Leonard A. Bateman

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Jeanette Mockford
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library

Finding aid encoded by Jeanette Mockford (2012)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library

Leonard A. Bateman fonds


0.2 m of textual records and other material

MSS 267, PC 225, (A. 11-77)

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Biography of Leonard A. Bateman

Leonard A. Bateman, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1919, served all his professional life in the energy industry. Raised and educated in Winnipeg, graduating from Kelvin high school in 1935, in 1937 Bateman enrolled in the Collegiate Department of United College, now the University of Winnipeg, in order to gain the entrance qualifications necessary to study engineering. Though his initial interest was in mining, Bateman would eventually receive his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1942. With a medical condition preventing him from serving overseas during WWII, Bateman joined Winnipeg Hydro after graduation as a design engineer, earned his M.Sc. in 1948, and would remain employed with the company for the next 14 years. During his time at Winnipeg Hydro Bateman rose steadily through the ranks of the organization, being first promoted to System Operating Engineer in 1948, with a promotion to General Superintendent of Production coming later in 1952.

Bateman would hold this position until his resignation from Winnipeg Hydro in 1956. Len Bateman began his 23 year career with Manitoba Hydro in 1956, first working as a Systems Planning Engineer. After the amalgamation of Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba Power Corporation in 1961, Bateman became one of the first directors of the newly-formed company by accepting the position of Director of Production responsible for system operations throughout the province. During his early years with the utility Bateman was involved with the planning and development of the Grand Rapids Generating Station, the Kelsey Generating Station, and the first 120,000 volt loop around Winnipeg. Starting in the early 1960s, Manitoba Hydro began to construct a series of dams and power stations along the Nelson River. This series of projects in northern Manitoba, known collectively as the Nelson River Hydroelectric Project, was an extremely adventurous undertaking and a monumental engineering project with which Len Bateman would have a great deal of involvement. Beginning in 1967 Bateman took over responsibility for planning functions in Manitoba Hydro and acted as a design liaison with Teshmont Consultants and Atomic Energy Canada Limited for the design of the Nelson River D.C. Transmission System. In this role Bateman was responsible for designing and approving the basic design criteria such as conductor size and voltage rating. The great distance between the hydroelectric plants in northern Manitoba and the load centres in southern Manitoba required the use of high-voltage, D.C. transmission lines. When these lines became operational in 1972, then known as the Nelson River Bipole system, they were the longest and highest-voltage direct current lines in the world. Bateman was also responsible for the first interconnection negotiations with American utilities beginning in 1967-1968.

Today these connections allow Manitoba Hydro to export hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy annually, and import energy during times of drought or interruptions to the transmission system from northern Manitoba. Bateman was again promoted in 1970, becoming Assistant Chief Engineer, then promoted again to the position of Assistant General Manager and Chief Engineer in 1971. Finally, in late 1972 Len Bateman was asked to accept the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Manitoba Hydro. It was during his six-year tenure as C.E.O. of Manitoba Hydro that the utility would experience a period of unprecedented growth and expansion. The 1224 mw Kettle Generating Station was completed in 1974 at a cost of $240 million, with the Long Spruce Generating Station being completed later in 1979 at a cost of $508 million. Other major undertakings initiated or completed during Bateman’s time as Chairman and C.E.O. included the Lake Winnipeg Regulation project, the Churchill River Diversion project and the second phase of the Nelson River D.C. Transmission project (Bi-Pole II).

Bateman also participated in numerous overseas trade and research delegations, including a visit to China in 1973. As well, Bateman visited a turbine production facility in St. Petersburg to negotiate the purchase and installation of the first bulb turbine in North America, destined for the Jenpeg Generating Station - later completed in 1979. A few final projects undertaken during Bateman’s term as C.E.O. included an interconnection between Manitoba Hydro and the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company to provide power for the town of Flin Flon, as well as the retiring of various diesel generating stations across the province. A change in the political climate in the late 1970s would spell the end of Len Bateman’s career with Manitoba Hydro, though he would continue to operate a successful private consulting firm for the next 25 years. Leonard Bateman was President and/or Vice-President of several professional organizations, including The Canadian Nuclear Association, The Canadian Electricity Association, and The Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba. He is the past and founding President of The Canadian Society of Senior Engineers and in 2003 was invested into the Order of Manitoba. Leonard Bateman currently resides in Winnipeg.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds is divided into two series: Professional Notes recorded by E. V. Caton and L.A. Bateman’s photographs. In total the photograph collection consists of 666 photographs, 73 lantern slides, and 110 negatives.

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access.

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Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated by Leonard A. Bateman in 2011.

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Professional Notes recorded by E. V. Caton [ 1912 ]
11 E. V. Caton's Notes and Figues on Building Hydro Stations 1912

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Manitoba and Winnipeg Hydro Photographs [ 1926-1991 ]
12 Pointe du Bois and Slave Falls Power Plant 1926-1932
3 Short Circuit at McPhillips Street W. E. R. Station 1945
4 Unidentified Hydro Station 1946
5 Scotland Avenue Hydro Station 1946
6 Scotland Avenue Hydro Construction Site 1946
7 Slave Falls and Pointe du Bois Hydro Stations 1947
8 Pointe du Bois - #6 & #7 Bk. 1947
9 Slave Falls - Damaged Generator Coils 1948
10 Rover Avenue Terminal - 1948 Flood 1948
11 Winnipeg River High Water Conditions 1950
12 Rover Avenue - 1950 Flood 1950
13 Wind Storm - Roof of Mansfield Block at Ellice Avenue and Maryland Street 1950
14 Rover Avenue, Winnipeg - 1950 Flood 1950
21 Mill Street Flood 1950
2 Tower Lines 1954
3 Pointe du Bois from Tower and Booth 1955
4 Pointe du Bois and Slave Falls 1959
5 Nelson River Project 1970
6 Nelson Research Laboratories, England 1970
7 Northern Manitoba Communities, Hydro Projects, and Lakes 1974
8 "Trip North" 1975
9 Trip to Gillam 1989
10 "Trip North" 1991
11 Manitoba Hydro Parade Float and Opening of Generator Ceremony n.d.
12 Construction of Pointe du Bois n.d.
13 Pointe du Bois Weed Control n.d.
14 Pointe du Bois Transmission Tower Failure n.d.
15 Scotland Avenue Construction n.d.
16 Scotland Avenue Unloading Transformer n.d.
17 Scotland Avenue M.O. Disc. Incorrect Assembly n.d.
18 Drafting Desk Assembly n.d.
19 Control Panel - Slave Falls n.d.
20 Coffer Dam at Pine Falls - Flood Conditions n.d.
21 Slave Falls n.d.
22 Long Spruce Hydro Dam Construction Site n.d.
3 1950 Flood and Rover Avenue Dike Construction 1950-1951

73 Lantern Slides detailing the effects of the 1950 Flood in Winnipeg, Manitoba and dike construction by the Rover Avenue power station in 1951.

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