Woollard Clarke, Betty

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Woollard Clarke, Betty

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  • Woollard, Margaret Jean

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b. June 14/1915


Margaret Jean "Betty" Woollard was born in 1915 while her father Charles was overseas fighting in the Great War. Soon after her birth her mother Grace moved the two of them to Britain to be closer to Charles. After her father Charles was wounded she and her family returned to Vancouver. When they returned to Whistler they found their cabin being squatted in. The daughter of a Victoria Cabinet Minister was sick with Tuberculosis and the doctors diagnosis was that she needed the mountain air in order to get better. This was who had been squatting in Betty's parents cabin. Betty's parents decided to find a new place to live. They bought a summer home in what was then called Tea House Rock, now called Blueberry Hill, on the east side of Alta Lake.

After graduating from UBC with her teachers degree in 1935, Betty recieved her first teaching job at the one room school house in Whistler. During which time she stayed with Flow and Bob Williamson because her families cabin was on the wrong side of Alta Lake and rowing a boat across the lake in the winter was quite dangerous. She held other teaching positions in Kelowna and Surrey at some point in her life but the chronology is not known.

Betty met her future husband early on in life. He was the son of Willaim Clarke, a close friend of her father's. Betty's father died when she was nine, due to injuries he had sustained during the Great War. Betty Woollard and Doug Clarke grew up together, eventually fell in love and got married. In 1941, like her mother, Betty watched her husband go off to war. Due to financial instability Betty, who had reccently given birth to her first daughter Susanne, found herself packing up and moving to the Whistler where she purchased a cabin at the south end of Alta Lake. In order to be closer to her daughter and granddaughter, Grace Woollard sold her cabin on the east side of Alta Lake and bought the cabin next door. On June 6/1944, Betty sat waiting for news of the landings in France. The sixth of June also happened to be her husbands birthday. This did not make things any easier. Susanne came in complaining that she had dropped her nice sweater into the outhouse. So while waiting nervously for news about the safety of her husband, Betty soon found herself fishing the sweater out of the outhouse. Fortunately, Doug survived and came home after the war. In 1946 Betty gave birth to Margaret, her second daughter. The Clarke/Woollard family have spent every summer since then in Whistler at their cabins at the south end of Alta Lake.<sup>1</sup>


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Woollard, Grace (d. 1969)

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Grace was Betty's mother

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Woollard, Charles (b. Dec. 26/1871 d. [1924])

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Betty was Charles' daughter

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WMA 1987_003_007
<sup>1</sup> Oral History Interview with Margaret Bellamy.

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