John Porteous RAE (1914-1996)

Born at Innisfail, Alberta in 1914, he moved to Winnipeg with his family at a young age.

On 20 April 1946, he married Margaret Jean “Judy” MATHESON (1917-?). On 12 January 1990, he married Mary Irene (nee HARRIS) WESTMACOTT (1922-2012) and became a step-father to her children: Rod WESTMACOTT, Garrett WESTMACOTT, Jason WESTMACOTT and Robert WESTMACOTT Jr.

John was a member of the Army Service Corps from 1944 to 1946 and spent most of that time overseas.


While working at the first Salisbury House restaurant on Fort Street, he met Gerald Alfred John “Jerry” Hemsworth and, in 1936, they moved to Fort William, Ontario with two other partners, Gordon Hill and Casey Byron, and operated a restaurant together.

Rae and Hemsworth returned to Winnipeg and in September 1939 and with financial help from Arthur Chipman they opened a restaurant at the corner of Portage Avenue and Vaughan Street. In 1947, it was relocated to Kennedy Street and was renamed Rae and Jerry’s Steak House. In 1950 it was relocated, again, to a site on Portage at Langside. In 1957, it settled on a site immediately east of Polo Park that became a Winnipeg institution. In 1975, the two partners sold the business to Steve Hrousalas and John began working for the Ford Leasing Division.

John wrote volumes on the preparation and serving of food and wine, and also the colunn “All About Wine” in the Winnipeg Tribune during the mid-1970s. He was a member of the St. Charles Country Club.

He died at Winnipeg on 17 October 1996.


  • Reprinted with permission from Manitoba Historical Society and updated.
  • Bridal Shower Announcement [Margaret Matheson], The Winnipeg Tribune [Winnipeg, Manitoba], 18 April 1946.

Obituary [Mary Irene Rae (nee Harris) (Westmacott)], Winnipeg Free Press [Winnipeg, Manitoba], 14 January 2012


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