A Soldier – His Prayer by Gerald Kersh

November 12, 2013

A prayer card found taped within a WWII wedding photo binder.

A Soldier his prayer

A Soldier – His PrayerGerald Kersh


Support from Australia for the Remembrance Day ceremony this Monday at Springwater Park

November 9, 2013

An internationally-recognized Commonwealth military heritage advocate, former Barrie resident and youthful park employee says the  Vespra Boys cenotaph sandblasting and irreparable damage a “desecration”.

Richard Gates2


Mr Les Stewart MBA
Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition
9 Nov 2013

Dear Les: Remembrance Day 2013

I am writing to you on behalf of the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Committee Incorporated, a voluntary community organization involved in the preservation of the first of the Empire Air Training Scheme Stations to be established in World War II at Evans Head on the Far North Coast of NSW.

Evans Head is a sister Empire Air Training Scheme Station to Camp Borden which was also the very first of that Scheme to be established in Canada. My father trained there during World War II as a RAAF pilot with the RCAF. Sadly there does not appear to be any recognition of the important role which Camp Borden played in preparing personnel for the World War II AirForce effort despite the large number of men who passed through there on the way to England to defend Empire.

My Committee has a strong affinity with the work you and the SPCC are doing to preserve the ‘Vespra Boys’ Memorial. We were successful in having Evans Head listed on the State Heritage Register in 2002 despite opposition from local government and various commercial interests.

We have also experienced desecration of a Memorial Plaque initiated by World War II Veterans and know the angst and disgust generated by such action. However through persistent action we have prevailed and now Evans Head is a major stopping off point for Veterans and their families.

The reason for writing to you and the SPCC is to lend our support to your actions to preserve the memory of the World War I Veterans at Springwater Park and to let you know that we will be with you all in spirit on the 11th of November when we have our own Memorial Service here.

As a former employee of Springwater Park 50 years ago I remember the Vespra Boys Memorial well. It must stand in situ as a reminder of the sacrifices that our forefathers were prepared to make that we might enjoy the freedom we have today. Lest we forget.

Kind regards
Yours sincerely

Dr Richard Gates, President.
PO Box 64 Evans Head NSW 2473 tel 02 6682 5161 ragates@netspace.net.au

The Empire Air Training Scheme is better known in Canada as the British Commonwealth Air Training PlanThe Military History and Significance of Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome

Richard Gates3

Minister Jason Clare, Minister for Defence Materiel came to Evans Head on 18 October 2012 to announce the delivery of a retired F-111 or “pig” as they are affectionately known for the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. Minister Clare is shown here with Dr Richard Gates, President of the Evans Head Living Museum who presented the Minister with Wings at War, a history of Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome during World War II. The Museum will be involved in the management of the displayed aircraft which is scheduled to be in place by August this year.

Dr. Gates established the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome in the face of local government opposition and fierce commercial development interests. He is a member of the SPCC Advisory Council.

The Veterans’ Land Act helped 140,000 Canadian families own their own homes after WWII.

November 8, 2013

Somehow as a nation we could afford to help out veterans in previous decades.

Gord Betty London

Two Canadians in London, UK.


Married with permission on April 28, 1945 (Stewart, RCAF WO2, 33, and RCAF WD Cpl, 23)

1201 Bayfield St N 1961

In 1961, our family retired from CFB Borden, the “Birthplace of the RCAF“.

Veterans’ Land Act, passed 20 July 1942, following a Canadian tradition dating from the 17th century of settling ex-soldiers on the land. In 1919 a Soldier Settlement Act had provided returned WWI veterans who wished to farm with loans to purchase land, stock and equipment. Over 25,000 took advantage of the scheme, although many had to abandon their farms between the wars because of heavy debts and adverse farming conditions. The VLA, designed to overcome some of the problems inherent in the 1919 plan, gave WWII veterans choices. With only a small down payment, ex-servicemen could purchase land with the help of a government loan; additional funds were available for livestock and equipment. Repayment terms allowed settlers time to re-establish themselves without incurring heavy financial obligations. Veterans were also encouraged to settle small rural or suburban holdings as part-time farmers or to substitute commercial fishing for full-time farming. In 1950 the VLA began to provide loans to veterans who wished to construct their own homes. Under the Veterans’ Land Administration, a branch of the Department of VETERANS AFFAIRS, over 140,000 ex-servicemen had sought assistance before new loans were terminated in 1977. Author GLENN T. WRIGHT

Source: Canadian Encyclopedia

Keith Gary snow

The DVA-subsidized mortgage made it possible to buy a house across Bayfield Street from the MNR’s Hasty Market Tract and those straight-rowed pines in Midhurst.

Keith Gary

The two oldest off to RMC and Roads.

Last 4 kids

Then later, my sister’s husband in the 1RCR, London, Canada.

1201 Bayfield Street 1970

Let’s remember the men and women of the Great Depression and WWII and those who have served us since.

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