Marvin Gord was born December 31, 1920 in Toronto, Ontario. Marvin grew up with his mother, raised in a secular Jewish family, first in New York and then back home in Toronto. Marvin delivered papers and worked at a local Loblaw’s, and after he graduated high school he began an apprenticeship to prepare for a degree in pharmacy. The war interrupted those plans though, and with the attack on Pearl Harbour, Marvin decided he better join up. He decided the RCAF was for him, so he was off to Manning Pool and then the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, where the RCAF decided that they would send him for specialized training rather than assign him to an air crew. Marvin was selected for training on the new radar technology, and sent to RCAF Goderich. From there he made his way to Halifax, where he boarded the troop ship bound form Liverpool. Once in England, Marvin was assigned to a number of radar bases, including at Land’s End. It was his job to maintain the important equipment, helping to defend England from the menacing Luftwaffe. Eventually a notice was put up – for an overseas posting. As a Canadian on an all-British base, Marvin felt he was overseas already, but this new opportunity would take him to Italy. Marvin had a chance to visit many different locales in Italy, and he was even able to link up with an American cousin who was stationed there. When the war in Europe came to an end, Marvin was on one of the first ships back to Canada, as he was to be shipped over to the Pacific. The atomic bombs ended that possibility, so Marvin completed his schooling and pharmacy apprenticeship and began his own successful postwar career, raising his family and settling into the rhythms of civilian life. More recently, the centenarian Marvin has been involved in Remembrance Day ceremonies and he has been actively involved in charity work for Baycrest, walking to raise funds for medical research. Scott Masters interviewed Marvin Gord in his home in Toronto in November 2021.
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