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After living at RAF Langar, England,(1954-1959)my family moved to RCAF Edgar, Ontario where (1959-1962)where I completed grades 1 and 2. A couple of years ago one of my sisters sent photos of Edgar and one showing part of our house on 2nd Street brought back a flood of childhood memories of that wonderful base.
I checked out Google Earth today only to discover that all the PMQ's and other buildings were demolished last year. I cried, having been denied a trip down memory lane to connect with my past. My husband was born and raised in North Vancouver and the house he was born in is still there! How very strange, but kind of nice that he has such deep ties in the community.
Perhaps "going back to discover nothing familiar there anymore", has had a more traumatic effect on lots of us "Air Force brats" than we care to admit. Home was always having to say goodbye back then. I will always be a "transplanted Easterner", but at least I've got roots and a wonderful life in BC.
North Bay turned into housing! dammit.
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Hi Brats .. feeling very old after reading some of the comments lol .. I am a double RCAF Brat.
My Mum was in Trenton, Ont (6 R D)in the 40's
she was transferred to Clinton where she met my Dad, they married and lived off the station in Bayfield, both my brother and sister were born in Clinton (1947 and 49), they were then transferred to Morin Heights (Que)(lived in St. Denis) c 1951, from there we went to Mona Pica, Que (100 miles north of Quebec City) c 1953 (defunct since about 65,) from there to St. Hubert (lived on Popular St) until 1959 when we went to Ottawa, bought our first home in the west end, Dad was at Rockcliffe and Uplands before being moved downtown Ottawa, retired from the forces in 63 but had the same job as a civilian until he passed in 76.
I went back to see St. Hubert in July 2012. All the street names were Francicized years ago. Pine Circle where we lived is now named Rue Lery. My PMQ, no 40 burned down years ago according to the neighbours. Only the driveway remains. And all the row houses we called "the brick buildings" have been torn down. A wave of condos and town houses is creeping it's way across the fields that were behind our PMQ and the endless woods that were there full of poison ivy has thinned out and there is lots of visible housing now as Longueuil has expanded towards the base. The schools still look the same. The swimming pool and ice rink are gone. The solid steel and wood playgrounds with the Kamikaze teetor-totters have been replaced by kid-friendly plastics.
I've also been to Cold Lake a couple of times. The PMQs look more or less the same, except a bit run down and many are empty. The commercial center that had the theatre, pool, snack bar, Tomboy grocery store and the BX is all gone and part of it is a skateboard park. Kind of sad.
Interesting to hear from others who were St Hubert Brats like me! I also lived on Pine Circle #6 actually. Lived there 1970-74. I remember looking out my bedroom window at night at the rink and seeing the older kids playing hockey. The FLQ crisis happened when we were newly moved in and the older kids used to tell me that Pierre Laporte was buried under our back porch! what a nightmare at 6 years old!
Remember the Gypsy store just off base? Mrs Andrusiak as my Kindergarten teacher and Mr Bankuti as the Gym teacher? Mr Poole as the evil Principal at St Michaels school. Sister Claire as the miserable Nun/teacher.
Happy times. When did you live there? Did you look at the PMQs on Street view? pretty cool.
I hope to hear from you.
You're not going to believe this but before we lived in 40 Pine Circle we lived in 6 Pine Circle. My family moved to St. Hubert in 1956 two months before my twin sister and I were born. So we lived in no 6 for about a year then moved around the circle to number 40 which had more room. Pretty funny coincidence. I actaully took a lot of pictures of number 6 last summer. Like all the houses it's been done over with vinyl siding. I sure remember the Gypsy store, and sometimes having to climb over the barbed wire fence if the back gate wasn't unlocked. We left St. Hubert in 1965 and moved to Cold Lake Alberta.
That is absolutely crazy that we both lived in the same house! Highly probable we had the same bedroom too! lol
Remember the detached garage? I used to use it as a hang out with my friends. My dad kept an old black 1962 Chrysler Imperial in there. We moved to Camp Borden from St Hubert and then to Summerside PEI. Great memories. I'm now in Ottawa where i'm at the 30 year point of my own Military career. As much as i wanted to get away from the military when i was young I guess it was in my blood. Did you stray from the military path in life?
My dad retired in 1969 but the only one of us to follow in his footsteps was my brother Al who was a forces weatherman but has since retired. My family lived in Ottawa before I was born, in Rockcliffe, which being close to a big city I guess the land is too valuable to let the PMQs stay.
I made this short webpage comparing two trips my wife and I made in 2004 and 2012 to St. Hubert. Previously I hadn't seen the base since 1965. The webpage was to show my siblings how things have changed but some of you may also be interested. There is no direct link in this forum so you'll have to cut and paste it into your browser. https://sites.google.com/site/rcafstationsainthubert/
Very cool Bill! nice seeing pics of the old house from different perspectives. I have some St Hubert Pics i'll try to upload as well from @ 1970-72.
Remember the old outdoor rink? some of my best memories were on that thing. long gone now.
Thanks for posting this!
Rick, My older sister Penny reminded me that after we moved out of 6 Pine Circle in 1957 she became friends with a girl named Janet Hickey who lived in that house in the 1960's, so she spent a lot of time playing in that house.
Hi Carol, I am not a BRAT but went to school with Joanne Giroux and Jane Ste Marie in 1969-74 at St. Joseph's College in North bay. Would you remember them and if so, where they might be now? thanks! Michele Caruso firstname.lastname@example.org
I lived at R.C.A.F Station Rockcliffe from 1956-62. I started school there in 1956. My father was post back to Halifax N.S. in July 1962 after I finished Grade 4.
Speaking for myself those six and a half years at Rockcliffe was an experience that had a profound life long effect on me. Living on a Base or Station in the military is not like living on Civi Street or out in the urban Country. These Stations and Bases were unique communities unto themselves. My time at Rockcliffe was like living in a little paradise in so many ways. I can still remember that day in the last week of July 1962 when we left our PMQ for the last time and drove out the back gate of the station, a feeling came over me that told me a very important and unique part of my life was over. Today, nearly 51 years has gone by since I left Rockcliffe and I have become very nostalgic about those days. Since 1970 I have tried to return back to Ottawa and Rockcliffe at least once every 5 years or so. I almost hate to describe it as a "Pilgrimage" but really that is what it has become. My last trip back was in July 2009, I knew at that time it would be the very last time I could go to the section of the old station where my old home and neighborhood were still standing, for all the PMQ's in the East end of the station had already been removed for some time along with almost every military building. I took many pictures that day including some HD video. Again today as I am writing this blog May 2013 there is nothing left to go back to see but the paved streets. It has often been stated that Death an Taxes are the only certainties in life, but as we are all finding out in time " CHANGE " is also a certainty. We all have our memories now and it is through this latest technological advancement "The Internet" that we can re-establish long lost friends and associates to share these memories with. For myself I have found the 'Facebook website"," I lived at Rockcliffe" and have been able to link up with others like myself whom were lucky enough to have experienced life at Rockcliffe while it was still in operation till 1994. There are many other websites and many former " Brats" seeking to reconnect with their past, so keep looking and searching and perhaps you too will be able to take that walk down memory lane with and old friend again!
Very nicely put, Carey. I agree that there was a uniqueness to PMQ living in the 60s and 70s. We almost had a micro society within larger centers or towns that civilians didn't have the luxury to experience. Like you, some of my fondest memories are of that early time (aged 5-15yrs old). Growing up in Summerside, Camp Borden and St Hubert was a privilege that i will never forget. I don't have a Facebook account (Ya I'm a dinosaur!) so i suppose i miss out on some nostalgia but i have my memories.....Thanks again for the perspective. (By the way, I live in Ottawa now and after I had joined the Forces my Dad served out his last posting in Rockliffe. What a shame that that nice little base had to close...).
First, thank you for posting a response. For today's generation the computer is like the telephone was to our generation and they have been brought up from a very early age to take full advantage of this technology. Our generation as I mentioned previously had the telephone and "Letters". To be more specific if you wish to keep in touch with old friends that were no longer living in your area those friends would become " Pen Pals " with you, it was the cheapest means of staying in touch, as the phone in those days had high long distance rates associated with them. However, when the computer and Internet came along and became in more common use in the early 80's I am glad to say at least some of our generation made the effort to upgrade their skills to take advantage of this new means to stay in touch with old friends. The computer will always represent a challenge for our generation but the rewards can be great for those again whom make the effort to learn. I myself have two friends I have known since High School and they are not keen at all to learn the computer! This is the way things have developed.
I would never for a second trade a single memory from my days at Rockcliffe. It was like living in a " Leave it to Beaver" world if I could put it that way. It was so very idealistic in so many ways. However, the other side of the coin ( and unfortunately there is another side ) the whole profound experience effected me in a way that I grew up a bit of a round peg in a world that had mostly square holes to function in. Of course every individuals " Brat Experience" may be and of course will be unique to themselves.
My very nostalgic memories also extend to " Ottawa " in general. My mother worked for A.J Freiman's Department store on Rideau Street in the old downtown section of Ottawa. When I visit Ottawa and I am down in that area I can still see in my minds eye the old 'Daly Building" on the corner of Sussex and Rideau and the old " National Building" that was right next door to " Union Station" now the National Conference Center. I still recall those years 56,57 and 58 when during the Summers of those years my Mother and I would take the Street Car out to Britannia Beach. We were young then and they were all good times.
By the way Rick, your last name "Quesnel". My father was good friends with a fellow whom had the same last name when we lived at Rockcliffe, he and his family lived just outside the City a short ways in a little place called " Vars". Today here in Nova Scotia I know and used to work with a young lady who also has the same last name. In closing Rick, do make the effort to get your Facebook Account set up and of course encourage those others whom you believe would benefit from learning the computer to do the same. All the best to you and do Take Care!
And anyone interested in Rockcliffe. The current Google Maps satellite image (not to be confused with Google Streeview) is older and still shows about half the PMQs in Rockcliffe, especially those west of the school and another section in the northeast. It's a fairly good image, taken during the fall colours. At some point in the future Google Maps may replace this image with a more current one where all the PMQs have been demolished, so if you are interested in this sort of thing you may want to take a screen capture of the remaining housing, for posterity.
Holberg in Vancouver Island was plowed under and trees planted. Just another part of the forest.
I was born in Vancouver while my Dad was stationed at Holberg, BC and moved to St Bruno around 1960. We stayed there until 1967.I have a few memories of the base. My brothers and sisters were older so they remember a lot more. Our last name was McGuire.
Jim Eakins,are you the longtime friend of my father?The gentleman who moved to California?
Interesting reading all the posts. Mr. Bankuti was an instrumental force in shaping my life. I lived at 9 Pine Circle for many years. Lots of fond memories of my time there as a youngster from the early to mid 60s.
Hi Fellow brats. Dad was in the Air Force and we were posted at Moncton, Churchill, Falconbridge, and Baldy Hughes. Had the same experience when I took me wife back to Falconbridge to show her base. Not only was it much smaller than I remembered but run down. Like all of you moving continually and not building life long friendships has its negatives and pluses. I would like to hear from anyone who was stationed in Falconbridge between 1960-64
This forum doesn't seem to get much activity nowadays. Most people seem to have moved on to Facebook. Two Facebook sites for former AF brats are the Facebook site that goes with this CAFBA forum, and the C.F.B. Base Brats group https://www.facebook.com/groups/base.brats/
There are also some Facebook groups for specific bases like Cold Lake and Rockcliffe.
I realize your post was many years ago but I just came across it now. I lived at 34 Hemlock Cres from 1971-1976. Spent grades 2-6 at Barker. My memory isn't what it used to be but I remember a few names....Shawna Steel, Helene Bourget, Barb Carter, Anna Shaw, Kenny Allan. Mrs McDonald was my teacher in grades 2 & 3 and I remember Ms Willis in Grade 6. I heard our pmq was gone. Too bad..good memories....running after the mosquito "fog", tree forts in the woods near the runways and bags full of candy for 25¢ from the Canex!
Greetings Brats! Many of we USAF Brats feel the same when we returned to a base that once was our "home" as we reflect on the memories we had. I personally find such visits even more emotional if that particular base has closed. Being the eldest child, I "got" 18 moves with my parents that included 12 different schools in seven different US states and Ontario. One of my favorite places was a radar base up in NW Ontario, at Sioux Lookout. Physically, it was very similar to the northern parts of our "home" state (that is where most of our close relatives lived) of Minnesota. I also served on active duty in the USAF and have similar feelings about bases that have closed where I had been stationed (in both the US and Japan). Any place where I have lived and attempt to return to what I remembered brings to mind that quote of John Steinbeck in his book,Travels with Charlie, "we can never go back". I wonder how our experiences vary from our civilian friends that also had a series of moves in their childhood? Thank you for considering my reflections here.
WOW! We lived at 42 - 1972-1980...my dad was André Hébert...he was known in the community as a hockey coach. There was a dirt road right behind our house. On the right side of it was a creek - I remember catching tadpoles and minnow. There was a field and then woods. The field froze over some years and it was a huge ice surface. We played in the woods after the field and sometimes crawled under the fence to go into "forbidden territory" beyond the base...but never too long! The pool was our summer hangout...they had a "summer school" program...theatre...gym...we would go to St. Jean each Friday night to play hockey...life was simple and fun...no internet or PS whatever they call it...reel-to-reel movies (my dad was a "qualified" operator of the movie projector at the theatre)...then there was TeenAires (the hangout when I entered the awkward teenaged years...Styx-Led Zep-Pink Floyd...It's all coming back now...I was in the military as a career...was posted in St. Jean...went back to St. Hubert one time to "reflect"...very strange feeling...could even remember a certain smell at the elementary school...smell was still there-unbelievable.
I remember you I think??!!! Did you ever sing at a Christmas event at the base church or something like that...I can't believe I remember this...I think we were in the same grade...Sister Claire...Mr. & Mrs. Poole...Mlle Caron (I think I had a crush on her!)...did you play hockey? We lived at 42 Pine Circle...last house....that whole unit is gone now, but the others are still there. I remember the "long walk" to the gypsy store - my older sister and her 'crew' would go there and take me along to go buy firecrackers. We were there 1972-1980...my dad was André Hébert...he was known in the community as a hockey coach. There was a dirt road right behind our house. On the right side of it was a creek - I remember catching tadpoles and minnow. There was a field and then woods. The field froze over some years and it was a huge ice surface. We played in the woods after the field and sometimes crawled under the fence to go into "forbidden territory" beyond the base...but never too long! The pool was our summer hangout...they had a "summer school" program...theatre...gym...we would go to St. Jean each Friday night to play hockey...life was simple and fun...no internet or PS whatever they call it...reel-to-reel movies (my dad was a "qualified" operator of the movie projector at the theatre)..I remember most of the Pine Circle gang - the Blais' - big family - Nolans - Nicholsons - MacKintosh' - Dubé's - Holme's - Doiron - Landaults - Robicheau - Bédard - Poirier - Anderson's - Guilbeault (I think the lady of the house was a sub-teacher) - Cassidy's...my dad had a couple of postings there, so I ended up finishing High School (they closed the school on the base so I had to go to a polyvalente for my last year - very daunting!)...Thanks for the memories man, especially when you mentioned the "Gypsy Store", that's what triggered my thinking.
Hello Marc! Your memory is very vivid! i also remember all those places. Especially the field behind the PMQs where we skated in the winter and explored in the summer. It's all houses and urban sprawl out there now. I was there from 1970 - 1974. I lived at 6 Pine circle. When i looked out my back door i saw the outdoor rink and the outdoor pool. I was born in 1965 so i was in Kindergarten to grade 3 at St Michaels school. I did sing in the choir and was an alter boy for a short time. Although I'm not religious now, i have nothing but happy memories about the church culture back then. I would like to share a few pictures with you that might confirm if we knew each other or not. Are you on Facebook? If so I'll send you a friend request so we can sort out these foggy memories!
I'm glad you reached out on this forum!
Marc Hebert, funny but we lived at 40 Pine Circle from 1957 to 1965. The Smiths lived in your half of the unit at 42. We also lived in 6 Pine Circle in 1956 where Rick Quesnel lived, but we moved to 40 after a year when my mum discovered she was having twins. There was a hay field behind 40/42 which caught fire one year. The light poles on the street had fire alarm boxes mounted on them so my brother ran out and pulled the alarm. The woods were full of poison ivy and there was rumoured to be a farmer who we called "farmer brown" who would shoot you with his shotgun full of rock salt if he caught you on his land. I'm sure this was just an urban legend as there was a similar story at Cold Lake. Don't remember a creek but there was an irrigation ditch on the east side of the PMQ area. Sadly, 40/42 burned down sometime in the late 90s or early 2000s and they demolished it, along with the brick buildings that each had about 5 townhouse-like units in them. The fields out back are full of new townhouses and the fencing that we sometimes had to climb over to get to the gypsy store is all gone.