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I have visited all the bases i grew up on:Borden,Uplands,Southport/Portage,North Bay and have found most have been changed into civi control or made into civi houses,most buildings are gone i.e. Canex,Pools,Mess Halls etc even the base i served on here in CFB London with 1 RCR is now a huge Super Store Grocery Outlet....even Ottawa the nations capital that i visited last year (Uplands) was half torn down except the gym.The PMQ's were there but looked to be half or mostly civi housing.
It might just be me but it sucks going back to where you once lived to see the place,relive old memories for a brief moment and seeing everything either gone,falling apart or made into a grocery store. Most of North Bay which is home now is closed on the surface,but the gym is in very good shape with a covered pool. The only base i have lived on that looks still 100% running is Borden as most of the schools are still there. I can remember toboganing down the butts at the rifle range in kindergarden and returing later as a young infanteer to shoot our FN's on the same range.Rambling on sorry,just a shame to see so much history,changing schools,meeting new friends and having to say goodbye to our best friends only after a short 3-5yrs,and not much to show for it at any base sites anymore.
P.S. Crazy idea but could you all imagine a reunion of all base brats from all over at one location,with different bases represented?
I'm an air force brat (pre-unification). We were stationed at Aylmer, Lachine & Fort Churchill, which have been closed for many years. I've been back to Trenton a couple of times in the past few years. It hasn't been torn down, but it sure seems to have shrunk a lot!!!!! Anyone else had that experience?
Hi Paul: Yes dad was at clinton,centralia,both gone also..didn't know aylmer had a base,mind you i was born in 65 ;)
there are so many we were at that have closed or changed drastically. Clinton (closed), Goose Bay (pretty much closed), Chatham (closed), Zweibrucken (closed), Decimomannu (closed), Beausejour (closed), Uplands (pretty much closed) and Cold Lake (drastically changed). Even places i've been posted are gone Bermuda, Baden-Soellingen, Calgary, etc....
Guess there is some truth to the saying, "you can never go back"
Hello all; You know, I was mostly on radar stations, except Moosejaw and Gander. The last station I was on was Falconbridge, and it is now owned by some const company. Houses are rented out to mine workers and the place looks like... I am just east of Toronto. 2 yrs ago 2003, I took my family across (drove) to Vancouver Island to see my parents . Got to see three of the places I lived. CFS Sioux Lookout, city of Moosejaw, and CFS Alsask.In Alsask, stood where our metal pmq used to be. Sioux Lookout, where our trailor pmq used to be. am 43 now, first time id seen these places in 30 yrs plus. was kind of sad...
Hi: During my life in the air force as a "brat", we were in Trenton - two parts of the base - then Calgary, back to Trenton to 6rd again, then on to Rockcliffe. Dad transferred to Uplands and then downtown but we lived on civvy street after leaving Rockcliffe in 1962. I guess with Calgary gone, Rockliffe closed and fading out, leaving only Trenton where I was just a kid, then the saying is true that certainly I can never go back! It's sad, but we must look forward and try to hold on to our memories.
Hi Fellow Brats
There is an old saying that you can never really go back and boy that has held true for a number of former stations I lived on as a brat.
The former R.C.A.F. Station Centralia is remarkably intact. The two P.M.Q.'s we lived in, both on Huron are in great shape. As a matter of fact, all the Q's are very nice. Visiting Centralia was like going back in time. Unfortunately, a fire damaged a considerable portion of the MacCurdy School two years ago.
R.C.A.F. Unit Fort Churchill is gone...literally. It was leveled in the 1980's. The only things left are the runways, the hangar and a utility building next to it.
The former R.C.A.F. Station Goose Bay is in a sorry state. I went up to Goose on temporary duty five times in the 1990's. Many of the buildings have been torn down. A number of remaining buildings are close to being piles of rubble. Now I hear that Robert Leckie School is going to be torn down. The annex was leveled about ten years ago. Most of the P.M.Q.'s in Spruce Park are still there. Many have had additions put on.
A number of married quarters on the American side (Goose Air Base) were torn down as was the Base Hospital and I believe Goose High. The Goose Hilton was blown up about four years ago.
R.C.A.F. Station Saskatoon has been gone since 1964. The Q's and much of the infrastructure is still there. My old school Air Marshall Curtiss was torn down )-:
The army invaded and took over Namao. I went to Air Marshall Guthrie School and that too has been torn down and a new school put in its place. Lancaster Park is barely recognizable now. The same with the operational side.
You might be interested in knowing that Tom Jackson from 'North of 60' lived up the street from me and also went to A. M. Guthrie.
Chris, just curious, when were you in Fort Churchill? For all the years I've been registered with brat web sites and NG's, I've never run across anyone else from Churchill, at least not when I was there ('56 to '58).
We arrived in Churchill by train at 08:00 hours on the 2nd of December 1959. When we checked in at the hotel in town, the clerk asked us how we got there. He could not beleive it. The clerk said it was the first time the train had been on time in many many years. We stayed at the hotel in town for a couple of days before moving in to 'G' Block Unit 3. We were right across the street from the theatre and snack bar (upstairs). We left R.C.A.F. Unit Fort Churchill on the 7th of February by R.C.A.F. C-119G Flying Boxcar.
Small world. My old girl friend (such as it was in grade 6 in the 50's) lived in G Block. Her father was "army" (but I liked her anyway). We lived in C-Row of J Block, on the other side of the base. Assumng you went to the base school, was Miss Hamilton still teaching there? She was my grade 5 & 6 teacher.
Have you seen the "base pictures" section of the cafba site? I've put up a couple of pictures of Churchill there.
I have been to a few RCAF Stn Calgary, Rcaf Stn Holberg, CFB Cold Lake still there, CFB Borden also still there
In two weeks I'm flying up to Edmonton for a conference , and I'm planning to get as many pics as possible of whats left of the bases and PMQs. Calgary WAS a plan to visit, but that didn't work out
I'm back from Edmonton, and got a big pile of pictures for ya'll. I went to CFB Namao, and Greisbach PMQs. Sorry, only the old side of the Namao PMQs. We were not able to get all of the Greisbach, but a LOT of it, as well as the buildings around the parade ground, and inside two of them. I think it's about 178 pics in total from both areas.
Moncton, N.B., 1955-1957
Marville, France #1 Fighter Wing 1957-1960
St. Hubert, Quebec, 1960-1965
My husband and I went back to southern Ontario last year on our way to visit his sister's in Montreal; so that I could stop and see Clinton, and some of the surrounding communities - my sister was born in Goderich and we lived there for a time - not much has changed there - my brother was born in Clinton - the second time we were there - the town seems really to have shrunk - I scored a special edition of a paper commemorating the base and it's closing 25 years prior to the publication - Went to the base which is now a small community called Vanastra and took a bunch of pictures - have plans to put them alongside pictures that we took when we lived there for comparision purposes and will likely then send them to Tom for inclusion on his web site - I hope also to copy the newspaper so that it can be published on the web site. Lots of things had changed on the Clinton base - some of the base buildings were in very sad shape - the townhouse (row houses) PMQ's are part of a strata development - the barracks are in very sad shape - the school (AM Hugh Campbell) is being used as a church - the park appears to have less trees - I had mixed feelings about going - some of it was so familiar - the fields some of the housing - remembering where things were - some of it has been let go to rot and ruin and it made me want to cry. We also went and saw Bayfield were we lived for half a year prior to being able to get housing on the base - it's a thriving little summer community. Worst thing of the whole trip - the weather was soooo cold! I'm told they broke records last spring for how cold it was.
Haven't been back to Gander - which is the only other place where we actually lived in PMQs curious about how it looks now????? We were stationed to Falkonbridge - but lived in the small communites around the base - couldn't get into the housing - When dad got out of the service to go to work on the DEW line we came out to Vancouver Island and have been around here with a few short (less than a couple years) stints. Love to hear from anyone else who was in Clinton (I have my best and fondest memories of the place) - interesting to hear from anyone who was in Gander also - I started school there - always told everyone that I started school on one coast and finished on the other.
I went back to Goose Bay a few years ago and it felt a bit spooky. One could almost hear the sounds of the ghosts past that made the Goose a very active and busy place. Now the base is pretty much gone. A few buildings scattered here and there but pretty much a ghost town.
Hi Ken Found this site by fluke as I'm computer illiterate. I was born and raised on bases starting with Greenwood and ending at Borden.I went there after 28 years and was surprised to find out that our old residence was going to be torn down.I was glad that I saw it before that. I still remembered my old address(101 School St.) and how to get there.I first got lost until I came across the Lancaster(now The Billy Barton center) Boy time flies. Shows for .25 cents, my son still laughs at that(he's 20) If you have any pointers on how to talk to old classmatesfrom my public school(Barker Public School-Base Borden 1973-1977) please let me know. Everytime I try , it goes on to the BBCI reunion site(which is good for my sister Lynn Hogue)Oh by the way, a reunion would be great. I know that my sisters would go.My brother,Gerry, lives in New Zealand, so I doubt that he would make it.
Hi Donna, i was just down the road from you,we were at 60 School Street.Barker Public is now a Reme school for the military. I was in kindergarden there as my class was in the far right corner (Ms Archie) and my brothers grade 7 class across the hallway. Borden is about in the best shape of any of the bases i have lived on as most of the teaching schools for the military are still there...mind you Southport finally put some siding on the old metal houses.
The only name i remember from Borden is Bobby Charlton.
Ken & donna.........
Saw your last entries and noted living on School Street.. I lived between the two of you at #87 School St..... I believe I was there however much earlier than you.....lived there 64-65.... I was in Gr 12 at CBDHS and left after Gr 12 to join the workforce and settled in Toronto... My folks and 2 sisters lived there until '67 when Dad retired and moved to Barrie/Painswick.
Dave: Our neighbours who used to baby sit me were the Hardings and also Critchelos...it was Donny Harding so I think he was around your age or closer.So ven being in grade 12 then,did you run behind the mosquito fogger as well or were you to smart for that at the time
Not sure about being "smarter".... I didn't run behind the foggers in Borden that I recall but do remember them in Southport. I also checked '65 yearbook and could not find Donny Harding and don't think I knew him..... There was a C Harding on the Sr Football team in '65.
St. Bruno 1960-1962, St. Hubert 1962-1965
Puntzi Mountain..., Last year single lot sold for approx. $6,000. Mind you, not much there...
Comox still operational...:)
Canada Lands Co. having a field day with RAF Chilliwack. Redevelopment of older PMQ's, show models as descriptive as an IKEA catalogue. New homes come complete with studio apartment above garage. So very necessary in order to meet West Coast real estate values. Remainder of PMQ's still provides low income tenanted accomodation.
I was up in Barrie this past weekend for Mothers Day and mentioned having heard that the PMQs on the Air Force (South) side had been demolished. Mom/Dad both indicated that plans were in the works for a whole new subdivision to be construction on the site.
Cold Lake and Namao (now an army base have had a lot of changes. Look on Google Earth and it has some pretty good details of those bases
We were in Marville 62-67 when it closed. In 73 we were posted to Baden and took a trip back to Marville.
We were in PMQ's for 2 years then Maple Leaf Trailer Park. B6 if I recall.....it was a looooong time ago. The cement planter my Dad (Bob Lynch) made beside our trailer was still there, and the tiny narrow roads, but that was about it. AHHHH the memories............
Hi Ken, I took a trip up to a former Base I used to live on when from 1972 - 1974. I went to the former CFS Foymount on July 3rd / 06. It's sad to see the decay and decrepit shape the base is in. However it was good to go and see it again, just to see what's happening with it. I took 125 digital photos while there. Good memories again... Cheers, Dave
I grew up on the civvi side of CFS Alsask until it closed in 1987. I was 14 yrs old at time of closing. I had established good friendships with many of the children from these mil families. I now live 40 miles from CFS Alsask. Work takes me thru there at least twice a day and each and every time I gaze with a longing for the days and people that are long past. I recommend against going to see it if you havent yet. The town, as well as the station are in a very bad way. Nearly brings me to tears each time.
Havent had any contact with any of these children since they left.
Somehow it feels like a part of my life that i desperately need closure on.
I now understand what alot of mil brats go thru growing up being bounced around the world. I have two children of my own now and have vowed to never uproot their lives as ours were.
I would like to say a very belated hello to these folks and wish them well in there adult lives.
How strange..... I dreamt last night that I was back in Calgary, standing amongst the houses in Lincoln Park. They were not gone yet, and military families were still living in them.
Then, this afternoon,(after weeks of quiet) I get this brats message showing up regarding old bases !
I went back to North Battleford (my dad was in the RAF during the war) and it closed right after the war was over. Saskatoon, where my dad joined the RCAF in 1949 was still a going concern in 1959-60 when I travelled there from Namao.
Station Centralia (1949 to 1952, where I went to school in half the base hospital before the new school was built, was gone when I visited in 1970.
I haven't been back to North Luffenham (Edith Eston School Grade 6)until DND school was set up in a barrack block (started Grade 7) 441 Squadron was temporarily housed at Zweibrukken for about 4 months and then we finally got to go to Marville (lived in Ste. Cecile, Belgium) but go to finish Grade 7 there.
All three of these bases aqre gone, sad to say.
In 1956 we were posted to Namao to 1960 - that base is practically no more.
In 1960 we moved to Uplands, which is now just a fond memory.
So, it seems that everywhere we lived is now a deserted, but lovingly remembered "home".
I haven't gone back to any bases for a very long time ,1972 (Moose Jaw)but the Marville web site was enough for me.To see the photos of all the places where many happy moments were spent in total ruins was unpleasant to say the least. Since discovering this site it has been very enlightning. Some of you brats out there are the same age as my son who is the father of teenagers but no matter what are ages are we have the same upbringing and are very much the same under the skin.
I was in Moise Quebec from 67-69 for grades 1 and 2. Can't remember the PMQ # but our kitchen window faced the St. Lawrence River and our backyard went down the hill to the guard house. Well in 97 I had an opportunity to revisit the base. While on tour with Susan Aglukark, we were doing a show in Sept-Isle. I had some time off so I rented a car and drove to the base. Man, it was like stepping back in time. Most of it was still there although the houses were privately owned and the Fire Hall where my Dad worked was closed up I think. My Mom worked in the mess hall but I didn't lnow where that was. Both schools were still standing but boarded up. I remember the big helicopters with 2 props would land in the field between the 2 schools and amaze us as little kids. We actually went and saw a Tommy Hunter show with Al Churney and the Rhythm Pals, with Peggy Lee as the opening act. I have a pic of our family with Al Churney after the show. I have a lot of pics I will scan and post either here or at our Family website at http://www.members.tripod.com/~AABUSSE/index.html
...lots of memories, lots of stories, but when I looked at Google Earth today I could not find much left of Moise. Unless I was looking in the wrong spot. Any one know?
Was back at St. Hubert and St. Bruno 2007. Took massive amounts of photos. The firehall looked very small, but navigated my way between St. Michael's and "home," no problem. Talked to dnd officer and he mentioned that several old timers have been back. Yay!! St. Hubert is not closed afterall, just under utilized as a heli repair centre.
I just recently went for a drive through CFB North Bay, and was so heartbroken to see the house we lived in had been torn down. It really struck me because we lived there for 7 years and through my teen years. I'm sorry I went now to see it. I should have stayed away.
Hello fellow brats......I think I'm alot older than most of you, but I still felt the loss of my past when I visited Marville 1(F) Wing in 1977, while on U.N. leave after serving in a peace keeping role in Egypt. The PMQ's were much as I remembered (1958-1962) they were mostly occupied by civy's from the local area (Longuyon). When I drove out to the base (1/2 hr)I was totally taken back by the sights I saw. Most of the buildings were standing but had been gutted. The rec center and shopping building which housed the snack bar were levelled. Our old Marville high school was gutted including all the electrical and plumbing. I was so disappointed at what I saw, and wondered that the French people would of been so happy to see us go that they would destroy what was to many of us our homes and lives, for so many years. I was later to find out that it was the Canadians who destroyed the buildings and our pasts. I lived in Marville from 58 - 62, and I was 13 when we got off the boat in Le Harve France. You do the math. I would not recommend to anyone that is contemplating returning to catch old memories to do it. Savour the fond memories you have of the past and look ahead to the future with the same excitement that we think of the past......Jim
this is all kind of new to me.i just found your site a couple weeks ago.i was at bagottvile,1956 and north bay 1957 to 1960.i am older than most of you at 63 this month.a question for you folks.once the schools were torn down on the bases,where would all of the class photos and negitives ended up.does any one know.if you seen the last couple posts in here ,i am looking for a very special friend.i am getting a couple pics of barbra and bev made from old negitives i have.there 50 years old.should be able to post them in about 3 weeks.i am looking for a grade 5 class pic i have but no luck so far.
an no you can not go back but you can still remeber your friends.
An excellent question. Where did they go? How do we find out? If we can't find out, the second best thing might be for us to submit our old class photos.
hi beth,i am hopeing to find class pics for 1956,1957 and 1958 from paul davoud school in north bay.your sugestion to post class pics is a great way to start so people who do not have theirs can copy them.
If you are on Facebook, you can also check CFB Base Brats. They have a couple of school pictures from there.
I don't know if many of you are familiar with the PMQ area in Saskatoon, but even though I only lived there as a civilian, it is absolutely criminal the way they stand there all boarded up and so on. I hadn't been in S'toon in about 15 years and its so evident being right by the airport and so on. I don't care if it costs a few bucks they really should do something with them
Let's be honest folks, the decay and the decrepit state that we see so many of the "former" bases in is directly the fault of the DND and the former longterm sitting Liberal gov'ts and is just one part of the falling apart of our military. The Liberals tore down our military over years with underfunding and a lack of support. Our forces, who are so skilled, yet are woefully underpaid and under stocked for the jobs they need to do are some of the best trained in the world. Our Canadian troops, when initially sent to Afghanistan were sent in green fatigues, because they didn't have tan (desert) colour. We have to ask and use U.S. military transport planes to get to these far away places, we borrow used Tanks from the Germans to use in Afghanistan as ours can't take the conditions, our helicopters (45+ years old) are not flying as they are in mechanical disarray, many of our junior ranks troops based here in Canada have to take part time jobs on and off base to supplement their paltry income, the pensions for our retired and veteran soldiers is absolutely pathetic especially if they were junior ranked soldiers, Canadian soldiers who lose their life in far away places are only entitled to $12,000 for their families and the families have to take care of funerals, the DND has taken to selling off base PMQ's to anyone who wants one for minimal costs so that they don't have to spend to upgrade, update and fix them. Where and will it ever stop? Unlikely it will be soon as our bleeding heart society believes it's more important to let every Arar, Mohamed, Thurmaranthapan and their families to come and live here with fake ID's, no ID's and by just showing up at the airports, ports and border crossings. It's unfortunate and pathetic when an asylum seeker from elsewhere with no ID or proof of who they are gets healthcare and more money handed to them upon applying for entry than our pensioners get when they turn 65 isn't it?
Hear!Hear! My son was in the Militia and several of his friends went regular. For the most part they all got out. My grandson is now following the trait and I only hope he stays only part time. My dad retired in 1965 and said he was happy because the Armed Forces sure weren't what they used to be.. It shows the downgrade has been going on for a very long time. The Military is looked down on because the public thinks they have a free ride. They believe they don.t pay taxes or even rent for the PMQ's. It used to be great to be a base brat but its too sad the way our way of life has gone to the dogs.
well Dave...we meet again....hehe anyway, I kind of agree about the government thing except going through history some of the worst years for defence were "conservative" ones, and the current bunch have been there two years and despite all the rhetoric have done little to change things. It seems it is not a "sexy" enough issue for them
many of you were to young to remeber the goverment when the "arrow" was destroyed.that was the start of the downslide of canada's military.we gave in to american pressure because it would have hurt there air industry.if i am not mistaken we have to ask the american goverment now if we wish to produce weapons of war for our military.our own goverments have sold us down the drain years ago.that is both parties did it and still do.
We were hoping to make it to the Metz gathering next October but, alas, our other holiday plans are getting in the way. It would have been fun to stomp around all of the old sites, even if there is not much evidence of our having been there. I looked at Google Earth for this area and was able to identify where the trailer park was located in the village of Peltre but had no luck clearly identifying where all of the trailers were situated or where the other features we "fondly" remember (old Chateau Crepe or the honey pit) were located.
Anybody else live in the Metz trailer park?
The only base still in operation that I lived on is Base Borden. Centralia, clinton, puntzi Mtn, rockcliffe, downsview, are all closed. I would love to get together for a reunion some day
Well a few years ago my mum, sister and my son went to Greenwood Nova Scotia. Our townhouse on Jordan (#16 I think)Ave. was being torn down so my mum wanted one last look. As my mum stood guard outside of the fence, my son and sister jumped over the fence to have one last look. Wouldn't you know it but the MP's came by. They questioned what they were doing there so my little old mother (75 years lod) told him the story of how her daughter (me) was born in Nova Scotia and that her son wanted to see the place. He said that they should move on then he left. My mum wanted to see more so again there they stood. Along came security and questioned them again. Mum repeated her story about living there and how her husband was in the service and stationed there. Well this gentleman asked her her name and what her husbands name is as he used to work there as well then became sercurity when he retired. When my mum mentioned my dad's name (W.O. Gerry (Germaine)Hogue) this man told her that he used to work with my dad. Hmm, I can't remember his name but that made my mum feel good. My dad passed away in 1981...3 1/2 years after moving from Borden. We lived there from 1973-1977.
I also went to Borden a few years back to see our old living quarters. We lived at 101 School Street. It was nice to see it again but I'm not too sure but I think the street shrank lol. Well back in 2007 I went back there again and our house was gone. Best years in Borden. I loved being a "brat" which is where I got my username of "xbrat".
Not too sure Jim if my family lived in trailer park but they did live in France. My older sister Cheryl was born there in 1963 and I believed my parents lived there from 1959 or 1960-1963. I have older siblings some of who would have beeen in their teens in France.
Just wondering if you know anything about citizenship for military children born in overseas country? As I said my sister Cheryl was born in France in 1963. Back when she was 38 years old and living in Oakville ON she had her ID stolen. To her surprise when she went ot get her OHIP, license etc, she was told that she is not a Canadian citizen. Have you heard about this? My belief was that children born to a military personel on a overseas base and on Canadain soil there was in fact a Canadian.
I lived at 27 Maple drive....practically neighors.
I went to Barker Public school from grade 4 - 8 (1974-1979.) My most formative years were here. I almost cried when i saw the empty fields where the PMQs used to be. I can't even show my 16 year old son where i used to live and get into trouble.
I guess we're getting old...lol.
I live in Ottawa now and i still pass through the base for nostalgic reasons....