Memorable Manitobans: Clarence Osborne “Curly” Motheral (1912-1989)
Educator, businessman, municipal official.
Born at Crystal City on 28 March 1912, son of Charles Motheral (1878-1948) and Lennie Electa Harris (1879-1955), he was educated at Kenton School and Virden School. He took teacher training at the Brandon Normal School then taught at Balsam Bay School (1930-1932) and Debonair School (1932-1933) before prospecting and working in gold mines at God’s Lake. In June 1941, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was posted to Brandon for training as a pilot by the Air Training Command No. 2. There he met and married teacher Frances Irene Hatch (?-?) at the St. Paul’s Church manse on 20 March 1942. The couple subsequently had a daughter and two sons. Following his military graduation at Winnipeg in March 1942, he was posted overseas to Europe by May. In September 1943, he was shot down over France but escaped with the help of the French Underground. After a brief visit to Canada, he returned to Europe for another tour of duty. After the Second World War, he returned to Oak Lake where he carried on a lumber business for a time and, in 1950, he purchased and operated the Sportshaven Motel. He served as Mayor of Oak Lake (1953-1958, 1961-1971) and served several terms as Trustee and Chairman (1973-1976) of the Fort La Bosse School Division. He was also a member of the Virden Health Unit Advisory Board, President of the Oak Lake Brandon of the Royal Canadian Legion (1946) and the Manitoba Tourist Association (1956-1958), was a founding member of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, and led local plans for Manitoba's centenary in 1970. He died at Oak Lake on 14 October 1989 and was buried in the Oak Lake Cemetery.
Birth registrations [Gladys Irene Motheral], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Motheral - Hatch,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 March 1942, page 11.
“Oak Lake flier reported safe at Gibraltar,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 November 1943, page 14.
“Four Manitobans are casualties,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 December 1943, page 11.
“Seven Manitoba fliers will arrive here soon,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 December 1943, page 3.
“Oak Lake Vets hold memorial services,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 August 1946, page 5.
Obituary [Mrs. Lennie Motheral], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 October 1955, page 29.
“Tourist group elects Motheral,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 1957, page 26.
“Committees named at inaugural,” Brandon Daily Sun, 14 January 1964, page 11.
“Mayor joins Health Board,” Brandon Daily Sun, 6 April 1968, page 14.
“Motheral heads Fort la Bosse School Division,” Brandon Daily Sun, 20 November 1973, page 9.
“New school trustees,” Brandon Daily Sun, 19 November 1975, page 12.
Obituary [Gladys I. Motheral], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1987, page 61.
Obituary, Brandon Sun, 14 November 1989, page 18.
Brandon estate file PR89-02-00370, Clarence Osborne Motheral, Archives of Manitoba.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
Page revised: 8 June 2019
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