Clara Christie was born in Winchester, Ontario, in 1895 and her family moved to Calgary in 1903.
After a four month course at Calgary Normal School at age 20, Clara taught school for four years from 1915 to 1919.
From 1919 to 1925, Clara studied Medicine at the University of Alberta and Montreal McGill. She was the only woman in her class at McGill and one of the early females in Canada to graduate from the Faculty of Medicine. She then specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
In 1927 Dr. Clara Christie returned to Calgary to establish her medical practice. She served as an outstanding obstetrician for the next 27 years until her retirement in 1955.
In 1937, Clara married Orrin Might. Mr. Might was a partner with Bennett Might Jones. In 1965, she and her husband generously donated their first home downtown to house the Calgary Indian Friendship Centre, which is still a focal point for aboriginal cultural activity in Calgary.
In 1942 Clara’s brother Nat Christie bought Christie Place, a property in southwest Calgary. When her brother died, Clara and her siblings inherited this property.
In 1981, as the last surviving sibling of the Christie clan, Clara sold the property and founded the Nat Christie Foundation with the proceeds. The foundation was created to enhance the wellbeing of citizens of Calgary and recognize the contribution of Nat Christie and his family to the city. Through the years, the foundation donated over six million dollars to valuable projects in the Calgary area.
Dr. Clara Christie Might is remembered as a very caring physician, the first female obstetrician in Alberta, and a philanthropist. The Nat Christie Foundation that she launched had an enormous impact on hundreds of Calgary charities and the people they served.
References & Links
Christie Family history book 2007