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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

Wartime Wednesdays

A group of young men from Cranbrook, British Columbia, members of the Rover branch of the Boy Scouts, built this cabin deep in the forest to use as their private clubhouse in the happy days before the Second World War. Four of them died while serving their country. Now all that remains is the stone […]

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When I discovered this photograph online, I was struck with the lovely elegance of RCAF Women’s Division member Dorothy Chapman Garen in her blue uniform. I was even more thrilled to find that Dorothy, now aged 95, is living not far from me in Canmore, Alberta, where I was able to thank her in person for […]

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After a bullet from a Japanese machine gun tore through her body, Australian nurse Vivian Bullwinkel floated face down in the sea and feigned death. She was the sole survivor of the 1942 Bangka Island Massacre, in which 22 nurses were forced to wade into the ocean at gunpoint and then shot in the back. It’s […]

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My Dear Friends — This year has been one of mingled joys and sorrows. We never know what the future holds, but from my house to yours, and with all my heart, I wish you the very best surprises in the mysterious new year that awaits us. (Note: This wreath on my front door is artificial. We can’t […]

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Plucky Iris Porter of the British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force slept in a tent for two long years, swam in the Mediterranean Sea, rode camels, and visited the pyramids – all while serving her country in the burning Egyptian desert during World War Two.   Chatting With Iris It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Iris Porter […]

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Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! After seeing this program in Ontario, I pitched the idea of honouring our local veterans by putting their photographs on individual banners. It meant months of hard work by my partner Sandi Jones and me, but the banners are now hanging downtown in our dear little town of Invermere, British Columbia. Read […]

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Four long years ago, reader Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, asked me to find the owner of this Royal Canadian Air Force souvenir bracelet. After an exhaustive search, I located the owner’s brother in Cambridge, Ontario! The mystery surfaced way back in 2013 after Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan sent me photographs of a bracelet bearing […]

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A case of mistaken identity thwarted Jim Milne’s plans to fly against the enemy, so he spent the war in Canada as a navigation instructor instead. When not on duty, he sketched some very amusing cartoons in his flying logbook! Now 97, Jim Milne lives with his wife Betty in the pretty mountain resort of […]

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Ben Scaman of Banff, Alberta, was flying Spitfires with the Royal Canadian Air Force when the V-1 flying bombs, often called doodlebugs, began to rain down on England in 1944. Remarkably, Ben pioneered the technique in which a skilled pilot could tip one of these murderous missiles off balance, causing it to crash harmlessly into the countryside. […]

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Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King, also known as Weird Willie, gazed into his crystal ball, communed with his dead dogs, and saw images in his shaving cream. Yet many historians believe that he was our greatest prime minister ever. Mackenzie King proved that you don’t need personal charisma to be an effective leader. In fact, you don’t […]

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