Our Veterans

Our Veterans

Memoirs

Policing The Wilds

by Andrew F. Maksymchuk I was raised in British Columbia and spent a year in southern Ontario before joining the Ontario Provincial Police in 1964. My wife, Myra, is from Prince Edward Island and she began her career as a registered nurse in Kenora, Ont., the location of my first posting with the OPP. I had been on the job three years when my yearning for adventure led me to seek the position of officer-in-charge at Central Patricia, the force's most northerly detachment. Central Patricia is at the end of Highway 599, more than 300 kilometres north of the town of Ignace on the Trans-Canada Highway. The detachment was designated as a three-man operation, but one of its members had been selected to as...
Memoirs

Haven Was A Vacant Lot

by Captain Fred Doucette Sarajevo was a dangerous place in 1995, but there were locations within the heavily damaged city where people felt safe. One such spot was a vacant lot next to a house shared by five members of our United Nations Military Observer team. As UNMOs we belonged to teams consisting of eight to 10 personnel from different countries, including my home country of Canada. Our team's accommodation was split between the rented house and an apartment block. The house, which was owned by a retired university professor, was tucked away on a narrow street in the once beautiful part of the old city. I visited the house often because it had a working gene...
Memoirs

Courage To Return

by Tom MacGregor Sai Wan Hill offers a spectacular view. When you get away from the concrete and skyscrapers in the bustling city of Hong Kong, you find areas of lush forest growth, even with winter coming on. In one of four buses carrying a delegation of Canadians marking the 55th anniversary of the release of the Hong Kong prisoners of war, someone asked veteran Harry Atkinson how they ever fought in such thick jungle. "You have to remember it wasn't like this in 1941. The hills were all bare. The people had cut down all the trees, even taken up their roots for firewood," explained Atkinson, the national president of the Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada. "The Japanese had cut off the suppl...
Memoirs

Desert Links

by J. Leo Giroux PHOTO: COURTESY OF J.LEO GIROUX When it came to hazards, the Bedouin Golf and Country Club was unique among golf courses. Few people get the chance to see the world the way military personnel do. Following my World War II and Korean War service with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, I decided to remain in the forces. I served with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Germany from 1954-55 and was posted to Egypt in 1959 to serve as a peacekeeper with the United Nations Emergency Force. My posting to Egypt lasted about a year and the experienc...
Memoirs

The Ransom Collar

by Albert E. Brock   Kidnapping is a rare occurrence in Canada. It was certainly rare in 1955 when I worked as a detective in Forest Hill, a small but very affluent part of Toronto. Most of the crime involved break, enter and theft, and so the possibility of investigating an abduction was the furthest thing from my mind when I heard over my police car radio: "D-211. Call your station." I remember it was a beautiful spring day and that I was the only detective on duty in a community that housed more millionaires per acre than any other place in Canada. I must also explain that whenever we heard the words "Call yo...
Memoirs

Uncovering A Lost Trail

by John Albrecht   Among my childhood memories is an image of my grandmother standing in our backyard, yelling and waving her garden hoe at a formation of Lancaster bombers. The planes were en route to Royal Canadian Air Force Base Comox, B.C., a half mile to the southeast, and as the aircraft thundered by they caused the windows on our house to rattle. My grandmother was angry that day, but—as I discovered much later in life—her bitterness wasn’t directed at the aircrews but at the visual reminder the planes presented. Her youngest son, you see, had been killed during a bombing mission to Berlin i...

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