Memorable Manitobans: Clarence Day Shepard (1914-2000)
Born at Winnipeg on 31 July 1914, son of Clarence D. Shepard and May Merrill, he attended St. John’s College School, Appleby College (Oakville, ON), and McGill University, and graduated from the Manitoba Law School in 1937. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1938. He worked for the Grain Insurance and Guarantee Company and the Phoenix Insurnce of Hartford Group. During the Second World War, he served overseas with the Fourth Canadian Armoured Division and was an air liaison officer with the RCAF. In 1945, following his military discharge, he became a named partner in the Winnipeg law firm of Williams, Dilts, Baker, Laidlaw, and Shepard (precursor to today’s TDS). He was a lecturer at the Manitoba Law School (1946-1953), a Bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba (1952-1957), and Chairman of the Winnipeg Civic Election Committee (1950-1953). He also served for several years as transportation counsel for the Province of Manitoba, and solicitor for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1951.
In 1957, he withdrew from active law practice and moved to Ottawa to accept an appointment as Chief Commissioner of the Federal Board of Transport Commissioners. Around 1959, he resigned to become general counsel for the British American Oil Corporation (later renamed Gulf Canada) at Toronto and a year later became its Vice-President and Director. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1964 and Chief Executive Officer in 1976. He retired in 1979. He also served as a Director of the Toronto Dominion Bank and the Carborundum Company.
Active in public service, he was President of the Manitoba Division of the Canadian Red Cross Society, Chairman of the Ontario Addiction Research Foundation, Trustee of the Hospital for Sick Children, President of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Governor of the Stratford Festival, and Fundraising Chairman of Pearson College of the Pacific and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He was co-founder of the Niagara Institute.
He died at Kingston, Ontario on 21 December 2000 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
“Eight Manitoba King’s Counsel announced in New Year’s list,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1951, page 1.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 2000, page 43.
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, 1887-2012: A Short History by Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, Winnipeg, 2012.
We thank E. James Arnett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 January 2021