Memorable Manitobans: Mary Rose Thacker Temple (1922-1983)
Born at Winnipeg on 9 April 1922, she was enrolled in figure skating classes by her mother Lillian at the age of four. She began skating competitively for the Winnipeg Winter Club when it was created in 1929, becoming its senior ladies skating champion at the age of 12. After winning the Canadian Junior Women’s Figure Skating Championship in 1937, she prepared for her senior career by seeking out top European coaches and split her training between Winnipeg, London, and New York. She won the Canadian Women’s Figure Skating Championship in 1939, 1941 and 1942 and was the North American Women’s Figure Skating Champion in 1939 and 1941 (there was no championship held in 1940). She was voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1939 and 1941.
She was considered a top contender for an Olympic medal but the Second World War caused the cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Winter Olympic Games. When other skating competitions were suspended for the duration of the war, she retired. In 1945, she settled at Victoria, British Columbia and began a long-time association as a coach with the Victoria Skating Club. In the early 1950s, she married school principal Roy Temple and had four children.
She died at Victoria on 5 August 1983 at the age of 60. She was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (1984), Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame (1995), and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2015).
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 August 1983.
This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy.
Page revised: 19 February 2018
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