Clarence Mack (1920-1974)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Mack, Clarence (1920-1974)
On his discharge in 1945 from the RCAF where he served as a flight engineer from 1938, Clarence Mack began a distinguished career in radio broadcasting as assistant manager of CJCJ, the station founded by the Calgary Albertan. In 1946, he moved to the Calgary Herald’s CFAC, one of the All-Canada Mutually Operated stations. For 17 years. his became a household name as the host of the long-running morning show “Toast and Marmalade”. A licensed pilot and a president of the Calgary Flying Club, Clarence also flew the CFAC traffic airplane - a pioneering step taken before traffic reports or station aircraft were common.
Throughout his career Clarence personified the concept of service to the community. The Canadian Pacific Railway 5900 Series locomotive in “Heritage Park” stands as a lasting tribute to his many contributions to the people of Calgary. It was Clarence who conceived and executed the idea of saving one of the last huge locomotives that pulled CPR trains to and from Calgary through the Canadian Rockies. On his morning show, Clarence started the “5900 Club”, urging his listeners to join for one dollar - the proceeds to buy and preserve the monster engine.
Clarence was the father of Byron MacGregor (born Gary Lachlan Mack), the legendary news director at CKLW Windsor/Detroit in the late 60s and early 70s, and Hudson Mack, a award winning veteran news anchor in the Victoria B.C. market.
Service to the people of Calgary through radio was not enough and Clarence entered the political arena where he was elected to four terms as a Calgary alderman, and twice was a candidate for mayor. He was a member of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Board and the city’s hospital board, and was a president of the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Clarence died in 1974. In 2002, Clarence F. Mack was inducted posthumously into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Written by Ross McCreath - October, 2002