The Olson Family
of Gimli

Gottskálk Sigfússon &
Hólmfríður Jónatansdóttir

Páll (Paul) Kristinn Olson & Margrét Jónsdóttir Gíslason

Paul and Margaret Olson
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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
The Olson Family of Gimli

In 1965, Paul, wishing to spend more time at home with his family, stopped going north to fish. He purchased an old fishing company building on the Gimli harbour and set up Dockside Fish, a processing plant and retail store. After the advent of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Board, Dockside fish also became an agency of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Board. Margaret worked as the Marketing Board agent in the region during this period.

Margaret has been active in all aspects of community life in Gimli. She was formerly a member of the Gimli Women’s Institute, has been Sunday school superintendent and teacher, a member of the women’s group of the Lutheran Church, and the Hospital Auxiliary. She also served on the Gimli School board for several years.

Paul officially retired from the fishery in 1990 when the land on which Dockside Fish stood was bought out to make way for the construction of the Country Resort Hotel. His contribution to the fishery was officially recognized some 23 years earlier when the Government of Canada awarded him a Centennial Medal for service to the nation.

Paul and Margaret Olson have five children, four of whom carry the family tradition of involvement with the fishing industry:

Paul Kenneth (b. Mar. 4, 1952) worked as a diesel mechanic. He worked in Montreal for two years before returning home to Manitoba. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in Winnipeg on Aug. 9, 1980.


Karen Margaret (b. Oct. 29, 1954) obtained a degree in commerce from the University of Manitoba. Karen owns and operates the Gimli Fish Company, a retail store on the corner of Dufferin and Macgregor in Winnipeg.

William David (b. Nov. 11, 1955) works as a commercial fisherman, a profession that he has wanted to be a part of since he was very young. He lives in Gimli and is married to Giles, originally from Roblin, MB.David and Wendy have two children: Fraser Delany (b. Feb. 5, 1994) and Paul Liam (b. Oct. 24, 1995)

Robert Warren (b. June 8, 1958) Robert took architectural drafting at Red River Community College. For several years he was the owner of Brennivins Pizza Hus in Gimli. Robert lives in Gimli and works as a commercial fisherman. He has a daughter, Thea, with Carla Goodman.

Kristjan Andrew (b. May 19, 1960) After working as a security guard for Manitoba Hydro and a manager for Zellers in Winnipeg, Kris returned to Gimli and began working with his parents. Eventually he got his own license. In 1991 he opened the Kris’ Fish & Chips in Gimli, a restaurant which also includes a retail fish store. Kris also operates a retail fish store in Selkirk. He is married to Elaine Dilworth, originally from Rathwell, MB, and has two children, Kai Stefan (b. July 27, 1988) and Kena Jayd (b. Mar. 6, 1991).