Alex Currie

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Alex Currie, at his wedding, 3 June 1914

Alexander Clapperton "Alex" Currie (1889 or 1890 - 6 September 1964) was a Canadian Pacific Railway station agent [1] for 41 years until his early retirement in Winnipeg due to tinnitus and Bell's palsy in 1948. He had six children, including Jack Currie.

Beginnings

Currie's parents, John Currie and Mary Riddell, immigrated from Selkirk, Scotland in 1883 to the wool mill town of Almonte, Ontario, Canada [2] which is close to Ottawa, Ontario. Alex was born in Almonte.

All his siblings joined their father in working for the wool industry. However, Currie had a different ambition. Taking a job with the railways at age 17, his job took him far from the mill town of his youth to many small towns across Ontario and Manitoba. In Port Arthur, Ontario, he married Anna Snook on 3 June 1914, 6 years after starting with the CPR.

He moved with his family to Manitoba in 1917.

Given his mother's age at his birth, it is possible that he is actually the son of his "sister", Christena, by some unknown father, which would invalidate his entire patrilinial Currie lineage from Scotland.

Marriage and family

Currie's six children, circa 1928

He married Anna Snook in Port Arthur on 3 June 1914.

With his wife he had three sons: Jack, Neill, Clyde, and three daughters: Flora (Heylar), Marian (Gillis), and Norma. Norma died at age 6, of diphtheria [3]. Despite the lack of family planning technology available at the time, all their children were born two years apart and most in June.

His children were gifted musically:

  • Jack played clarinet professionally in the 1930s.
  • Neill played and taught flute while attending the University of Winnipeg circa 1941.
  • Clyde played cornet with the Greenwood Orchestra of Greenwood United Church [4] (according to his obituary) and the Royal Canadian Air Force Band circa 1945.
  • Marion sang with the Sweet Adelines. [5]
  • Flora also sang with the Sweet Adelines.

Four of his six children had issue, and all four had three children, for a total of twelve grandchildren. In 2009, Jack, his last living child, died.

He left four branches of the family:

  • The Currie-Cooke Branch. (Ontario) Jack Currie had three sons: Bill, Doug, and Ron
  • The Currie-Boag Branch. (Winnipeg) Clyde had three children: Allan, Marilyn, and Bruce. Bruce died without issue.
  • The Gillis-Currie Branch. (Winnipeg) Marian had three sons: Michael, Greg, and Wayne.
  • The Heylar-Currie Branch. (Vancouver) Flora had three children: Lillias, Neill, and Susan.

So of twelve grandchildren, ten have had issue, and another has adopted:

Currie-Cooke

In this branch, Janet had three children, Michael 0, and the rest 2 each, for a total of 11 so far in that generation. As of 2018 there are no children in the subsequent generation.

Currie-Boag

In this branch, only Allan had blood descendants, all 9 of which are still alive as of 2018.

Gillis-Currie

So Mike has 2 daughters, Wayne has 2 daughters, for a total of 6 grandchildren and 4 biological grandchildren of Marian, and 2 great-grandchildren.

Heylar-Currie

The Currie name continues through six boys likely to have issue:

Alex's sons: Clyde, Neill, and Jack, 1942, Selkirk Park, Manitoba

Death

Late in life he had tinnitus and Bell's palsy. According to Ron Currie, when he was a boy and his family visited Alex, as a precaution Alex would already move to the bedroom before the boys would arrive, and when they did and Anna would shush. Jack would go the yard and "grandpa" would have a quiet conversation with him.

Winnipeg Free Press, 3 June 1964

On 3 June 1964, he celebrated with his wife their 50th wedding anniversary at the Airliner Motor Hotel in Winnipeg. On the very same day, his son Jack celebrated with his wife Lucy their 25th wedding anniversary.

Later that same year, on 6 September 1964, Currie died at age 74. His death was caused by a sudden and unexpected stroke (according to Marilyn Hermiston).

His final address was 671 Oakenwald Avenue, Fort Garry, Manitoba. [6]

Obituary

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1964

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1964

Sources

Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1964.