Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Clousten “Tom” Main (1887-?)

Engineer, conservationist, manager.

Born at North Shields, England on 13 April 1887, his childhood was spent at Pincher Creek, Alberta. During the First World War he served with engineering units of the Canadian and British forces. Following his military discharge in 1919, with the rank of Lieutenant, he began working in conservation and, by the early 1930s, he was the assistant engineer of water supply for the Canadian National Railway, which in 1930 loaned him to the government of Bermuda to consult on reclamation projects, and to the Saskatchewan government in 1931 to advise on drought strategies. In 1933, he stood for a seat on the St. Boniface city council. In 1938, he was seconded to become the first general manager of Ducks Unlimited Canada and served with the organization until resignation in November 1946. In 1916, he married Alma Ruby Minnie Main (?-?) and they had five children: Kenneth Geoffrey Main (husband of Doris Leonora Feren and Dorothy Anne McDonald), Irma Isobel Main (wife of Denis Arthur Young), Lorna Main, Russell Main, and Gina Main. The family lived successively at 136 Lawndale Avenue (St. Boniface) and 253 Niagara Street (Winnipeg). He moved to Edmonton, Alberta in 1947 and later to Ottawa where he worked for Northern Affairs. In 1960, he was appointed chair of a committee to advocate for resource development in the Canadian north.


Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“D. C. Halliday elected Mayor of St. Boniface,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 November 1933, page 3.

“Water called vital need of Canadian west,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 November 1934, page 3.

“Main to manage Ducks Unlimited,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 April 1938, page 2.

“Final decrees,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 September 1944, page 15.

“Afternoon wedding held in Norwood,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 September 1944, page 11.

“Young – Main bridal held in early evening,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 June 1946, page 12.

“Evening wedding ceremony held at St. Andrew’s,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 June 1946, page 20.

“T. Main resigns as Ducks Unlimited head,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 November 1946, page 15.

“It’s called Niagara after the famous peninsula, of course,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 September 1947, page 13.

“W. L. Wardrop on resources committee,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 December 1960, page 17.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 May 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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