, volunteer-administrator, choirmaster, b Leeds 28 Apr 1903, d Winnipeg 11 Jul 1982. Brought to Canada at seven, he sang as a child in Manitoba church choirs. Prior to 1964 he served as choirmaster in four Winnipeg Anglican churches successively.

Cooke, Richard

Richard (Westall) Cooke. Business executive, volunteer-administrator, choirmaster, b Leeds 28 Apr 1903, d Winnipeg 11 Jul 1982. Brought to Canada at seven, he sang as a child in Manitoba church choirs. Prior to 1964 he served as choirmaster in four Winnipeg Anglican churches successively. He joined the Men's Music Club of Winnipeg in 1924, becoming secretary in 1944, and at the same time he was secretary for the club's main project, the Manitoba Music Competition Festival. He retained that dual post for 16 years, then served three years as the club's president. In the 1940s he was secretary of the Winnipeg Civic Music League, which was responsible for the revival of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. With the incorporation in 1949 of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, he became secretary-treasurer of that organization and remained responsible for the selection of adjudicators for competition festivals across Canada until 1978. Before his retirement from the business world in 1968 he was secretary-treasurer and director of the Winnipeg printing firm Saults & Pollard. In 1972 he became secretary for the National Competitive Festival of Music. A trophy, to be awarded to the best public-school choir, was named in his honour in 1978. He received the Canadian Music Council Medal in 1979 and was awarded the Order of the Buffalo Hunt by the Government of Manitoba in 1981.

See also Audrey Belyea and Phyllis Thomson (his daughters).