Canadian Aviatrix #22 – Clara Hooker (1912-1986)

Clara Margaret Hooker was born around 1912 in Saskatchewan to Richard Hooker and Margaret Halcrow.

Richard was born in England, moved to Canada in 1896, and worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company – working his way up from Clerk to Manager to Post Inspector. He married Sophia and they had four children. Sadly, she died in childbirth. Richard got remarried to Margaret and they had a further twelve children.

1901 census

1911 census

Cedar Lake SK

Cumberland House SK

Richard

25

35

Sophia (1st wife)

21

Died 1905

Margaret (2nd wife)

-

22

Catherine

1

-

Arthur

1

-

Claude

-

7

Gilbert

-

Born 1905

Angus

-

3

David

-

1

Stanley

-

Born July 1911

Clara

-

Born 1912

Laura

-

Born 1914

Horace 

-

Born 1917

Winston George

-

Born 1919

Elizabeth

-

Born 1921

Maurice

-

Born 1923

Dorothy

-

Born 1926

Richard

-

Born 1929

Halcrow

-

Born 1930

 

Gilbert was Sophia’s youngest child – she died while giving birth to him and he may have been raised by other relatives. I can’t find him in 1911, but in 1916, he appears to be with his stepmother’s family.

Clara attended St Alban’s College in Prince Albert, where she appeared in several plays. She moved to Edmonton and joined the Aero Club. A newspaper said she was “one of the most promising students that club has had”.

On 12 November 1930, Clara passed her flying test and received PPL #694, making her the 22nd female pilot in Canada. She was 18 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #22 - Clara Hooker (1912-1986)

In 1933, she entered a landing event at the Empire Day airshow and “won high praise from the judges for skillful manipulation of her machine In the difficult maneuvers that the test called for”. By 1935, Clara was attending business college in Edmonton and intended to resume flying after she graduated and got a job. Her stated aim was to get her commercial license, but that didn’t happen.

On 31 August 1935, Clara married John Lyall Marshall (a conductor for the Canadian National Railway) and they had four children.

Clara’s brother, Claude, died in 1944. He was a fur dealer and had been on an inspection trip of his posts when his plane crashed. Another brother, David, was also on the trip, but there wasn’t enough room on the plane when all the furs were loaded, so he returned home by train.

John died in 1977 and Clara died in 1986, aged 74.

Note: Clara was listed with an asterisk in No Place for a Lady – meaning the author hadn’t been able to find her. I just had her name and the date of her PPL.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Name .
.
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published