By James LeBuke, Frankie Howe and Kaytlynn New
On November 6 three students from Columbia Park Elementary School went on a field trip to Moberly Manor and Mount Cartier Court. There the students interviewed three amazing veterans:
On a beautiful wintery afternoon, James LeBuke, Frankie Howe and Kaytlynn New went on a field trip to Moberly Manor. There we met Miki Harding, an extraordinary woman who was stationed in Calgary during World War II. She was only 18 then, and her job was to sign the soldiers in and out of the camps and field. She did this at Currie Barracks from 1939-1944, when she asked to be discharged to head home for a family illness. Thank you, Miki, for sharing your wonderful story with us! By the way, Miki has a word of advice for young people: Always behave. Don’t go astray and always come at your assigned curfew!
We are very grateful to Miki who also agreed to come to our CPE Remembrance Day ceremony on Friday, November 8.
Before heading over to see Miki, the students stopped at Mt. Cartier Court, beside the hospital. There the met Steve Hewko and his wife Doreen. Steve was working in a sawmill when he joined the infantry. When he arrived in England, the war in Europe was ending. He was supposed to head to Germany, but got held back. Then he was sent to Germany as part of the Occupation, to help keep order, making sure that the people weren’t breaking laws or starting riots in the days after the war ended. Doreen and Steve shared some wonderful photographs and memorabilia of the war years with us.
While chatting with Steve, the students invited Lesley Jones and his wife Merle to join the conversation. Les had been stationed in Newfoundland with the Royal Canadian Air Force. There, he was a mechanic. He fixed or repaired, armed, and gassed up the planes and other equipment. He got them prepared for war. When he went to do this he was only 21 years old.
Lesley was later sent to Victoria when the war in Europe ended. At that time, he began doing repairs for planes heading to the war in Japan.
We feel so lucky to have had a chance to hear these Revelstoke veteran’s stories! We hope you enjoy them too.
These school children have also produced a video, Veteran Voices, of their visit with these veterans. Please click here to view it.