Going out for this photo was a very special day for all of us and the first time in five years that we were altogether. My brother Donald spoke to me of this day so long ago. Donald said Mum and Dad took as all to Scott's cafe on Granville St. in Vancouver for a family meal more special I suppose that this was going to be all seated around with someone else doing the cooking serving and clean up. With Mum seated with us not up and down from her meal looking out for the rest of the family. I do not know if we had the photo taken before we ate or not, but whatever it was on to Jerome's studio for the photo. As you see it turned out pretty well and that would have been some 58 years ago. When I said it was nice and a pleasure to have all the family seated at Scott's cafe that day because Mum was always so busy looking out for everyone else. Mum fed student nurses, ball players, sonís girlfriends, construction workers, and everyone that ever crossed their doorway.
Looking back my Mum and Dad were special folk and the example and love they showed us through the years was something very special indeed. This part of their lives I'm certainly indebted to them. I never knew my parents to quarrel but I'm sure they did not always agree but we were never exposed to that part of their lives.
During the war I thought that my early up bringing helped me retain my nerve. Here is how I will explain that. As a child I never came home without one or both parents at home. I never went to bed without one or both parents in the house. When a terrible blizzard blew for days on the prairie one or both parents stayed up to watch the fire so that we would not freeze, or the house burn down around us. When I bedded down in my slit trench and I pulled this invisible security blanket over me knowing that while asleep nothing would happen to me and it did not.
When I awoke the next morning my nerves were rested and I was able to face another day. I have spoken about Mum but my Dad was equally a wonderful person. Coming to Canada at 20, homesteading, breaking the land with oxen, living in a sod shack and through hard work from 1905 to 1916 had become very successful. He owned a half section of land and part interest in a livery barn. He sold the land and bought a store in Calgary in case he was disabled while overseas. He joined the First Division, First Canadian Field Ambulance and before going overseas gave power of attorney to a so called friend, who before Dad was even on the boat to go overseas, cleaned Dad out of everything. Dad survived the war but never saw this man again.
A friend said Gordie your Dad got even with him. I said how? Well my friend said, your Dad out lived him by forty years. Dad lived into his 92nd year and passed away in 1977. Mum, who never wished things to happen, did have one wish that was to celebrate her and Dad's 50th anniversary. But sadly Mum passed away in May 1967 and their anniversary was to be 17 thDecember 1967. A sad day for all. Going back to the time when I was overseas in April 1945 in Holland, the radio from Regina came on with a news bulletin that an artillery unit had been pretty well overrun in a battle. Mum had a good touch of ESP and said to my young brothers who were at home with her that is Gordies unit. They said on no it cannot be Mum. They thought to make her feel better. But it was our unit and when the Regina Leader Post paper came out telling the Otterloo story ,yes Mum was right as Orme Payne and I were both mentioned. The Otterloo action was 16, 17th April 1945.When Mum had the paper confirmation it was the middle of May 1945. News was a bit slower those days. Finally if my Mum were still alive and I mentioned that I had her in mind through a lot of my memoirs and wanted to make that dedication, I know she would say give the credit to Edith. Edith and I have been married almost 55 years and she has been my love and best friend for all that time. I will send out one more segment and that will be Edith and I as we were 17th Nov.1949, also as we are now along with our son, Gordon, and Orme Payne and I as we are now. My thanks to all you that have emailed me regarding the memoirs.
Bless and keep you all ..........
ps. If you would like to email me, just click on my picture on the top left and I will be happy to answer you.