Clarinda and Charlie

There is no saying for certain what brought Clarinda and Charlie together, but without that meeting, I would not exist, nor would my children or grandchildren. So there is everything to be thankful for their encounter.

Clarinda Ducharme-Wong

She was born on the 9th of February, 1912 in the RM of Dufferin, Manitoba. Her parents were Pierre and Caroline, who, like many of that day, farmed the land, raised a large family and were devout to their church. One would have to assume that Clarinda, though loyal to her family, was independent in her thinking and was not content to remain on the farm and be a farmers wife to one of the local church boys. She must have decided that the big city was her destiny and was determined to make her own life.

It seems possible that she met a young successful businessman, who was charming and intelligent, and a spark ignited between them. Through his sacrifice, determination and acumen, Charlie was already well on his way to becoming a wealthy man.

Charlie Wong about 1936

He was not shy about showing his earned prosperity, dressing in fine clothes, riding in shiny expensive cars, probably flaunting his wealth, somewhat, in the face of the envious whites that called him ‘Chink’ and ‘DP’.

Two people, very special in their own ways, whose paths crossed, whose lives intertwined, who formed a new beginning that they both probably believed would be a long life together. But life happens, and it ends the same way for all of us, some sooner than others. Clarinda and Charlies time together ended too soon, as their family was about to continue to grow.

March 31st, 1937, at the St Boniface Hospital, the same hospital where my mother was born, twenty-five-year-old Clarinda Ducharme-Wong and about to be born child did not survive the ordeal of child birth.

Charlie must have remained in contact with the Ducharmes, as that side of the family was very involved in raising my mother. He provided money and other supports, but it is unlikely that he and my mother were very close during her younger years. But clearly, they were not estranged and did have some connection throughout their lives.

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