Monday, November 8, 2010

Lest We Forget....Remembrance Day November 11, 2010...of local interest!

How will you remember? What will you tell your children and grand-children? However you remember, make it known!
Starting off with a quote by G. K. Chesterton - "Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live, taking the form of readiness to die!" twice on each photo to super-enlarge!

Reciting "In Flanders Fields" was always an important event on Remembrance Day in school as a child. The next photo on the top taken in 1914 is the first group of soldiers from Fort William, Ontario sent off to fight in the first world war. The photo was taken an the newly built City Hall in Fort William, and on the same site as our present city hall.
The photo below that is the 52nd Battalion Bugle Band taken in Port Arthur prior to the battalion's departure in the fall of 1915. Note the Canadian-Pattern service dress tunics with seven buttons and crisp peaked caps. Also notice the Pagota in the Background, the Royal Bank on the right and a bit of the Prince Arthur Hotel on the left....all on the corner of Arthur Street(Red River Road) and Cumberland Street.

Here is the Cenotaph at the Fort William City Hall....if you read the print on the bottom of the post card, it says "War Memorial, presented by the Fort William Women's Patriotic Society, unveiled Oct 19, 1921.
The next photo of the Cenotaph was taken during the demolition of our old city hall to make room for the new one in 1966. The poor old soldier looks a little neglected here.

Here today is our Cenotaph proudly displayed directly in the front of our newly renovated city hall. How many of you actually know what is written on the monument? It states, "OUR DUTY DONE - In proud and grateful remembrance of our honoured dead and those who carried on in the great war, 1914, 1918, 1939, 1945, 1950, 1953.

This is an incredible photo of our soldiers marching off to war in 1940. They are headed down Arthur Street(now Red River Road) in Port Arthur towards the CPR station. The Zellers Store on the right of the b&w photo is on the corner of Arthur Street and St. Paul Street....note the beautiful but long gone "New Ontario Hotel" on the left. Do you know anyone in this photo??
The next colour photo is at approximately the same location and taken in 1958....Wow, how that area changed in a mere 18 years....and right in front of all the cars as an icon of the 1950's, a 1957 Chevrolet.

This colour photo recently taken is at the same location showing the changes to this area of Port Arthur through the years. The next b&w photo above is taken further to the right of the one above. Here you can vividly see the Zellers store on the St. Paul Street corner.

This one is a little further to the left side of Arthur Street and the last one clearly shows the "New Ontario Hotel", the "Commodore Tea Room" and the "Caporal's Taxi" signs all along the now named Red River Road in Port Arthur.

Air Cadets smartly dressed in white shirts, ties and berets, march past Flight Lt. Ball and Lt. H. Bryan outside of Hillcrest High School in about 1942. The house on the right of the photo no longer exists as Van Norman Street now heads right through it.
The next photo is taken in the woodworking shop at the Port Arthur Tec High School (Hillcrest High) in 1942. It shows members of the Port Arthur Air Cadet Squadron learning to identify aircraft from models.

Circled in red is my father in the Remnants division 2nd ack ack battery, Royal Canadian Army, Canadian Artillery taken in Victoria BC on July 20th 1942, about 2 years before I was born. "Ack ack, AA or AAA" means Anti Aircraft Artillery.
This next photo is of the Fort William Girls Military Band in a formal Fort William city parade at the end of World War II. Here you can see the street car tracks, and further down, the Cooper Block with Whites Drug Store at the corner of Victoria Ave and May Street. You may also recognize a few other businesses or buildings that survived through the years.
Finally....guess who!!

Yes, this is yours truly, at my grand parents home in Fort William on VE(Victory in Europe) day on May 8, 1945 waving the British and American flags while my dad was still away serving our country.
LEST WE FORGET....We cannot forget our fallen comrades during all the wars through all the years who have given their lives so that we may live ours in peace and in love.
Some of the photos...thanks to Ken Crooks and our Museum.
Click on the photos to enlarge them...mostly twice to super enlarge them!


kathy said...

what a wonderful rememberence of the city and the people who served to give us freedom on nov. 11 great job Dave looking forward to seeing more memories.

Anonymous said...

great job!

Dave Cano said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

just stumbled across this site. LOVING IT

Dave Cano said...


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