McIlroy, Frances

Frances McIlroy was born on June 16th, 1917, in Madoc Ontario.  She is the eldest of one brother and one sister.  She went to school in Madoc; later on she went to Kingston General Hospital to train as a nurse.  From there she became an army nurse.  Frances went overseas in June 1944, right as

Halpenny, Francess

Francess Halpenny hails from eastern Ontario, where she grew up in the 20s and 30s.  The family relocated to the Toronto area early on, and it was there that the young Francess fell in love with books, as she made her way through the Great Depression and built upon her education, which would take her

Patterson, Hugh

Hugh Patterson was born December 30, 1921 in Seneca Township, just outside Caledonia, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm:  there was plenty of food as Hugh remembers, but money was tight in the days of the Great Depression.  Hugh worked on the farm when he was young, but as he put it “milking those

Allen, Ernie

Ernie Allen was born January 14, 1922 in Heaton Park, in Manchester, England.  His father served in the Royal Artillery during the Great War, and his mother worked in the cotton mills of Manchester.  Ernie went to school and did all the normal things a boy would do in 1930s Britain; when he completed school

Boon, Art

Art Boon was born November 12, 1924 in Peterborough, England, emigrating to Canada when he was a baby.  Art’s father had come to Canada for the first time in 1912, but with the outbreak of the Great War Art’s father and uncle returned to Europe to fight in that war.  Art grew up in Stratford,

Paley, Jack

Jack Paley was born December 2, 1921 in a Yorkshire village.  His father was a veteran of the Great War, one who had seen action at the Somme and who had been a POW of the Germans.  Jack attended school until he was 14; he went to work at that time as a keymaker, and

Miller, Robert

Bob Miller was born December 7, 1923 in New York state.  He grew up in Bellmore, Long Island, not too far from Jones Beach, an area that Bob remembers fondly.  The Great Depression impacted Bob and his three older sisters, but the family managed to get by, with everybody pitching in.  The family moved a

Hennessy, Tom

Tom Hennessy was born May 31, 1922 in Dublin, Ireland.  His father was transferred to Liverpool when Tom was quite young, and then the family returned to Ireland, relocating to the small town of Scarriff, in County Clare.  Tom attended a boarding school – Windermere – in northern England, and when he completed that he

Graham, Arnold

Arnold Graham was born December 12, 1925 in Lakefield, Ontario.  He grew up in a large family:  there were 12 children, and Arnold was the youngest.  Arnold grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression; life was tough for the family, especially when Arnold’s father died.  His older siblings and his mother managed to

Bryans, Wilbur

Wilbur Bryans was born April 3, 1922 in Sullivan Township, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, attending the local two-room school house before moving on to business school in Owen Sound.  While there Wilbur picked up critical skills that would impact his time in the military.  Wilbur was called up in 1941, reporting to

Smoyer, Nancy

Nancy Smoyer is from Princeton, New Jersey, where she grew up against the backdrop of the 50s and 60s United States.  Coming out of college, Nancy yearned to travel the world, and after a year spent abroad in France – where she witnessed protests about Vietnam – Nancy decided to learn more about the issue

Reid, Brenda

Brenda Reid (nee Cruikshank) was born August 24, 1924 in Beirut, Lebanon.  Her father was a doctor at the American University in Beirut, and Brenda attended the community school there; the family – including her mother and two younger sisters –  lived there in relative peace until the war.  In 1940 France came under the

Ortega, Sandra

Sandra Ortega was born March 29, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland.  She grew up against the backdrop of 1950s America, when the Jim Crow Laws governed life all across the south, a truth that was in evidence in her own city of Baltimore, where segregation ran deep.  From an early age Sandra learned the virtue of

Cohn, Frank

Frank Cohn was born August 2, 1925 in Breslau, Germany.  Born into a Jewish family, Frank began to understand the realities of Nazism when he was a young boy:  an uncle was murdered by stormtroopers, and he saw violence in the streets outside his home.  He also compellingly remembers the day his Grade 2 teacher

Atherton, Paul

Paul Atherton was born July 15, 1921 in Hanover, New Hampshire.  The family moved around a bit when he was young, navigating the realities of the Great Depression.  Paul attended a one-room school for a time, but as his family moved to larger communities he grew accustomed to larger schools and different amenities.  Life in

Gutierrez, Eugene

Eugene Gutierrez was born September 14, 1921 in Harlingen, Texas.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and remembers well the tough times that the family went through.  His parents had a grocery store that went out of business since customers rarely had the money to pay for groceries.  Eugene graduated high

Riesinger, Frank

Frank Riesinger was born August 20, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He recalls moving around the American Midwest during the Depression years, as the family went where work was available.  Still, Frank doesn’t remember being poor; he said everyone was, and that’s what they were all used to.  Frank describes his childhood in positive terms, remembering

Brinberg, Georgette

Georgette Brinberg was born June 10, 1938 in Villerupt, France.  Her parents had emigrated from Poland in the 1920s, looking for opportunities.  They began their lives in France in Villerupt, a border town in the northeast known for the metal trades.  When the war began and the German blitzkrieg fell on France, Villerupt was heavily

Fairbrook, Paul

Paul Fairbrook was born into a Jewish family on August 21, 1923 in Berlin, Germany.  His first ten years were spent in that country, but his father saw the writing on the wall and made arrangements for his young family to get out in 1932.  First they made their way to France, and then to

CPC Oral History Project (Dec. 10)

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually around the world on 10 December every year.  The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global statement of human rights and one of the first major achievements of

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, we thought we would share some very special news with all of you. When you are outside the school, take a look at the Canadian flag flying in front of the school. The flag that flies over Crestwood today is one with a very important story. Thanks to an amazing gift from 102-year

Eisenhauer, Harry

Harry Eisenhauer was born on July 9, 1920, at Lower La Have, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, one of the nine children of John and Lillian Eisenhauer.  His family ties to Lunenburg County go back to 1753, when the German immigrants to Halifax in 1751 were moved to the site of Lunenburg to establish a new

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

Markow, George

George Markow was born April 14, 1921 in Russia, just outside the city of Leningrad.  He was born just four years after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and George remembers the impacts it had on his family and early life.  Food especially was in short supply during those years, and the Party’s reach was growing. 

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

Myers, Muguette

Muguette Myers was born in 1931 in Paris.  Her parents had emigrated to France from Poland, hoping to leave behind the anti-Semitism of eastern Europe.  Muguette’s father died when she was only three, so it became her mother’s job to support the family.  Muguette had to go to school with her brother despite her young

Stewart, Harry

Harry Stewart was born July 4, 1924 in Newport News, Virginia.  When he was 2 years old his parents relocated to Queens, N.Y.C., not too far from North Beach airport.  Harry grew up in that neighborhood, attending school and having a good time, all against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Harry understood that the

Negra, Andy

Andy Negra was born May 28, 1924.  He grew up in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as the family dealt with the realities of the Great Depression.  They ended up in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, where Andy’s father was a coal miner.  Andy graduated from high school there, the first in his family to do so.  As he

Dawang, Elie

Elie Dawang was born to Lithuanian-Jewish parents, Faiwish and Shaina, in 1934 in Paris. Elie was six years old when the Germans occupied France in 1940. The Dawangs fled to a small village near the Spanish border but returned to Paris in 1941 to liquidate the family business.  The family had false papers but the

Margol, Hilbert

Hilbert Margol was born February 22, 1924, just ten minutes before his twin brother Howard, in Jacksonville, Florida.  Their father had immigrated from Lithuania not too long before, as had their mother.  The boys grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, learning about the war that seemed to be happening a world away.