Douglas Brooks was born in 1921 in Toronto, the middle child out of all his four brothers. Douglas is currently 92 years of age. He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Like many men, the reason Douglas joined the army was simply because there was no work; also all his friends and brothers were joining the Army. Douglas joined the army in 1939; at the time he was 19. He became part of the Royal Regiment of Canada. Douglas’ journey to get to d Dieppe took him to Iceland and England first, where he awaited further orders and prepared for the raid on Dieppe. During that time, he also was in London during the Battle of Britain. After the disastrous Dieppe raid, where Douglas was lucky not to be wounded, he became a prisoner of war for three years. Douglas’ prison camp was liberated in 1945 and he left the army, ready to begin a new life in Canada.
Douglas was interviewed for this project in his room at Sunnybrook in February 2014 by Crestwood students Gabe Lantos, Luca Lettieri and Aidan Reilly.
Oral History Project April 6th, 2014
Alejo Parucha fought against the Japanese Military Forces in World War II, under the United States Armed Forces in the Far East USAFFE. Captured at Bataan, he joined the Infamous Death March and was held as a Prisoner of War for 9 months, only released on December 25, 1942 as a Gift of Christmas. From there he was a Guerrilla G-2, captured by the Japanese Kempetie with Filipino collaborators two weeks after marrying Victoria. He was then imprisoned and tortured at Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya Japanese Garrison, from which he was able to escape. He then fought against the Forces of General Yamashita in Kiangan June, 1945 until Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, after which he was hospitalized due to fatigue for two weeks. After staying with his young wife and newborn daughter for two weeks, he reported to the Army for duty in 1945 and was honorably discharged on May 10, 1946. Alejo returned to his studies at Far Eastern University, took a job at the Philippine Veterans Board, and later transferred to the U.S. Veterans Administration. Many other government positions followed in an impressive career. Alejo came to Canada in 1979.
He was interviewed for this project by Crestwood students Nico Rondilla, Amanda Lee, and John Shahidi.
Wilfred Martini grew up in a little mining town in Germany called Hamm. He was 11 years old when the war started. He enrolled in the Hitler Youth Program and was drafted into the Artillery at 15 years old. He was then sent home for a year then drafted into the infantry. He fought Americans in the front line but was taken as a prisoner of War. He spent time in the POW camps and was sent home at 16 years old after the War was over. He came to Canada when he was 29 and has been here ever since.
Oral History Project January 22nd, 2018
Crestwood’s Varsity Softball team had a dramatic, walk-off win May 3rd, to push their record to 2-1. The boys played well in the early going, but then ran into a dry spell offensively, and were behind by two runs going into the final inning. However, after loading the bases with no outs, Aaron Jackson came to the plate and hit a towering grand slam home run which gave the boys a 12-9 victory. Special mention also goes out to Will Paisley, who went 3-3 with 2 RBI, and was a spark plug for the offense, as well as to Andrew Edwards, who had an excellent game hitting, with one home run, and in field at shortstop.
The Junior Boys Rugby team had another successful tournament May 4th at Pickering College. After losing a tight first game against Greenwood College 19-5, the team bounced back to beat their next two opponents. Game 2 we faced Holy Trinity defeating them 14-12. Tries were scored by Brandon Baijnauth and Ty Ellis, with Brayden Harris adding a conversion. Facing the host school in the final game of the day. CPC hammered Pickering College 36-0. Anthony Audett put on a running display scoring 3 tries! Harlan Rich also scored his first try of the season. Congrats on a great day of rugby boys. Next practice is today after school.
On May 6th, the U14 Soccer team marched into Trafalgar School and took no prisoners, as they pressed and rampaged to a resounding 6-0 win. Compliments to Alexa Gibson who notched her second career shutout of the year, and to Angelina Audette and Sydney Tytel who scored 3 goals apiece. The entire team deserves kudos on their relentless pressing which created all sorts of grief and turnovers of their opponents. The win marked the last game of the girl’s regular season and saw them finish the year with an unbeaten record of 3 wins and 1 tie. Next up for the girls…the playoffs. Stay tuned on who they will be facing. Go CPC!
On May 6th, the Senior Boys’ rugby team travelled to SJK to play in their second 3-game event. Their first opponents were a weaker team from Albert College and as expected the team dominated with a 24-7 victory. With no rest, the boys immediately played their second game against the home team from SJK. After building a 12-0 lead, our boys became a bit fatigued in the second half and allowed SJK to come back. In the end, the game was tied 12-12. With a short break before their last game, the team had time to regroup before facing last year’s champions from Rosseau Lake. The boys came out like a team possessed, building a quick 10- 0 lead. From the first whistle to the last, the team tackled harder, ran faster, and were an intimidating force. When the game ended, there was no doubt who was the better team, as we walked off the field with a 24-12 victory. Special mentions must go out to Bennett Harris who embarrassed would-be tacklers with his slick moves on his way to scoring 5 tries. Will Malisch used a slightly different technique, as he just bulldozed through opponents and scored 3 tries. Lastly, there was Benji Gertin, who had the people on the sidelines cringing with every destructive tackle that he made. The team has one more 3-game event next week before heading into the playoffs. Will they head into the playoffs as the only undefeated team? Wait and see.
On May 6th, the Jr. Boys Golf team travelled to Port Hope to compete in the Bears Invitational Tournament. With the course in perfect shape and amazing conditions, Daven Siu and James Gilday played a great drive, chip and putt game, which led to a final score of 81. Joseph Zuckerman and Jordan Sigel fought against the long course and managed to get a well deserved 110. Great Job and Congratulations.
Congratulations to the Varsity Girls soccer team, for their dominant first win against Rosseau Lake College yesterday afternoon. After exchanging goal for goal in the beginning of the game, CPC caught fire and won 6 – 3. A special shout out to the goal scorer’s Julia Lee and Jahnai Brown with 2 goals a piece and Juliana Liang Zhen Yan and Laura Chu each scoring one. Ms. Watson and Mr. Johnstone are pleased with the teamwork and effort displayed.
Mr. David Jacobs was born in Tomaszów, Poland. He grew up within the small town, and soon joined his father in working at their family tailoring shop. At age 18, when the war broke out, Mr. Jacobs was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he served as a slave labourer. Mr. Jacobs traveled across Europe to various concentration camps, including Blizyn and Auschwitz Birkenau, where he served as a cook for his fellow prisoners. After being liberated by Eisenhower and the American Armed Forces in 1945, Mr. Jacobs was soon given the opportunity to work. Soon after, he travelled to the Bergen-Belsen DP camp, where he and his brother were able to reunite with their sister. He began working for the American Joint Distribution Committee in order to help displaced Jews across Europe. Mr. Jacobs later moved to Toronto, Canada to continue working in the clothing industry, where he still resides today.
Mr, Jacobs was interviewed for this project in January 2015 by Sabrina Wasserman and Blair Gwartzmann.
Oral History Project February 25th, 2015
Students in Mr. Masters’ senior history classes had the opportunity to meet Al Wallace this past week. Born in 1920, Al grew up in Depression-era Toronto; when the war began he enlisted in the RCAF, where he was trained as an air gunner. On his fifteenth-and-a-half mission, Al’s Halifax bomber was shot down over Germany. The students listened transfixed as Al described sitting at the edge of an escape hatch, looking at the darkness in front of him. He jumped, landing in a field, where he was taken prisoner, ending up in Stalag 3, site of the famous “Great Escape” of World War Two.
Please stay tuned to the Crestwood Oral History Project for Al’s full story .
Martin Maxwell was born in 1924, in the city of Vienna. He grew up amidst difficult circumstances in the 1930s, when Hitler come to power. On December 31, 1938, Martin and his brother left Austria to go to Great Britain on the Kindertransport. Martin was adopted by a family there. In 1942, he joined the military. Because of his European roots, he was considered an Enemy Alien, and was only allowed to join the Pioneer Corps. On June 5-6, 1944, Martin and his squad participated in the D-day landings. His job was to pilot a glider behind enemy lines and take 3 enemy bridges. Martin was later captured during Operation Market Garden and was sent to a POW camp in Hanover. On May 1st 1945, Martin and the rest of his fellow prisoners were liberated by a British tank battalion, which marked the end of the war for Martin Maxwell.
Martin was interviewed at his business by Crestwood students Brandon Liebman and Adam Wilson. Since he has participated in this project several times, and in 2012 he was interviewed at Crestwood by Justin Memar, Nick Mennel, Lucas Brum, and Justin Yeung. In 2016 he visited with Mr. Hawkins, along with Julian Spaziani, Victoria Xu, Spencer Arshinoff and Anthony Radford-Grant.
Oral History Project January 11th, 2013
On Tuesday, November 20th, Crestwood Preparatory College will be holding a Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium for over two hundred students, from five participating schools in the Toronto area. Organized by Scott Masters, The symposium is headlined by speakers Julie Toskan Casale, founding member of the Toskan Casale Foundation, Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran, and Shaun Boothe, an award winning local hip hop artist. Over fifteen speakers will share their insight and experience in working for human rights and tolerance.
Henry Chu was a captain in the South Korean army during the Korean War of 1950-53. When his family was separated with the designation of the 38th Parallel, he found himself in the south. With the coming of the war, he became involved in a commando unit whose job it was to inflitrate enemy forces and to operate behind enemy lines. In this capacity he worked with American advisers, conducted sabotage operations and took numerous enemy prisoners. For his service he was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Henry visited Crestwood in April 2009, where he was interviewed by students Dan Kwon and Han Jongsha. In 2011 he sat down with all of Crestwood’s Korean students for a special lunch and discussion; the interview session was completed by Amanda Lee and Max Ahn.
One of Crestwood’s more popular co-curicular clubs is YARRD (Youth against Racial and Religious Discrimination); it is a student-founded club, moderated by Mr. Masters, that was created to provide students with opportunities to exercise their social conscience and to develop a sense of social justice. One of the ways in which YARRD does this is to invite speakers to the school to share their experiences with students. Next week we have two coming in. On Monday, Bodia Marcharia, a gender rights activist from the Congo, will be coming in to share her story and work with a small group of YARRD students. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Marina Nemat is coming in to do a mini-assembly for a larger group of students, many of whom will be from YARRD.
Ms. Nemat is a renowned author whose book, Prisoner of Tehran, was an international bestseller that won numerous awards. Given her stature, we wanted to open the invitation to parents who might be interested in attending. Ms. Nemat will be speaking from 1-2:15 in the Learning Commons. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP Mr. Masters so we can set up appropriately.”
Click here to visit her website.