R B RUSSELL
Winnipeg's Grand Old Man of Labour
by George Siamandas
On November 24 1919 labour leader RB Russell went on trial for seditious conspiracy during the 1919 strike. Of all the participants in the strike Russell paid a high price spending a year of his two-year sentence at Stony Mountain.
Robert Boyd Russell was born in 1888 in a working class district of Glasgow Scotland. His father was a staunch socialist and he grew up a rebel. RB became immersed in the world of the socialism and shared his father's concern for social problems. In 1911, seeking better fortunes, he arrived in Winnipeg where he soon found a job as a machinist in the CPR shops. He married his childhood sweetheart who had also emigrated along with her brother and RB.