Know Your Neighbours – Charles Complin


Photo Attribution: St. Catharines Standard Collection, T2008.4.7

Charles Douglas Complin was born the son of Montague Russell Complin (d.1955) and Sophia Anne Milner Slack De Cou Complin (d.1934) on March 29, 1916 in Rivers, Manitoba. Complin attended Exeter High School in Exeter, Ontario from 1929-1931 and Westgate Collegiate, Hamilton from 1931-1933. Complin married Elizabeth Campbell on Dec. 30, 1942. Together they had two children, Elizabeth Gail born February, 1945 and Patricia “Paddy” Louise, born September, 1946.

From 1933-44, Complin worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Southern Ontario. Following this he worked at the St. Catharines Standard as a reporter/photographer from 1944-1949. During this time he also worked as News Editor at CKTB, a local radio station. In 1949 Complin began to work for the St. Catharines Chamber of Commerce as Managing Secretary and remained there until 1951 when he left to become the Director of Industrial Relations at the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company.

Complin was a very active member of his community serving on several boards and committees. He served as Chairman of the Public Library Board in 1955 and was a member of an Art Gallery Committee from 1952-1957. He served as Director of the Rotary Club for 4 years. During his service with the Rotary Club, he was the Bulletin Editor for 5 years and Chairman of the Ball Committee and Activities Committee, each for 2 years. Complin also served as a member of St. Catharines General Hospital’s Public Relations Committee from 1950-1958. From 1951-1956 He was Vice President and President; two years for each position, on the Advisory Council for the Blind. Lastly he was Vice President of the St. Catharines Art Association in 1957.

Charles Complin remained an active member of the community and an avid photographer until his death on September 11, 2001.


The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, located next to Lock 3 of the historic Welland Canal, is a leading local history museum and community gathering place, engaging visitors and building relationships with partners, while demonstrating curatorial leadership and innovative programming and exhibits. The St. Catharines Museum is dedicated to engaging visitors in the celebration of our local stories and the cultural identity and history of the City. We are a community resource that interprets, exhibits, researches, acquires, and preserves material culture and stories of St. Catharines.

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