Carol Dron with the album she made for her father featuring his Second World War memories.

Carol Dron with the album she made for her father featuring his Second World War memories.

Album a special treat for veteran

Carol Dron has a lot of fond memories of her father. Before he died she was able to capture some of his Second World War memories.

Carol Dron has a lot of fond memories of her father. Before he died she was able to capture some of his Second World War memories in a special way.

Carol’s father Arthur (Art) George William Beale served in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War and passed away Dec. 22, 2007 at the age of 90.

Carol made a special album for and with her father, after he moved to the Wascana Veteran’s Hospital in Regina near the end of his life.

“He really was a sailor and took a lot of pride in being a veteran,” Carol says. “He came home for visits but was always happy to go back to the hospital because he considered it his home. As a vet he had a sense of ownership, so that was nice for him to come out of it never feeling sorry for himself. “

Carol says her father loved sharing the album with his friends at the hospital and his visitors.

“The stroke affected his speech, but not his memory and he got a chuckle working on the album with me,” Carol says. “He just thought it was the greatest and I had a lot of fun doing it and seeing the enjoyment he got out of it.”

The album is filled with pictures either Art took himself during the war and those he collected from military photographers.

One of the pictures Art took himself was of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who was visiting their ship.

Carol tried as much as possible to incorporate the hand-written notes that were in Art’s original album along with the pictures, and other items she collected such as the banner from his hat, pay records, training records, newspaper clippings, and mementos such as Christmas cards signed by navy friends, post cards from various ports visited, stamps, special dinner menus.

A life long resident of Regina, Saskatchewan, Art, worked for General Motors and was a member of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve just prior to the Second World War. He saw active duty from 1939 to 1945 in the North Atlantic serving on the navy ship Pictou.

He took a brief leave in February 1944 to marry his sweetheart, Anna Delores Taylor. Ironically, Carol says her mother and father both grew up in Regina but didn’t meet until his ship stopped in Halifax at the beginning of the war where Anna’s family was living at the time.

“My grandmother was a heck of a cook and had four girls who attracted the boys, who would go to their place for meals,” Carol says.

After Art’s ship left Halifax for active service overseas, Carol says her father called her mother from New York and told her that as soon as he got home they would be married.

During the war, Carol says her father served as a gunner on the Pictou. He landed on the hospital ship at Christmas time in 1944 when the ammunition he was piling up exploded.

“My dad lost two fingers on his left hand in the explosion but fortunately he had just stood up, otherwise he might have died,” Carol says.

After the war Art and Delores made their home in Regina where Art worked in mail services for the Saskatchewan government for 32 years before retiring in 1977.

He was a keen football player both before and after the war and played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1946 and 47.

Carol says her father lived the last 50 years of his life with the effects of a stroke, which primarily affected his ability to speak, but didn’t affect his ability to enjoy life.

“Dad never complained about anything,” Carol says. “He was quite the guy.”

While Art was living in the veteran’s hospital, Carol says she and her daughter, Nancy, decided to get tattoos, but were apprehensive about showing them to Art.

When they did finally show him their tattoos, she says he wasn’t angry, he was jealous because he had always wanted a tattoo but never got one.

She says he told them the story about how he and a few friends had gone to get tattoos while they were on shore leave in Hawaii but the artist wouldn’t tattoo them because they were too drunk.

Carol and her husband Perry moved from Saskatchewan to Williams Lake two years ago to be close to their daughter, Nancy, and her family.

Before moving to Williams Lake, Carol and Perry owned a coffee shop and a scrapbooking company in La Ronge, Sask.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read