Greenbaum, Don

Don Greenbaum was born March 10, 1925, in the suburbs outside Philadelphia.  He grew up in an observant Jewish family, dealing with the realities of the Great Depression and attending military school.  When the war came, Don was quickly inducted and sent into basic training.  He was assigned to an artillery unit – the 283rd

Novak, Joseph

Joe Novak was born September 10, 1923 in Montreal, into a Polish family in the city’s Frontenac neighborhood. Both of Joe’s parents were teachers, though his father later worked for Canada Customs. Joe’s father passed away in 1934, and times were difficult for the family as the Great Depression wore on. Joe did manage to

CPC Oral History Project – Nursing Week

Nursing Week is the annual celebration of this critical profession.  It is held every May to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.  This year more than ever we have to be aware of the critical role these health care providers play in Canadian society, as has been true through

Newman, Margaret

Margaret Newman (nee Kaufman) was born March 29, 1923 in Satu Mare, Romania.  She was the second child in a family of eight children, and as the eldest daughter it was her job to maintain a respectable and observant household.  When Satu Mare and the surrounding region were annexed by Hungary, life became more complicated

Miller, Harry

Harry Miller was born July 2, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio. He would serve in the American Army in the Second World War, when he was not yet 18 years old. Harry’s mother died when he was only 3, so it would be his father and sister who guided the family through the difficult days of

Card, Albert

Albert Card was born March 12, 1924 in Hastings, England.  He grew up there in a big family, and Bert remembers they did well even during the Depression, because of his father’s food allotment.  Life in Hastings was good:  Bert grew up on the beach, going to school, playing sports – all the normal things. 

Lett, Ken

Kenneth Lett was born July 13, 1923 in Carp, Ontario, a small farming village to the west of Ottawa.  He worked the land and would go to the Byward Market with his mother when he wasn’t playing hockey or attending school.  When the war came, Ken and his brother opted for the RCAF.  Ken went

Roberts, Earl

Earl Roberts was born November 24, 1923 in Madoc Ontario.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, but Earl doesn’t remember it as a period where he and his family wanted for anything; rather he remembers the family house, and the time he spent on his bicycle, riding the country roads. 

Russo, Ralph

Ralph Russo was born July 7, 1917 in Newcastle, Pennsylvania.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, when times were tough.  Ralph’s father was able to hold on to his job during that time, and Ralph picked up work at a local foundry.  When 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbour

O’Henly, John

John O’Henly was born March 15, 1923, and he grew up in the east end of Toronto.  He attended RH MacGregor Public School, and after one year at East York, he opted to go to Danforth Tech, as he was interested in their art course.  He spent much of his spare time with his friends

Morgan, William

Bill Morgan was born April 23, 1925 in Consett, England, a small city on the east coast, not too far from Newcastle.  Bill’s mother passed away when he was just five, and at that time he moved in with his grandparents and aunts, and his father’s role in his life diminished.  Bill grew up an

Cash, Norm

Norman Cash was born January 1, 1920 in Russia, in the city of Odessa.  When he was one year old his family made the decision to emigrate as the anti-Semitic violence associated with the pogroms was intensifying in the wake of the Great War, where Norm’s father had been a veteran.  The family settled in

Gallant, Alyre

Alyre Gallant was born December 23, 1923, in Piusville, Prince Edward Island.  He grew up during the time of the Depression, and when his father died when he was quite young, Alyre left school and began working on the family farm.  And that was the theme for the rest of the decade and into the

White, Don

Don White was born in Oshawa, Ontario on August 9, 1924.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending school in Oshawa and then enlisting after Grade 12.  He had joined the militia at the age of 16, and at 18 he joined the regular forces, and was quickly sent out to

Parks, Jim

Jim Parks was born September 22, 1924, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He grew up there during the hard days of the Great Depression, making money anywhere he could, selling magazines and blocks of ice.  When the war came along, Jim was in high school, and he remembers learning about the war in history class. He joined

Summersides, Jim

Jim Summersides was born in Welland, Ontario, and grew up with his mother, father and siblings. When the war broke out, Jim decided to join his classmates and enlist in the infantry. He became a part of the Canadian 48th Highlanders and was then shipped overseas to England. Having arrived in England, he was then

Kerr, Helen

Born in Saskatchewan on August 2, 1919, Helen Louise Kerr was a former nurse who served in WWII. She is currently 99, and lives in Toronto. As a child, she lived on a farm with her family members, including six siblings, four of whom would serve in the war. Her mother was a teacher and

Peon, Bill

Bill Peon served in the Canadian army during the Second World War.  He was born in Toronto, where he grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  With the coming of the war, he enlisted, and with basic training he was assigned to the Service Corps, designated as a truck driver.  He spent additional

Jones, Robert “Bud”

Robert “Bud” Jones was born in the St-Henri District of Montreal, and educated in the school districts of St. Henri, Montreal and Verdun , Quebec. Bud Jones is a decorated career soldier of 30 yrs, and a veteran of WWII who also served in Korea. He grew up in Depression-era Montreal, where Bud remembers his

Woznicki, Marvin

Marvin Woznicki was born in Silesia, Poland in 1925. Marvin grew up there in a house with his parents, his brother and his two sisters. Marvin attended grade school in Poland up to Grade 4. He had a happy childhood in his early years growing up, until all of that changed. Marvin was only fourteen

Baker, Norman

Norman Baker was born in 1916 in the west end of Toronto, where he attended Runnymede Collegiate.  Norm’s parents hailed from Riegate, England and had emigrated to Canada before the Great War, and Norm and his two brothers were raised in the British tradition.  And they were fortunate not to be impacted by the realities

Warford, Jim

Jim Warford was in the Canadian army during World War Two. Born in England in 1922, Jim grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending school and very active in sports. Jim and a friend joined the militia before the war, knowing that war was on the way. When his

Gogo, Norman

Norm Gogo grew up in Toronto and Michigan, as the family moved when his father was transferred and began work in the Motor City. But the good economic times did not last, and as the Depression worsened the family returned to Canada along Hwy. 5. Back in Toronto Norm went to school in the city’s

Allen, Gord

Gord Allen served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He grew up in prewar Toronto, where he remembers the tough times of the Great Depression; Gord recalls his father being out of work, and he remembers that he and his friends used to bring food to the homeless men down in the

Preston, Harry

Harry Preston served in the Canadian army during World War Two.  He grew up in western Canada, in and around Winnipeg, where Harry and his family experienced the realities of the Depression.  Harry kept himself busy though, and with friends, he got involved in the militia and the Sea Cadets, where he was able to

Field, Richard

Richard Field served in Canada’s 2nd Division during World War Two. He grew up in Toronto during the Depression years, where he was able to finish school and join the prewar militia and sea cadets, two organizations that would teach him many valuable lessons in the upcoming war years. When Richard moved into the regular

Pike, Herb

Herb Pike is a Canadian veteran of the Second World War, and a proud member of the 48th Highlanders.  Herb grew up in prewar Toronto, where he remembers living a relatively good life, even against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When in Toronto, Herb attended Bowmore Road Public School, and then Central Tech; he