June 2, 2015 – I got a Silver Award and 1945 Zenophobia

Well, I am going to brag – the Board of N-CAP encouraged all the members to submit their volunteer hours to the Points of Light Foundation for the Presidents Volunteer Service Awards.   We sponsor the program here in town and yet most of the Board members never participate. Most of us believe we just do volunteer work and don’t want the recognition for it.  So, we were all loyal to our fearless leader Denise and submitted hours. Some went for the Life Time award and some like me just put down hours from one volunteer job and left it at that. I could have gotten the Life Time but really did not care.  So although I was late getting there – could not leave Tai Chi early – I was earlier enough not to have missed the awards…  So now I have a little silver pin and a certificate.  Also got to see some nice folks and have a chat with some of the young kids..

It was rainy this morning and bone chilling damp… I could not believe how cold I felt. What a pain this weather has been. The lovely bushes out in the yard are suffering from being so cold all winter and then up in the 90’s one week and the 50’s the next.  They all are not flowering normally. Either they had tons of buds and then they all took a dive or they have almost no buds and no blooming wonderful flowers.  It makes me very sad and also the weeds are having a grand time taking over everything. It looks more like August in the garden than early June.  Guess I will have to get out and do some work outside.

Now for Aunt Pat’s letter for this evening.  I almost fell off my chair the first time I read it.  I was like what????  Really???  This woman had just returned from WWII in Northwestern Europe and was on the German boarder and her friends were finding camps where Jews were put to death by the thousands.. Where had she been?  Read her letter and I would be interested in your thoughts about her reaction to a movie..  It threw me for a loop but then maybe there was prejudice from her years growing up – She was convent educated, the nursing school she attended was Catholic. When would she have had the opportunity to have friends who were Jewish?    So much of prejudice is based on lack of knowledge, not actual interaction with those one is afraid of.

November 1, 1945
Van Military
2 a.m.

Hello dears:

Here it is 2 a.m. and rather cold to-nite. The rainy season has started out here and I hear it continues until spring. Very muddy and damp but I always liked the rain so I don’t mind.

I am on the “officers wards” and not at all impressed. A lot of zombies and neurotics and old Colonels suffering from Coronaries. So I don’t pay too much attention to them. One of the nursing sisters died the other day. She was young and strong, just back from overseas – Italy, Holland etc was getting her discharge to be married and had an emergency operation for a ruptured ovarian cyst, she was transferred after the operation and developed anuria and after four days died. Nothing anyone could do. It depressed me a lot. She had lots to live for and she hated dying that way. Now I have a couple more nursing sisters just back from overseas having nervous break-downs so I’m quite busy. Poor gals, they worked hard too long over there. Misty would like these cases. I don’t.

I had a phone call from a Mrs Reid this morning, an aunt of Jean Ellis, who is a friend of mine. She was in the Red Cross overseas, her husband was killed in the Navy and she has just come back and heard I was out here – so Mrs Reid invited me to dinner. I had a lovely time. They have a beautiful home etc. Jean lives in Victoria and was just staying a couple of days. It was good seeing her. She is very vivacious and charming.

I went all over trying to find shirts for Bill but had no luck. Don’t they make shirts anymore or what?

I had my charm bracelet in Birks decided to use the chain of my identification bracelet Marye gave me because it was so strong and had a lock catch, so they put my charms on it and dipped it all in silver and it looks glorious. Mona F my room–mate got me a charm in Portland Oregon and Dillon got me a couple before he left so it’s really a wonderful thing. I got a silver jeep and tin-hat reminds me of my war days. I had my picture taken by the price of buying a war-bond. Supposed to be for some advertisement. Will send you a paper if I can find what it’s in. Also my P.O.W.’s were taken. A couple of the latter gave me cartons of American cigarettes to send Sheila for Christmas. They thought it quite marvelous to think of her still overseas. So I packed them and sent them off.

I see where old MacKenzie King got out of Canada when they (the x-P.O.W.’s from Hong-Kong) returned. They will have a lot to say to him if they get the opportunity. It seems right from the start they got a bad deal. No food on the boat going over. Their supplies and ammunition were in another boat and went on down to the Philippines and in three weeks after landing they were fighting with nothing. Talk about Dieppe!! This was just a walk away for the Japs. I listen by the hour to the stories they tell and they are not fairy-tales. I go and visit them every nite. I’d trade this Ward any day for them.

I have a pt called Lt Boxall who is a doctor. Graduated in 1944 from Queen’s. He said to say hello to Dad and thought maybe Dad would remember him. He is short and fair and nondescript looking.

This letter is mostly “shop” but I haven’t much else to say so ramble on about this and that. Saw “Rhapsody in Blue “ one day this week. The life of George Gershwin. The music was good but the picture phony and all the cast were Jews.

Do hope you are all well and happy. I will be home in another month probably on leave for a couple of weeks. Being around Christmas it may be hard to get but then being Irish I usually get what I want. We get two wks after we are home three months. Rather nice eh. Then I will see how Mother is. I feel I would like to do more for you dear.

love for tonite.

PIcture of a Canadian Red Cross Volunteer

Red Cross Corps Volunteer
Here is some history from WWII about the Canadian Red Cross’ role in the war.


the memorial page for Henry Ellis, Jean Ellis’ husband..   http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2438412

Dr. Boxall established a Bursary at Queens University. this is what he said about it.  He died in 2010 in British Columbia.

The Dr. Ernest A. Boxall Bursary

Established by Ernest A. Boxall, Meds ’45. I was a son of a single mother. I had found out about the Susan Near scholarships for provinces, applied and was accepted for 3 years. At the end of this time (medicine was a seven year course), I was faced with leaving Queen’s. The Dean recruited Kingston citizens to finance my continuation. Fortunately, the Canadian Army conscripted us as privates (in 1942) at privates pay and I was able to continue without help from Kingston citizens. I owe everything to Queen’s and this is why I have kept a bursary to 4th year med students so they don’t have to quit medicine at Queen’s.

in 10 canadians were contributing to the canadian red cross relief ...


2 thoughts on “June 2, 2015 – I got a Silver Award and 1945 Zenophobia”

  1. I just read Jean Ellis’s book Face Powder and Gunpowder. I really enjoyed it. I was wondering about her life after the war.


    1. I did not know she was a writer. Is the book about her time during the war? If so I will have to read it. Sorry for not responding sooner. Have moved to Canada for a while so have not been even checking on here which I see was a mistake.


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