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Alexander Douglas Turnbull was born at St. Mary's, Ontario on August 26, 1903. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A.Sc. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1925 and joined The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada at Trail, serving in various supervisory positions until his retirement from the Company in 1965.
In 1928 he married Elsie Grant Willard of St. Mary's, Ontario.
In 1942 Turnbull began his public career at the municipal level, first as Police Commissioner for Tadanac (1942-1943), then as Reeve of Tadanac (1944-1945) and subsequently as President of the Association of Kootenay Municipalities (1945).
Turnbull entered provincial politics in 1948 when he unsuccessfully contested a Rossland-Trail by-election as a Coalition (Liberal) candidate. In the general election of 1949 he was elected MLA for Rossland-Trail and in 1950 he was appointed Minister of Health and Welfare. During his term as Minister of Health and Welfare he consolidated the administration of the B.C. Hospital Insurance Service that was established under George S. Pearson. Prior to the resignation of the Coalition government on August 1, 1952, Turnbull also served as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of Trade and Industry. He was defeated as a Liberal candidate for Rossland Trail in the 1952 provincial election.
In addition to an active public career, Turnbull has served on numerous community service associations, including the Community Chest and the Provincial Agency Review Committee, an organization he helped to form and which elected him their first chairman in 1961. He has also held positions with the Science Council of Canada and the Victoria Symphony Society.
Turnbull died in Victoria on June 23, 1993 at the age of 89.
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Revised Khughes 2021-09-03
MS-0841, Biographical notes on Mr. and Mrs. Turnbull, 7 July 1965
Death registration 1993-09-010011