Christmas Giggle – 12 December 2022
From Butch Whitlaw
Veteran Story: Dave Berry
The following story and link: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/art-hub/dave-berry are from the Veterans Affairs website:
Small town to high seas
Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, and raised nearby in the small town of Pamdenec, Dave was the eldest of four children. At 16, he joined the Canadian Navy Reserves at HMCS Brunswicker, a land-based Naval Reserve Division in Saint John. The next year, in 1960, he joined the Navy before finishing high school to help support his family.
After training at HMCS Cornwallis in Nova Scotia, Dave was selected for the Radioman Special Trade (which later became Communication Research). Over the next 21 years, he served across Canada and abroad.
He did four tours in Alert, Nunavut, and was posted to three different ships: HMCS Margaree for a year, HMCS St. Croix for close to three years, and the frigate HMCS Jonquière for a year.
At sea, Dave visited a number of ports on the west coast. He also journeyed as far as Acapulco, Mexico, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
“I really enjoyed the work,” Dave remembers. “It was fascinating and secretive. We got to see what was going on in the background.”
To aid with the translation aspect of the work, Dave took foreign language training while stationed in Ottawa.
Going forward, looking far back
After Dave Berry released from regular service in 1981, his journey took him not so much away from the military, but rather into a new specialty field.
“There was no real difficulty making the transition to civilian life, as I discovered a second career every bit as rewarding as the military life,” he says.
“The military was offering something called Project Loyalist when I got out, and I went to Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario for a year and earned an accounting degree. While at college, I took one computer course, and that sealed my fate, as I was bitten by the IT bug.”
Release from service also gave Dave the opportunity to complete a common milestone: his high-school education, which he had dropped at age 17. Despite the skills and experience he gained over 21 years in the Navy, several doors remained closed to him in his post-service career.
“I applied for a job as an air-traffic controller. Even though I scored highest in Canada on the exam, I didn’t get the job because I didn’t have a high school diploma.”
After earning his Grade 13 diploma through adult education, those closed doors opened for him.
Dave settled in Ottawa in 1983, and continued his education in IT, learning programming, designing computer equipment, and finally transitioning into a new career. He became a full-time reservist providing a range of IT services to the Department of National Defence, and worked for other federal departments and agencies, as well as Telesat Canada and other clients.
After eight years as a reservist, Dave set up his own company and became a full-time IT consultant. And throughout his post-service career, he continued to take courses to advance his knowledge in the fast-changing IT field.
Not slowing down in retirement
Over the years, travel has remained an important part of Dave’s life. He and his wife, Joyce, take regular trips to warmer climes, and travel frequently to New Brunswick, where Dave’s siblings still live.
Dave retired fully in 2009 at age 66. One of his fondest memories came two years later, when he and Joyce celebrated retirement by taking a driving trip with another couple along the Alaska Highway from Edmonton, Alberta, to Fairbanks, Alaska.
Community service is important to Dave. He served as a member of the Fallingbrook Community Association in Ottawa from 1985 to 1993, and received the Orleans Citizen of the Year award that same year. He also received an award from the Canadian Red Cross for donating blood more than 150 times.
To continue his self-improvement, Dave participated in the health and wellness program from Mission VAV, an organization that helps Veterans adopt healthier lifestyles while building connections with the Veteran community.
And for over 20 years, he has been researching genealogy. He has found over 500 ancestors and family members, and even learned that he is related to Canadian Prime Minister and Father of Confederation, Charles Tupper.
It will be fascinating to see what new directions Dave Berry explores next.
June 24-26 2022
Following a two year interval, the annual SUPRAD Oldtimer’s Association reunion will be held June 24-26 at CFS Leitrim and the Greely Legion. For those of you who have attended in the past, this year’s event will follow a similar format as previous years.
Here is a link to some hotels in the area: https://email@example.com,-75.6863043,14.92z
Friday – 24 June 2022
There will be a ‘meet and greet’ at CFS Leitrim All Ranks Mess starting at 1500 hours, with an opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends from years past. Note; there is no food available on Friday evening. If any of you need something to eat , you should do so before arriving.
Saturday – 25 June 2022
Where: Falcon Ridge 4740 High Rd (Raceway 9 hole course)
When: 10:00 AM (10 t-times booked)
Cost: $40.00 per player (includes $25 for golf; $10 cost of 1/2 cart; $5 for prizes)
Contact: People can e-mail Eric with their team members or their individual names and he will add them to a team. Eric Coles – (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reunion and Dinner:
Where: CFS Leitrim ARM
Cost: $35 per person, catered by Lolachers Catering
Sunday – 26 June 2022
Service of Remembrance and Brunch at Greely Legion
Where: 8021 Mitch Owens Rd, Greely, at the SUPRAD Oldtimers Association Cairn located at the former HMCS Gloucester site, followed by breakfast.
Cost: $15 per person
E-transfer payment ($50 if you are attending both Saturday and Sunday) to email@example.com, or send cash/cheque/money order to:
68 Woodfield Drive
Nepean, On K2G 0A3
Supplementary Radio (SUPRAD) System Oldtimers Association
Annual Reunion – ‘Service of Remembrance’
30 June 2021
Once again, because of the on-going Government of Canada COVID-19 imposed restrictions, our June 2021 Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio (SUPRAD) System Oldtimers Association Annual Reunion had to be cancelled. Regrettably, we were not permitted to gather at the Gloucester Cairn for our annual Sunday morning Service of Remembrance. This was the second time in the history of the SUPRAD Oldtimers Association that we have had to cancel our reunion. Even though we may not be permitted to participate in our Service of Remembrance, it is still important for us to take some time to remember our family members and friends who have passed away since June 2020.
I have always said, and will continue to say, that our SUPRAD Annual Reunion Service of Remembrance is the most important event of the reunion week-end. We are life-long friends who care about each other and this gathering gives us the opportunity to lovingly remember, and to celebrate the lives of SUPRAD Life Members, family members and friends who are no longer with us. Even though they have passed, because of the strong bonds of friendship that we share as members of our SUPRAD family, we will always cherish the precious memories of the enjoyable times that were shared with them.
Our Association – ‘Friends Forever’
Since 2005, members of the SUPRAD Oldtimers Association have been attending Services of Remembrance at the site of the Gloucester Cairn. Before 2005, it was held at the Legion in the Village of Manotick.
For the past twenty-seven years, since 1994, thanks to the dedication and leadership of our very good friends, Wayne Moore, Butch Whitlaw, Lynn Wortman and Dave Berry, we have been privileged to be members of the SUPRAD Oldtimer’s Association. We should never forget the amount of work they do for us from year to year. There is no doubt in my mind, that we sincerely appreciate their friendship, loyalty and dedication.
Sometimes we have a friend and we sense that our souls are very closely connected. We know that the connection is above time and space. We know that wherever we are in our lives we will always remain friends. Even if we do not see each other for years, we are able to pick up right where we left off. This is what people mean when they say ‘Friends Forever’.
It’s because of our Association that we have been able to keep in touch with one another from coast – to coast – to coast, and to continue to enjoy each other’s valuable gift of friendship. Our website at ‘Online Oldtimers’ was started by Irv Finkleman, and managed for many years by Jim Troyanek. Recently, it was taken over by Dave Berry, who has done a tremendous amount of work to upgrade the site. If you have not been a regular visitor to this site, you should be, because it is a great resource for keeping up-to-date on what’s happening within our SUPRAD family. As well, Dave designed a ‘Locator Map’ for all of the Oldtimers Association Life Members and it can be found on the ‘Online Oldtimers’ website.
All military and civilian personnel who proudly served a tour in the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System (CFSRS) or the Canadian Forces Information Operations Group (CFIOG) are eligible to become Life Members of our Association. When the SUPRAD Oldtimers came into existence, we started with a membership of around 600 Life Members. As of today, Butch told me that he has on his mailing list – 484 Life Members, 145 non-members and 20 widows. I am sure we all know someone who served with us, who for one reason or another, has not yet become a Life Member. I would encourage you to please take some time to invite them to join our wonderful Association.
During our years of military service, we were posted to several isolated and semi-isolated communities. These included Gander, Coverdale, Masset, Ladner, Bermuda, Inuvik, Aklavik, Whitehorse, Frobisher Bay, Churchill and out of country postings under the umbrella of the United States / Canada Personnel Exchange Program. Additionally, some of our personnel spent time at sea as Electronic Warfare (EW) operators and Special Ops personnel in support of naval operations. By becoming Life Members, we continued to remain united as brothers and sisters. We started, and completed, most of our Radioman Special trades training, as operators and as technicians, at HMCS Gloucester. In addition to our limited posting opportunities, we proudly volunteered to serve as members of Alert’s ‘Frozen Chozen’ at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. This small SIGINT listening post has been given the Guinness Book of World Records distinction of being the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world.
The official motto of our Association is ‘Friends Forever’. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘the only way to have a friend is to be one’. As members of the SUPRAD Oldtimers Association, we have LOTS OF FRIENDS! And better yet, and I say this every year because it bears repeating every year . . . when we proudly say that we are ‘Friends Forever’, we don’t just say it, we truly and honestly MEAN IT! We are FRIENDS FOREVER!
We are affectionately called ‘Oldtimers’ for a good reason. Many of us can go can back thirty, forty and yes, even fifty plus years. It goes without saying that the members of the SUPRAD community are a very close-knit family. In addition to getting together during our Annual Reunions at Canadian Forces Station Leitrim, the SUPRAD Home Station, we have celebrated each other’s birthdays and anniversaries and extended best wishes to those recovering from an illness. We have shared in the excitement of becoming parents, grand-parents, great grand-parents and some even GREAT-GREAT grand-parents.
The Gloucester Cairn was built in memory of our comrades and family members and it was entirely funded through donations from the members of our SUPRAD Oldtimers Association. Mr. Van Geffen, who was born in Holland, constructed the cairn. He respected Canadians for their heroic efforts in freeing Holland in 1945. To recognize this, he placed a Canadian 1945 nickel, that he had been saving for years, in the cairn.
With Ren Molnar, acting as the Master of Ceremonies, the dedication of this Cairn took place on the 25th of June 2005.
For all those who have not read the inscription on the plaque, it reads as follows:
Opened in 1943 as a Naval Radio Station utilizing High Frequency Direction Finding to aid in the combat against German U-boats in WWII, Gloucester evolved into a military Signals Intelligence communications and training establishment. This monument is dedicated to the men and women who trained and served at this site. Their many contributions to the security of this nation must never be forgotten. In War, or in peace, it matters not, the mission does not change.
Now, let’s remember the SUPRAD Oldtimers Association Life Members, friends and beloved spouses, who have passed away since the 21st of June, 2020. For those who may not know, all those who were Life Members of our SUPRAD Oldtimers Association, are marked with small crosses on copper leaves of the Life Member Tree that is displayed in the foyer of the All Ranks Mess at Leitrim. Thank you to Lynn Wortman, and Butch Whitlaw, for the creation and installation of our SUPRAD Life Member Tree.
Since June 2020, seventy-three of our family members and friends have gone to be re-united with their ancestors. Twelve were Life Members and sixty-one were non-member friends and spouses. Some of the names are of members and friends who passed several years ago, but we just recently found out.
Life Members (13)
Daggett, James ‘Jim’
Garrett, Howard ‘Roy’
Low, Bill ‘Whip’
Molnar, George ‘Ren’
Thompson, Joseph ‘Joe’
Non-Members & Family Members (63)
Bedell, Russell Byron
Bennett, Bernard ‘Bernie’
Berry, William ‘Bill’ John Vernon
Cara, Lloyd Philip
Darris, Otis James ‘OJ’
Davidson, Philip H
Dunbar, Ethel Marie
Faulkner, Carl Alexander
Francis, Paul Hartley
Gerry, Patricia ‘Pat’
Godden, Roger Allan
Henderson, Donna Pearl
Hewson, William ‘Bill’
Joslin, Harold ‘Hal’
Joyce, Cedric James ‘Jim’
Kinoshameg, Charles William ‘Bill’
Labelle, Daniel ‘Dan’
Lane, Caleb A (Gander civilian)
Langford, John Calver
Love, Timothy Glen ‘Tim’
MacAskill, Neil J ‘Mac’
MacNeil, Roderick ‘Cam’ Camillus
Madigan, Stephen Patrick
McKiel, Kelly Ann
Plakholm, Donald Clement
Porter, Lise M
Purcell, Joseph ‘Joe’
Rathier, Jean ‘Joe’
Rose, Donna Alexandria
Simenac, Melvin ‘Mel’ William ‘Bill’
Simmons, Ernest ‘Bucky’ (Bermuda civilian)
Turcotte, Richard ‘Dick’
Wells, Judith ‘Judy’
More, Randal Leslie Hughes (2016)
Vogelsang, Rodney (Rod) (2008)
In memory of this year’s SUPRAD Oldtimers Association Life Members, friends and spouses who are no longer with us, I would like to share this poem that was written by David Harkins:
You can shed tears that they are gone
Or you can smile because they lived
You can close your eyes and pray that they will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that they have left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see them
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember them and only that they are gone
Or you can cherish their memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what they would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom
The power and the glory, Forever and ever. Amen
In life and in death, the bonds of our strong friendships will never be broken. We were saddened by the loss of so many good SUPRAD friends during this past year, and we were saddened that we were not able to physically gather together to remember them with stories of the enjoyable and cherished times that were spent with each one of them. Hopefully, things will be different next year and we will once again be able to gather at the site of the Gloucester Cairn for what is the most important event of our annual reunion week-end.
Happy 90th Birthday! – 19 June 2021
Ernie Grimshaw and Vern Veinot
Both Vern and Ernie are celebrating their 90th today; let’s wish them the very best from the SUPRAD Oldtimers.
Dear Ernie and Vern,
SUPRAD Quarterly Newsletter – June 2021
In order to keep the group in better contact, as there have been no Gaggle meetings for over year (the last one was back in February, 2020) we came up with the idea of putting together a quarterly newsletter.
Here is a list of names who have passed away in the past month, followed by a link to a complete list of the people who have been added to the obituary listing over the past year:
Darryl Bruce Terris
Richard Georges “Dick” Turcotte
Timothy Glenn Love
Stephen Patrick Madigan
New Addresses for 2021
As most of you know, we maintain an Oldtimers Map with the address of all our members. Below is a list of the address changes that we have received to-date in 2021.
Yvan (Scotty) Alain
Gordon W. Beattie
Bill & Grace Bohn
Clarence (Bev) Reynolds
Robert (Bob) Schofield
Vern and Mary Scribner
WJ (Jack) Thorgeirson
Also, here is a link to the Oldtimers map. https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1BGFxik0S_N9DIRjYLWgYXJyJimm1Xbpq&usp=sharing
By way of a refresher, if you want to find the location of a member, you can enter their name in the search bar near the top of the pane. For example, if you were searching for me (or Jake), enter the last name, and click the link below to have the location pop-up. Then, zoom in using either the mouse wheel, or the plus/minus icons in the lower right corner.
I was going through some old photos, and came across this Gaggle photo from fifteen years ago.
If any of you have suggestions on content for newsletters going forward, please let any of us know: Dave Berry, Butch Whitlaw, Lynn Wortman, Wayne Moore, or Ray Lebeau.
SUPRAD OLDTIMERS ASSOCIATION WEBSITE: from WEBMASTER Dave Berry.
The annual fee for HostPapa (website) is about $65, and comes due on the 1st of September, 2021. In addition, every three years we pay a one-time fee. In 2019 it was $183 and change, and it will be renewed in September, 2022, and based on the HostPapa site https://www.hostpapa.ca/renewal-pricing/, will be 36-month term: $10.99 per month (billed $395.64 for 3 years). Hope that is enough info.
Based on the above, I do not require any more monies until September, 2021.
ASSOCIATION MAP: Check the latest version of the map at:
Elsa LESSARD Notes to SUPRAD Oldtimers
I will be 99 years old on 2nd July 2021 (If I am lucky). I assume you are with SUPRAD group. Have I met you at the National Memorial recently? I am physically gung ho but my memory bank is full to overflowing!.
I just received a box of goodies & an orange tuque & lanyard from the Embassy of the Netherlands thanking me for my service in WW11 (I Intercepted Enemy Messages which was fed into the Alan Turin’s machine at Bletchley Park, UK. which helped in the liberation of the Netherlands from Hitler’s Nazis.)
The Governor General has sent her usual ‘Thanks for my Service’ & a jar of Apple jelly made from the fruit at Rideau Hall estate.
Search online for Elsa Drucilla Lessard, born in Ottawa, served in the Royal Canadian Navy’s Women Service during World War Two.
WREN Lessard, Elsa D. Service # W1578 – W/T SO (Wireless Telegraphist/ Special Operator: We were sworn to secrecy for 40 years on pain of death (no kidding).
Since 1974 I have promoted the fact there were Women serving in World War Two & in particular my participation in the Royal Canadian Navy Womens’ Service as WREN 1578 Elsa Drucilla LESSARD. This is probably more than you ever wanted to know ! LOL. Elsa
Contrary to any reports you may have heard. I am not deceased. I have a life membership in SUPRAD & my eldest brother Petty Officer Francis (Frank) LESSARD is in the list of SUPRAD deceased. He enlisted in the RCN in 1928. He taught me Morse Code when I was a child & he sent letters & souvenirs from places his ships, the HMS Warspite, the HMCS Sagueny (Wikipedia has a great article on it) & the HMCS
St Laurent. It was said of him that “he could send faster with his foot than most with their fist”.
In WW Two I served in the Canadian Womens RCN Service as WREN LESSARD, Elsa,, Service number W1578 Telegraphist, Special Operator. I was stationed at secret locations: Lietrim, south of Ottawa & at a tiny hamlet in NB called Coverdale. it became the large training base, known to history as HMCS Coverdale. We copied the German (morse-coded) messages to it’s fleet of U-boats prowling the ocean for convoys. (Wikipedia has an excellent article on this ). We are The Listeners (the title of a book by UK author Alistair Mclean who claims that the Listeners around the British Empire saved a quarter of a million lives during the conflict (included the enemies German & Japan (when the War in Europe was over in 1946, WRENS manned stations BC.)
Lynn Wortman & his wife were my friends for many years but I have lost track of both of them. Lynn got my friend WREN Dorothy Robertson’s memory of her WRCNS experience in a long letter titled: “I do NOT go down to the Sea in Ships.” published In a special pamphlet that was sold at WREN Reunions for many years (last one in 2006).
I will celebrate my 98th on the 2 July & although confined to barracks because of the current virus epidemic I have the time to remember. I have encountered so many wonderful human beings during my long sojourn here. I am grateful for the time to savour my memories & that I am able to do so.
Forgive me for this long History lesson (but time is of the essence) LOL Thank you to the SUPRADs for the contribution to History. Warmest regards to all, Elsa
Greely Legion Needs Our Help
The Greely & District Legion, Branch 627 was forced to close in early March due to COVID-19 as commanded by both the Federal and Provincial Governments.
When the Greely Legion was formed by volunteers fifty years ago, they felt very honored to be able to purchase the previous sight of ‘HMCS GLOUCESTER’. It was a perfect fit, an old military base to become the new home for retired veterans and their families to meet.
Branch members along with other volunteers have repurposed this site into a well respected and useful community facility.
The site has both a larger hall and a smaller hall, ample parking and a well maintained grass field for outdoor functions.
Each Legion Branch is unique. Because Branch #627 is not located in the center of a village, near a city bus route, does not have a local newspaper or any other ongoing financial assistance, we rely mostly on hall rentals to cover our expenses.
This facility is used by community youth groups and seniors as well as our Veterans. We are able to accommodate both large and small functions be it meetings, euchre parties, auction sales, weddings and receptions, celebrations of life, swap meets and camping events, etc.
Our Branch, like our home, receives monthly bills for hydro, insurance, alarm services and telephone as well as our winter heating costs.
We have had NO income since March. We were fortunate enough to have been able to have two outdoor functions and received some financial donations from friends and branch members.
Our funds have run out. We will no longer be able to pay our hydro, insurance or heating costs. “Our need has become desperate”. It would be unfortunate if our building’s hot water heating system were to freeze and destroy this historic site.
We appreciate that the Federal & Provincial Governments are offering help for businesses in need, but it seems that our Legion never qualifies since we operate with volunteer help and it is our utility bills which need to be covered.
This forced closure was through no fault of our Legion Branch. One of our members, Henry Doucette, was kind enough to set up a GoFundMe page. If you are interested in making a financial donation, you can click on the link or on the image below or send the Legion a cheque. Please feel free to contact me, President Linda Wyman (613-822-0233) or our Secretary Arlene Preston (613-826-6128), if you wish to donate in a different way.
Any assistance we receive will be greatly appreciated.
Greely & District Legion, Branch 627
Greely & District Legion – Royal Canadian Legion – Branch #627
PO Box 189, 8021 Mitch Owens Road
Greely, Ontario, K4P 1N5
SUPRAD OLDTIMERS ASSOCIATION
GAGGLE GATHERING AT
CFS LEITRIM ALL RANKS MESS
February 11, 2020
Squatting: Dave Berry
Seated: Bob White, John Belland, Butch Whitlaw, Gary Fouchard, Brian Cassidy, Wayne Moore, Vern Veinot, Terry Whalley, Dwayne Whalley
Middle: Bernie Forget, Andre Bolduc, Gord Belyea, Jim Hill, Norm Rockwell, Peter Smith, Ed Ripley, Nigel Van Loan, Larry Lambourne, Mike Blow, Clint Briscoe
Rear: Don Henry, Bill Neelin, Brian Mont, Howie Voight, Bob Spinney, Cory Pike, Brian Windle, Mike Bellefeuille. Chuck O’Dale, Month Montgomery, Roger Ellsworth, Norm Weir, Lynn Wortman, Roger Newman