Our first inductee of the Citizens Hall of Fame was former Mayor Stephen Juba which was Winnipeg’s longest serving mayor. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1953 to 1959, and served as the Mayor of Winnipeg from 1957 to 1977. He was the first Ukrainian Canadian to hold high political office in the city.
While in the Legislature, Juba had gained a good deal of publicity by his tireless campaign to have the provincial liquor laws amended. Manitoba’s laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages were still, to a very great extent, those which had been adopted in the 1920s, when the long shadow of the total prohibition experiment of the post-war days still lay over the province.
Juba’s name was associated with many events in the city’s life. He lobbied for and obtained the Pan American Games of 1967 for Winnipeg, an accomplishment which brought to the city athletes and officials and visitors from all over North and South America. The Games resulted in the construction of the Pan Am Pool, the Velodrome and the University Stadium to provide venues for the numerous events connected with the Games.
During Juba’s terms of office – 20 years – he was several times returned by acclamation, and even on the occasions when he was opposed for re-election, none of the contenders even came close to unseating him.
He was noted for his grand, but sometimes unclear ideas for the city, the most often-cited of these being his dream of setting up a monorail rapid transit system to link all parts of the city with a fast and efficient means of moving people. Several times he brought this subject up, and even had consultants in to provide something more than fine phrases on the subject.