Holland Late fall 1945. We are still in Holland and of course heard all the stories of units going home with very little points compared to what we had accumulated in Italy and being overseas so much longer. But you know the revelation hit some of us and it was likely the Government way of doing things. If all of us that had joined together went home together we would have been a voice that maybe the Government did not want to hear or maybe it was nothing sinister at all.
Who knows? None of us had any political stripe. Home was where we wanted to be! Orme and I had quite a beer session one night. My brother George who was soon to go home with the first Div SLI came for a visit. George was a captain in Army HQ. George was not a drinking man so I guess he may of had a beer with Orme and I but soon went to bed. Orme and I had settled into drinking a small keg of Belgium beer and when well into the keg we were probably getting a bit maudlin. Orme said Gordie what would you really like? I replied at the moment two or three fresh eggs to dump in my beer. Orme said. no sooner said than done. I have the pantry keys and Gordie you will get an egg or three. His word was good and he presented me with at least three eggs.
I cracked the first one into my glass downed the beer and egg. The next egg and beer same thing. But here is what happened on the third egg. I cracked it on the edge of my glass and to the bottom of the glass went an unborn chicken. I raised this glass to my eye and said Orme I have looked at many a glass of beer but this is the first one that has looked back at me. The chicken resting on the bottom of the glass winked back at me. Dumping the chicken out Orme and I proceeded to try and finish small keg of beer . About six in the morning my brother George arose to return to his unit and found Orme and I still telling stories at the same spot as we were at midnight when he had gone to bed. At six we were probably in better shape than at midnight as the Belgium beer was not too powerful. Our capacity was better than now.
When we came to Winschoten a couple of our fellows saw a Dutch girl riding by on her bicycle. One of the fellows hollered out say lady your hind wheel is turning. This lady well and truly understood English. Her reply was Canada if you get the shit out of your eyes you will see the front wheel turning too,. Yes the Dutch girls understood and spoke English and also understood soldiers and their so called humor.
As fall was with us the idea of hockey was brought up likely helped by fellows like Turk Broda of the Leafs and a few more NHL chaps that were just overseas and had the help of Conn Smythe Leaf owner who commanded an artillery battery. Orme Payne, Sparky Ament, Darcy Spencer, Bob Bradley, and a couple more of our chaps, plus 5th LAA personnel were off to Amsterdaam to play hockey. Managed by Lt Critchley and coached by Sparky Ament.
Sparky had played in the Junior league in Ontario at either St Catherines or Oshawa. Apparently the fellows had a pretty good few weeks in the city of canals. Sparky passed away this year (2004). RIP old friend.