Memorable Manitobans: Charles Montgomery Blair (1886-1977)
Station agent, community activist.
Born at Kincardine, Ontario on 23 May 1886, his family moved to Glenboro in 1891. He attended school on William Limber’s farm before the Glenboro School was built. He left school after grade nine and joined the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1903. By 1914, he was working as a telegrapher for the Canadian National Railways at Oakburn and also assumed the responsibility of a Police Magistrate, working in both roles when he moved to Oakville. He then served as a Stipendiary Magistrate until 1921. As the station agent at Oakville, he was the Local Chairman of the Winnipeg Terminal and Portage-Brandon Divisions CNR System Division 43 and was a member of the Order of Railway Telegraphers from 1926 to 1951, when he retired.
In 1909, he married Marion Dunwood Frahn McCosh (1885-1967) of Toronto, Ontario and they subsesquently had four children: Constance Marjorie Blair (1911-2000, wife of E. D. Bennett), Marion Katherine Blair (1917-2003, wife of A. W. Steele), Helen Margaret Edith Blair (1919-2011, wife of F. Higgins), and Gordon Charles Blair (1924-1979, husband of Laura Katherine Belnap). An active member of the Conservative Party of Manitoba, in 1936 he was its candidate for the provincial constituency of Lakeside against Douglas Campbell, being defeated by 357 votes. He served as a trustee for the Oakville School District #655 in 1940. With a life-long interest in curling, he served as Vice-President of the Manitoba Curling Association in 1933 and was made was an Honorary Life member in 1946. He instigated the building of Oakville’s first curling rink, and became President of the club. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Order of the Crocus. He was an avid hunter and received an Honorary Life Membership for outstanding personal contribution in the Portage and District Game and Fish Association (1959). He was a member of the Masonic fraternity.
He died at Portage la Prairie on 6 September 1977 and was buried in the Oakville Cemetery.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1977, page 124.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Kathryn Blair-Colbert and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 June 2018