FATHER CLAIR TIPPING
Father Clair Tipping was born on December 8, 1925, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. He always had a great devotion to our Blessed Mother. Father Tipping was baptized at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Toronto.
Father Clair’s parents were devout Catholics. His father, Dr. C. E. Tipping, was chief of Anesthetics at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto. His mother was at one time the Archdiocesan President of the Catholic Women’s League. Father had three sisters: a nurse, a medical secretary and a teacher, and one brother, who is Chaplain at Sunnybrook Hospital.
During his younger years, Father Tipping loved sports. He also loved music, playing both the piano and the violin. His love of music remained with him for this entire life.
Father Clair attended St. Vincent de Paul elementary school and De La Salle Oaklands High School in Toronto. He later received his B. A. from the University of Toronto.
In 1942, he joined the army and served overseas, primarily in Holland. After returning home he entered the Seminary and received his minor orders from Bishop Webster, the Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto at the time.
On May 30, 1953, he was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal McGuigan and was appointed as curate of St. Mary’s Church in Toronto. Here he was responsible for starting a boys club and a boys bugle band. From there he served at Holy Cross Parish in Toronto, where he again formed a youth club. His next move was to St. Margaret’s on Avenue Road where he became Associate Pastor.
In 1969, Father Tipping became the Pastor of St. John Fisher Church in Bramalea. On the 10th anniversary of the parish, Father held a special ceremony where ten trees were planted in front of the church. Today, they stand proud and tall. The beautiful stained glass windows and the painting of St. John Fisher in the church were installed by the parishioners at the insistence of Father Tipping.
Father was also a Chaplain for the Reserve Army and also for the Knights of Columbus. He became a Knight in March of 1956, and joined the fourth degree in 1977. That same year, cancer was discovered in his throat, which resulted in the removal of his voice box. He could not speak. For one year he struggled to master this enormous disadvantage and on the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood he spoke to the parishioners using a microphone and an other assistive device. It was a very difficult time for him, but he did not complain.
Father Tipping died of cancer in Providence Villa Hospital on July 20, 1980, and is buried at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto.