Mary Rose Thacker-Temple began skating at the age of three and was featured in ice shows only one year later. At thirteen years of age, she became the skating champion of the Winnipeg Winter Club and then exploded onto the national scene with an upset victory in the Canadian junior championships as a fourteen-year-old.
In February of 1939, she had won the first of her three Canadian championships (she repeated in 1941 and 1942) and the first of two titles in the biennial North American championship (retained in 1941). Sports writers across the nation “fell in love” with her following these accomplishments and described her as the gamest and worthiest of champions. She was selected as Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1939 and 1941.
She trained eight hours per day in order to succeed and although she sought to be a world champion, it was not to be. After her selection to the Canadian team for the 1940 Olympiad in Helsinki, Finland, she went to England to prepare for the Games but the outbreak of the Second World War dashed her Olympic dreams. Upon completion of her competitive career, she performed in ice shows across Canada and was featured in shows at Madison Square Gardens as well as the Iceland and Gay Blade rinks.
Following the war, she decided that figure skating still offered challenges and could provide the security needed to raise her daughter. On the Pacific coast, she operated a rink and skating club for several years in Bremerton, Washington, and then shifted to British Columbia where she initially opened a summer school in Nelson. In 1952, she was appointed as the professional of the Victoria Figure Skating Club and moved her summer school there as well. Mary Rose Thacker-Temple took great pride in the fact that some of her pupils had become champions and established careers in ice shows or as club professionals; among them was Karen Magnusson.
b. April 9, 1922
d. July 1983