Laurie Pollard calls the 34th inductee into the WinnipegREALTORS® Association Citizens Hall of Fame “a special guy” whom he his proud to have called a friend for 61 years.
The Winnipeg businessman said Robert Chipman’s induction is “a wonderful salute to this man who is involved in his community in an innumerable number of organizations. He’s been in so many things and has given so much back to his city in so many ways. That’s the mark of the man.”
For his part, Chipman said he considered his induction into the hall of fame, honouring Winnipeggers who have made a significant contribution to their city, a “family award.”
“It was my good luck to work with my three sons, Steve, Geoff and Mark ... my daughter Susan ... my wife Shiela ... and be associated with so many community-minded people,” said the prominent businessman, whose parent company Megill-Stephenson Company Ltd. has created over 800 local jobs and generates $420 million in gross annual revenues.
The Chipman family is noted for having brought the Manitoba Moose AHL franchise to Winnipeg and for developing the 15,000-seat MTS Centre.
Chipman, who received his induction award during a special ceremony at Tavern in the Park in Assiniboine Park last Wednesday evening, has chaired the local United Way and been involved in multiple charities, as well as arts, education and sports organizations in Winnipeg.
“This year’s inductee exemplifies what good citizenship is all about,” said Bill Burns, the chair of WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame. “There is no question in my mind that Winnipeg is a better place to live, thanks to Robert Chipman’s commitment to giving.”
Burns said this year is the first time in the 21-year history of the only-one-of-its-kind program in Canada that all the current inductees in the Citizens Hall of Fame have sculptures of their likenesses on public view in the Formal Garden at Assiniboine Park. All the bronze busts on display are by Winnipeg artists.
“It’s a wonderful, unique and special program that is a permanent tribute to what can be done in Winnipeg,” he said. “Winnipeg is blessed to have so many of its citizens step forward and lead by example.”
At Chipman’s induction ceremony, Burns said the placement of the sculptures on both sides of the pathway in the east side of the Formal garden has prompted the committee to call it the “Walk of Fame.”
“I think that's more appropriate,” added Chipman, who tries to take a daily walk in the park that he calls “one of our city’s greatest assets.”
(A list of past WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame inductees and more information on the program is found on page 7.)