Sharon Evelyn (MIGEL) ALLEN (1950-2005)
Born at Gimli on 21 November 1950 to Evelyn Migelowich (1920-2015) and Michael Migalwich [Migel] (1914-1964), she spent her childhood and adolescence in Matlock prior to moving to Winnipeg in 1962. She attended St. John’s High School then graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1972 with an Honours Degree in English.
In 1973, she married Les Allen with whom she had two children: Kristopher Allen and Pamela Allen. They lived and worked in various places through the following years. After graduation, she was employed by Metropolitan Life and Xerox in Winnipeg. Upon moving to Quesnel, British Columbia, she was employed by the Bank of Montreal. Moving to Regina, Saskatchewan, she worked for Wilson’s Office Specialty, and following that, in Portage la Prairie, she first worked for Weber Printing, then joined the Daily Graphic as an advertising representative. She was later promoted to senior rep and remained with the Graphic until her passing.
Community Activist, Municipal Official
At Portage la Prairie, she served with many organizations: Welcome Wagon, Strawberry Festival Pageant, Portage Chamber of Commerce (Christmas Cheque Program and “Portage is for People”), President of the Portage Rotary Club (first female President), Beta Sigma Phi-lota Chapter, Portage Piranhas Swim Club, Portage Gymnastics Club, and was instrumental in organizing the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra fundraiser for the establishment of the Portage Room at Cancer Care Manitoba. She also taught jazz dance for the Portage District Arts Council. In 1997, she earned the nickname “Flood Relief Queen” for organizing the provincial flood relief telethon.
In 1998, she was elected as an alderman with the City of Portage and implemented a resolution to change the title “alderman” to “councillor” for all members of city council. In that role, she chaired the community services committee, aided in the establishment of Splash Island Water Park and The Island of Lights, participated in bringing the Simplot potato processing facility to the city, and was recognized for her outstanding ambassadorship for Portage and community. Throughout her career, she was appointed to various committees and boards and took a particular interest in her tenure with the Manitoba Film Classification Board. In 2003, she and her husband returned to Winnipeg.
She died at Winnipeg on 26 June 2005 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.
Reprinted with permission from Manitoba Historical Society.
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