I was born in a farmhouse in the Big Rock district of Okotoks. My birth date was October 31,
1922. The Halloween tricksters in Okotoks had temporarily blocked Dr. Ardiel's garage door and
by the time he got to the house I was delivered and doing well. I believe it was Mrs. Sandiman
who delivered me.

My parents moved to Okotoks town the fall of my sixth birthday so I was spared the three mile buggy/sled ride or walk to the Big Rock school.

During the summer of 1940 I got a job working on the main Highway #1. It was being paved, so changed from a graveled to a paved road. Of course I was very much apprised on the war going on in Europe. The fall of France, the British Army evacuation from Dunkirk, the various Royal Navy Actions were avidly listened to on the radio when possible. Then came the gripping and exciting news of the R.A.F. Battle of Britain. This fired my excitement and longing to get into the Airforce. My brother George had already enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery and he was in active training. As soon as I had my 18th birthday, I hitch-hiked a ride to Calgary to the R.C.A.F. recruiting office. At my medical the Dr. said my pulse rate was too slow for the air crew standards but he told me to step up and down on a chair for a few minutes. Then he took my pulse and my count was good. So I was told to go home and await my call up.

Toward the end of February 1941 I was called up, and I left Calgary with other recruits for the Manning Depot at Brandon. At Brandon we received inoculations, uniforms, introductions to route marches, etc. while we were waiting a call for temporary guard duty at other R.C.A.F. Stations. When I arrived in Brandon I had on an unlined jacket, it took over a week to get our uniforms and I remember how cold I would get on the route marches. I also remember playing ping pong for the first time at Brandon and the sing songs.

Previous Section
Chapter Headings
Go Back to Chapter

Next Section