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Dr. Frederick George Stambrook was a long-serving faculty member of the Department of History, University of Manitoba. He was born Frederick Sternberg in Vienna, Austria on November 16, 1929. Following the untimely death of his mother (Edith, 1932) and while his father (Karl) managed various industrial concerns, he was raised by his maternal grandparents (Weiss) in Vienna, and subsequently exiled to Prague in 1939. He became part of the Kindertransport which allowed him to seek safety in England from the Nazi regime. Having been sent alone to England to the care of his eventual stepmother Mimi, he was later reunited there with his father. He was evacuated from London in 1940 to the town of Lincolnshire (Willoughby), where he attended the local village school, learned English, and won a scholarship to Alford Grammar School. He spent youthful summers with his parents and stepbrother (Peter) and performed his post-war military service as an Education Officer, Royal Air Force (1950-1952). Having attained academic success, he was awarded scholarships to Oxford, St. Catherine's College (B.A. Hons-History) and the London School of Economics (B.Sc. Hons-Economics, Ph.D.). While completing a Ph.D. in International History in London, Dr. Stambrook worked in the British Foreign Office on the translation of captured German Foreign Office war documents at Whaddon Hall (Bucks).
His first academic appointment was as Lecturer in History at Sydney University (Australia). This was followed in 1968 by being appointed Assistant Professor of History at the University of Manitoba. It would be at the University of Manitoba where he would spend his academic career as an historian. His research interest in inter-war European diplomacy soon became secondary to his increasing administrative roles where he served as Head of the German Department (1976-1977), Associate Dean of Arts (1975-1977), Dean of Arts (1977-1982) and Vice-President, Academic (1982-1991). Following his administrative retirement, Dr. Stambrook was asked to fill in as interim departmental head of Political Studies (1995-1997) and Native Studies (1998-1999). In May 2004, he was recognized as Dean Emeritus of the University of Manitoba. Later in his career, he and his wife, Dr. Stella Hryniuk, began doing extensive research on the immigrant experience to Canada, and the multicultural diversity of Hapsburg-Galicia. Much of his later research focused on the Ukrainian province of Bukovyna (Bukovina).
Besides being an academic, he loved sports. As a university student in England, he played cricket, rugby and football (soccer). His passion for soccer and his administrative talent were soon combined in his founding role with the Manitoba Minor Soccer Association. This led to his long-term contributions as President of the Canadian Youth Soccer Association (1975-1979), President of the Manitoba Soccer Association (1980-1986), and President of the Canadian Soccer Association (1986-1992). His lifelong commitment to soccer was recognized with a Life Membership to the Canadian Soccer Association (1999) and the Manitoba Soccer Association (2002), and induction as sports-builder into the Manitoba Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1999) and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2003). Some of his many achievements in sports were the championing of rural soccer in Manitoba and of women's soccer in Canada; serving as Host-President for the FIFA U-17 World Cup (Toronto, 1982); serving as Chair of FIFA, Appeals Committees for soccer at the Los Angeles Olympics (1984) and World Cup (1994); involvement in the Winnipeg Pan-Am Games bid (1999); and serving as Chef de Mission for numerous traveling Canadian National Soccer Teams. He loved and supported the arts including ballet, opera and theatre, especially the Prairie Theatre Exchange. He also served as a Board Member of the Jewish Heritage Centre.
Dr. Stambrook passed away on July 15, 2005.