Canadian Miltary Brats

Greetings Fellow Brats!

Let me introduce myself: First of all I'm a Canadian army (RCEME) brat from the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. My name is Iona Meyer nee Thoresen. My father reenlisted and we went to live in Currie Barracks in Calgary when I was still very young. Dad was Strathcona from 1949 until 1956 when he was drafted to RCEME. My parents Ralph and Vivian, my sisters, Violet and Wanda, and my two brothers Frank and Chuck and I lived at 93 Somme Crescent. We lived there until 1966 when Dad was posted to Camp Petawawa in Ontario. Because we had a compassionate posting to Calgary we didn't have the same life style of most of you. We stayed put for a long time. Instead, all of you moved away and left me behind. Which is probably just as well as I'd have gotten lost anyway. I maintain it's because I can't see the mountains anymore but no one around here believes me.

We were there before the driveways were paved, before garages were built, before sidewalks were poured, and before the chapels were constructed. I learned to ride a two wheeler on our sloping yard because the bike would go on its own power while I concentrated on staying on! Stay off the concrete stairs though! Trust me!

Those of you who know the base know of the big white building used for a teen-town in the sixties. Well that was the school that I started kindergarten in. That's where I learned that boys bathrooms were full of strange sinks on the wall. We used to ride our tricycles to school. Ok Ok it's not nice to laugh at old people. I got in trouble once with my grade 2 teacher for not doing my homework. I'm still scared of meeting her again!

I then went to Currie Elementary. At the time we used to walk through what was affectionately called the "slough". But it really was a slough when we first moved to the base. There was said to be quick sand there but who knows if there really was or whether we were just told that to keep us out. Eventually they drained it and then later paved a walkway through, and even built a curling rink. Mr. Dickson was the principal and I had him as home room teacher for gr. 5 & 6. The following year I was in hospital for a couple of months and when he heard about it he sent a card saying "I thought I taught you to sit still". I adored him. I also fell in love with Danny Howard, and Michael Parton. (Update: To my delight I received a message from Michael. He sent me pictures of himself and his family. I was just thrilled.) My best friend was Joanne Doucet. We used to filch boxes of Jell-O and hide under the old school and eat it. It was so good it tastes like salt! I also tasted something called a potato chip with her! Old Dutch! Mmmmmm! She later moved to Ontario and we lost contact with each other.

We had a small fire while I was at the elementary school. We all had to go into the junior high just yards away and I remember the kids there being mad because we were spoiling their fudge sale. Silly isn't it the stuff you remember. Now why couldn't I have that kind of memory for important things like my phone number or whether I took my meds today?

It was an era when you didn't lock your doors, you left your keys in the car ignition and never ever had your bike stolen. The zoo was free and there was always a pass to the Calgary Stampede in your final report card. You could leave your kids while you ran to the store and the neighbours were always there to help. It was safe to walk down the street at night and never even consider that it might be dangerous. We were so happy and such a small group that you knew almost everyone. That also meant though that everyone knew you too so they'd tell your folks if you got up to mischief. Not me of course!! Is Blue Jeans still there? They made good milkshakes and had 5 candies for a penny. So for a nickel you could get a whole bag of candy and you were rich!

We had one of the first telephones on the base. Mom made sure of that by giving birth to my youngest brother on the kitchen floor while Dad ran for a phone. We survived the Polio epidemic, quarantine and measles, chicken pox and any other pox you could think of. Not to mention one terrible year when the mosquitoes carried you home in chunks during Stampede week!

Probably Junior high was my happiest times as a kid. We went to Currie Jr. and yes there were boys doors and girls doors separately. We got in trouble for trying to sneak out the boys doors after school. (Well it was a lot shorter than going through the girls doors.) By grade nine we were the big fish in the little pond. We had dances, went to teen town, had our first kiss and our first broken hearts.

The transition to Viscount Bennett High School was not an easy one for me. I felt overpowered by such a big school and the sea of strange faces. I never really was very happy there. The summer of 1966 my father told us that he had been posted to Ontario. I was devastated. By then I had a serious boyfriend. I was enrolled in nursing school which was to begin in the fall, I was a member of the Saint John Ambulance brigade and I did not want to go! Period!


Did I mention that Ontario is very beautiful in the fall?

We arrived in late September early October after driving from Calgary. We had our first taste of "Kentucky Fried Chicken." Our PMQ wasn't ready so we had to live off the base for a couple of months. Thank you God! There I met my husband through his sister and I've been in Ontario ever since. In 1969 my Dad retired to Victoria. Now he tells everyone he "only came down here to get rid of me and then went back to God's country!"

Al and I were married in August of 1967 in St. George's Chapel at Camp Petawawa. Now you have to picture this: My father is a Master Mechanic. He could fix a car in his sleep with boxing gloves on. The day before the wedding, Al couldn't get his car to start. So he came and got Dad. After about 15 minutes my uncle wanders out to see what's taking so long. Both Al and Dad are leaned over the engine, poking and prodding stuff that men do under that hood thingy. Neither of them can figure it out. Uncle takes a peek into the car and casually mentions "did you put it in neutral first?" Duh! Guess there weren't many frazzled nerves that day. The minister and I had a good laugh because I hand wrote my invitations and accidentally put St. George's Island on his. That's the name of the zoo in Calgary! Guess some of my nerves were frazzled too. Now my kids will tell you I have nerves of tinfoil.

Al and I have 3 grown children. You can see them on my home page. Frank has a daughter and is the Fire Chief for a major city in BC. Chuck has 3 kids too. He lives in Alberta. Violet and her husband have 3 teenage sons. Dwight's in the Navy but we love him so she's been forgiven. They've just returned from a 3 year posting in Holland (lucky dogs) and are back in Victoria.

Ok, this has turned into a novel when I meant only to write a small paragraph. Guess even my fingers are chatterboxes! Thanks so much for stopping by. Isn't this just so much fun!


Here are some links to other brat sites. If you know of a brat site that isn't listed or you have your own Canadian Brat site you'd like listed please let me know and I'll be happy to post it for you. Happy surfing. Drop me a line if you have time to let me know you've been by. Don't be afraid of the dog....he's harmless . . . Then again, I suppose he could kiss you to death.

These are some of my long lost friends; all from Currie:

  • Joanne DOUCETT - posted to Kingston in mid 1960'sMagnify
  • Lynda ELLIOT (nee MCLEOD)
  • Bill & Jim LABELL
  • Carol POPPLESTONE - Woo Hoo! She found me!
  • Susan REESE
  • Deborah WHITTON

Links to Brat Sites

Calgary 2006 Reunion


Email Addresses, ICQ Chat and Websites

Name ICQ # Web Site
Amyot, André
Burnham, R. Ken 36305349
Davis, Gary
Duck, Debbie (MacNeil) 7888064
Fertich, Larry 10129182
Gauthier, Lori (Adams) 14772068
Lindal, Lesley 12054030
MacLeod, Alan 6670615
Meyer, Iona (Thoresen) 25457831 That's Me!
Missy 25855391
Rasta 1433212
Robbins, Jeff 1286557



If you've not gone to the Brats newsgroup yet I highly recommend you give it a try.
We're having more fun over there than I can possible describe.
Come join the battle over who's best. ARMY - Airforce - Navy.

Of course there's no doubt at all -

Army Rules!

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This Home Page was created: January 2, 1996
Most recent revision Tuesday, November 02, 2004