Large group left PR on 26/6/40


- Jul/46, p.8/9 – “June 26 was an outstanding day in Powell River. On that day our greatest mass migration of enlisted men left us to go to war. It was a day that will live long in our memory. Who of us will ever forget that memorable, sad evening, when the “cream of the crop” marched down to the old Princess Mary?
The whole town was there. Former service men turned out en masse to join the march to the dock. The Pipe Band, playing the “Road to the Isles”, led the parade. A teeming mass of humanity-mothers, sisters, parents, sweethearts-thronged the docks. Discipline melted as good-byes were said and the boys started on the long trek that finished nearly six years later with the collapse of Germany and Japan. It was a cheering tumultuous mob, new to and as yet untouched by war. Famous infantry formations-The Canadian Scottish, Irish Fusiliers, The “Dukes”, the Westminster, were all represented in that grand group of boys who went off to war on that never-to-be-forgotten day. Thereafter, repetition and loss of loved ones blunted the first flush of fever that infected all of us on June 26, 1940. Yet it was a spectacle, which in a minor key was re-enacted for the next six years. Every time the Princess Mary whistled it brought a feeling of sadness, for it meant more of our young men heading for the holocaust of war. Hundreds of Powell River youngsters, in the full flame of their manhood, ascended the gangplank of the Mary in those long years, many of them, alas, for the last time. One June 26, 1940, war came to Powell River.