He was manager of North American Lumber in Transcona where he became president of their board of trade. He was a Transcona school trustee and elected five times as a town Councillor. He was main organizer in the Transcona 1950 flood fight. He chaired the historical booklet committee for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. He was enthralled by magic and performed from an early age. His stage name was Len Vintus. His puppet was named Jerry. He co-founded the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1922 which became the largest magician organization in the world. He was Manitoba manager of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. In 1958 he was appointed the Provincial Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce. As manager for the Manitoba Travel and Convention Association promoting Manitoba, he became known as Mr Manitoba due to his unfailing enthusiasm for the province, its heritage and resources. He was an author and a poet. He was M. J. G. McMullen and he was born in Shoal Lake in 1903.
In his many roles, McMullen became extremely well-traveled and well-known in Manitoba. He was familiar with Shoal Lake, probably performed here and became friends with some locals. One Shoal Laker so impressed the magician/politician that he waxed poetic about him in #11 of his pamphlets of poems about Manitoba. J. D. McLean, who built and landscaped the lovely Queen Anne brick on Chestnut Street, was the subject of this poem by McMullen. Click to enlarge.
McMullen died at age 95 in 1999. Read more about him on MHS site.
I wrote about J. D. McLean’s legacy to Shoal Lake in a feature on the People page of this blog.