Cyril Clark

(1912-96) Treasurer of the Society (1970-76) and Chair of the Property Committee (1972-77).

CYRIL G. CLARK (1912-96) succeeded against all odds. In England just before the First World War there was no government social assistance. Imagine the plight of a single mother with twin boys. Her only hope for work was as live-in help, but regrettably no employer was willing to take on a woman with more than one child. So it happened that Cyril Clark was separated from his twin brother at the age of four months and sent to London to Doctor Barnardo's Home for orphans. At age ten, the children had to move on, and Cyril chose to come to Canada. His destination was to be near Barrie, Ontario, but, in Cyril's words, "The farmer who had requested a boy had retired, so when I got off the train at Craighurst no one was there to meet me. The conductor set my trunk on the platform and the train pulled out!"

Fortunately the story has a happy ending. Cyril was cared for by a fine Christian family, married a girl from a nearby farm in 1933 and "lived happily ever after." After the first few years of married life in northern Ontario, he and Mary moved to Toronto in 1940 where he established an appliance business which was his livelihood until he sold it in the late 1970s. Presently, the Clarks live in Manilia, a village about an hour's drive from Toronto, and enjoy the winter months in Florida.

Cyril Clark joined the Toronto Centre in 1966 where he found the opportunity to share his life-long interest in astronomy with others at public starnights in city parks and on Saturday nights with visitors at the David Dunlap Observatory. His practical skills, good sense, and business experience were all appreciated as he served the Toronto Centre as Councillor and Second Vice-President and at the national level as Treasurer 1970-76 and Chairman of the Property Committee 1972-77. This was a particularly difficult period as the old building at 252 College Street required a lot of attention. Eventually he had a major role in the negotiations for its sale and the subsequent move to Merton Street Even after 1977, he remained on the Property Committee and the Clarks many a time drove down from Manilla to help out with the move itself, with repairs and installations. Many of the homey touches around the present office are the result of their efforts. In appreciation for his commitment to the Society, Cyril Clark was awarded the Service Medal in 1987.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)


Further Reading

  • A Different Story, NNL (June 1970)


Clark, Cyril G.