Harrison, Reginald

Reginald “Crash” Harrison was born August 16, 1922 in Pheasant Forks, Saskatchewan, not too far from Regina.  Reg’s parents had come to Canada from Yorkshire not long before the Great War, and Reg’s father returned to Europe as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to fight alongside his brothers still in England.  He returned and

Howells, Ray

Ray Howells was born February 26, 1941 in Trenton, Ontario.  He grew up near the air base there, and as his uncle was in the RCAF Ray too was motivated to join, which he did right out of high school.  He spent most of his time at RCAF stations in Quebec, where he was connected

Willard, Garry

Garry Willard was born June 24, 1939 in Cornwall, Ontario.  He grew up largely in the town of Winchester, not too far from Ottawa.  As a young boy, Garry remembers the soldiers coming home after the Second World War; he also remembers the cadets and drum and bugle corps from the time, and summers spent

Topping, Al

Al Topping was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1939. His family emigrated to the United States in 1946, on a Pan Am flight to Miami, and Al grew up in Brooklyn. He made the decision to join the airline industry in 1964, first with United and then with Pan Am in 1969. Pan Am

Daniel, Philip

Philip Daniel was born July 24, 1925 in Toronto.  He grew up on a farm in the Leaside neighbourhood, where his father – a Great War veteran – delivered dairy goods.  Philip’s father was part of the Canadian Engineers in the First World War, working with horses and keeping the supplies moving; his mother was

Fejfar, Cliff

Cliff Fejfar was born May 1, 1949  in Yankton, South Dakota; when he was 3 the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa, and that’s where Cliff grew up.  It was the 1950s, and life was good:  Cliff and his friends played baseball, went to school, and watched TV – all the things that punctuated American

Woods, Larry

Larry Woods was born December 17, 1947 in Pittsburgh.  Larry grew up there against the backdrop of the 1950s, which he remembers as an idyllic time.  His father worked in a steel mill, supporting Larry and his many siblings as best he could.  Life in the 50s was good, and Larry recalls games with his

Jones, Dorothy

Dorothy Jones was born November 29, 1920 in Lancaster, South Carolina.  She grew up there with her five siblings, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war.  Her father was a barber, and as Dorothy recalls that meant that he held onto his job during the lean years, but

Regan, John

John Regan was born March 22, 1950, in the Channel Islands.  His parents were both from there, and had experienced the Second World War firsthand.  John’s mother was a teenager, and she endured German occupation during those years; John’s father – a few years older – enlisted in the British military, first as a gunner

Pennell, Don

Don Pennell was born October 16, 1937 in Grimsby, Ontario.  He grew up there and in Oakville, first against the backdrop of the Second World War, and the “Fabulous 50s”.  Don was young during the war, but he recalls an uncle who served, and he remembers the rationing from the time.  His father became a

McGeach, Hugh

Hugh McGeach was born May 8, 1921 in London, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, and later in the city of London, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Hugh’s father was a Great War veteran whose health had deteriorated, necessitating the move.  Lloyd graduated from a technical high school and became an automotive

Willett, Dallas

Dallas Willett was born August 3, 1930 in Rouge Hill, Ontario.  Third child in a family of 12, he grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, working the family farm and delivering newspapers when he wasn’t at school or playing soccer or hockey.  They would also go into the nearby town of

Burston, Ben

Ben Burston was born November 29, 1924 in Kielce, Poland.  Ben’s parents made the decision to emigrate to Canada – to escape anti-Semitism and to find better economic opportunities.  They settled in downtown Toronto, in the Kensington Market neighbourhood.  Ben’s mother died when he was quite young, so he was raised by his father in

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

Norberg, Bill

William (Bill) Norberg was born November 13, 1922 in Lemington, Wisconsin.  The circumstances in Bill’s early life were difficult; his mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis when he was quite young, and when she was sent to a sanitarium Bill’s father was forced to break up the large family.  Bill and a brother were sent to

Hoy, William

William (Bill) Hoy was born in Welland, Ontario on January 30, 1924.  His family had emigrated to Canada from Britain and settled in the Ottawa area, but by the time of Bill’s birth they had settled in Welland, where Bill’s father did his Great War service, guarding the Welland Canal.  Bill grew up against the

McBride, Willard

Willard McBride was born on January 23, 1924 in west Texas.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and was forced to leave school in 5th Grade so he could help support the family.  Willard worked on farms, fought forest fires, picked cotton, dug ditches…in short he did what he had to

Chrysafidis, Constantine

Constantine Chrysafidis was born August 13, 1925 in Leonidia, Greece, born of an American mother and a Greek father.  He was raised in Athens, and when his parents divorced he came to the United States with his mother in 1939, beginning his American journey.  They settled in Maysville, Kentucky, where Constantine adapted to life in

Goldman, Ralph

Ralph Goldman was born in Iwaniska, Poland on July 25, 1921.  He came to Canada as an infant, early in the 1920s, and he grew up in downtown Toronto against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  The economic situation forced him to leave school when he was only 14, and he went to work to

Kucher, Nicholas

LCdr Nicholas Kucher hails from the Canadian Prairies, where he was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta.  He made the decision to join the Canadian Forces (CAF) coming out of high school and college.  He made his way to St-Jean, Quebec for basic training, and as a future naval officer he saw advanced training and

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

Dodds, Richard

Richard Dodds was born November 22, 1925 in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up in the city’s west end, where he attended Humber Park Public School and later Humberside Collegiate, where he played sports in all seasons.  His father raised horses – racing was popular in interwar Toronto – so the family was insulated from the

Price, Randy

Randy Price was born May 29, 1953 in the Neutral Hills area of Alberta, and attended school in the small community of Consort.  He chose to join the Canadian Forces in the early 1970s, opting for the infantry.  During that phase of his career he was deployed to Cyprus as part of the United Nations’

Goldig, Fishel

Fishel Goldig was born in 1933 in Mielnica, in eastern Poland. In 1939 the family found itself under Soviet occupation, following the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.  With Operation Barbarossa and the arrival of the Germans in 1941, Fishel and his family were forced into the ghetto in the nearby town of Borszczow.  Conditions deteriorated, and rumours

Sayers, Pete

Pete Sayers was born January 9, 1933; he grew up on Canada’s west coast, in Nanaimo, British Columbia.  Pete remembers growing up in a time of war, watching the soldiers practice live fire exercises, and he also remembers the internment of Japanese-Canadian neighbours as wartime paranoia grew.  Blackouts and the reality of total war were

CPC Oral History Projects: Black History

The Crestwood Oral History Project archives are a fantastic place to learn more about Black history in Canada this February! Hear the story of Stanley Grizzle, the son of Jamaican immigrants who rose to become Canada’s first federal citizenship judge. Learn about George Carter, the founder of the Toronto Negro Veterans Association and one of

Fraser, Bill

Bill Fraser hails from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where he was born in 1940.  His father and uncles served in the Second World War, and Bill would follow them into the service, albeit in a very different time.  Bill was part of the Canadian Forces during the Cold War;  he joined the RCAF out of

Mitelman, Les

Les Mitelman is a Crestwood grandfather; his grandson Liam Stern was in Grade 8 at the time this interview was completed.  Les was born in Tarnopol, Poland on July 21, 1938, so he was only a baby when the war began, so growing up he had to learn the unspeakable and horrible lessons the Shoah

Brewster, George

George Brewster was born April 5, 1923.  He grew up in New Brunswick, the son of a Great War veteran who had enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps.  After the war his father worked for the railroad, managing to keep food on the table even during the difficult days of the Great Depression, a time