the McCharles boys

With my brother Randy in town, Mom and Dad began telling us stories of our childhood. Some I’d never heard before.

A neighbour in Saskatoon called the police on Randy when he was 4-years-old.

Sounds like the brother on the left got in the least trouble. And he was cutest. 😀

The strap — school corporal punishment — was banned when I was in Jr. High School. I’d forgotten that Mr. Zemp, our hated Math teacher at A.E. Cross, was fired for continuing to hit children with a leather belt.

I never got the strap. Goodie, goodie … and lucky.

My Mom did get the strap once. My Dad says he got the strap all the time growing up in rough and tumble Timmons, Ontario.

One time the Shop teacher threw something at my Dad. He picked it up and threw it back at teacher. Yep, Dad was banned from Shop for the year. Scheduled Friday afternoons he went to the movies each week instead.



The bunnies of Parksville

Rabbits are not endemic. The hundreds running around Parksville are descendants of pet rabbits escaped or released to the wild.

They are cute.

Unfortunately a lethal rabbit virus is decimating the population on Vancouver Island.

my Grandfather Angus McCharles

My father is Eric. His father Angus.

Born 1900. Died 1949 of heart attack.

He was “an ardent outdoor man and keenly interested in both domestic and wild animals. He was well known for his hobby of raising chinchillas, keeping mink, guinea pigs, rabbits and canaries“.

Angus McCharles

Grandpa trapped that silver fox. Had the fur made into a collar on my Grandma’s winter coat.

Angus McCharles

He worked for Hollinger Mines in Timmins, Ontario the 20 years before his death at age 50.

Obituary (PDF)

Thanks Mark del Monte for sending me this. He’s keen on our family genealogy.

visiting Camp Borden, Ontario

Hiking the Bruce Peninsula, I happened to see Camp Borden nearby on my map.

I drove there immediately because of a family connection.

Canadian Forces Base Borden (also CFB Borden) … is home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces. …

During the Second World War, both Camp Borden and RCAF Station Borden became the most important training facility in Canada, housing both army training and flight training …

I toured the Military Museum. Then the Camp Borden Tim Hortons.

My camera disappeared somewhere there. Otherwise I’d have more photos.

I went to Kindergarten in Hemer, Germany

Sadly I can’t recall my years as an Army brat in Canadian Armed Forces Base Hemer.

I can’t recall traveling to and from Europe by ship.

I don’t even recall the Mercedes my parents brought back to Canada on the ship.

I can’t recall speaking German well enough to have local ladies believe I was a local child. I was family translator. Dad would take me with him to the coal store to place his order.

I’d love to travel back in time to see what Hemer was like back in 1960.

In 1953 Canadian troops moved into newly built barracks in Deilinghofen (Forts Macleod and Prince of Wales) as well as two former German barrack complexes in Iserlohn (Forts QuèAppelle and Beausejour). Canadian soldiers and their families resided in two separate locations in Hemer.

We lived 17km from the base in a town Guest House. Three military families shared the upstairs of the small hotel. Parties and weddings were hosted downstairs.

One time I locked myself in the main hotel bathroom … then threw the keys out the window. They bounced into a street drain.

Rent was reasonable post-war. In fact my Dad’s monthly beer bill sometimes exceeded his rent.

The local German men had all fought on the Russian front. Astonishingly none had ever fought British, Canadian, Aussie or American troops.

related – Ruhrmemories 1953 -1971