character building that had been formed by those years of service
aboard the NENE carried forward into civilian life. Most crew members
married, raised families and started out on a work career. The post
war era offered many opportunities for the returning serviceman.
There were the discharge credits, entitling the serviceman to cash,
the opportunity to further his education, credits to establish a
small farming operation. Many diverse careers were undertaken, for
some the call of God was a lifelong career, for others a career
as a contract logger, a fisherman, a fireman, a bus driver, private
entrepreneur, administrator. Each crew member contributed to the
mosaic of a growing and thriving Canada.
Many members contributed
to the enrichment of the life of the community. Their contribution
is as diverse as the men themselves, from art, poetry, crafts and
sports. Typical of the works of Sam Forsythe and Ron Graham are
two poems written by them and shown in the following pages. They
record the history of the ship and its crew.
his service aboard the NENE, Ross
Newitt continued an avocation that he acquired while a student
at High School. After graduation he played basketball for one year
on the Ontario Basketball Association circuit before joining the
Following his return
from the Navy, Newitt was elected to the executive of the basketball
referees association and served for 11 years as assignment secretary.
Ross took an active part in refereeing basketball games, having
officiated at more than 5000 basketball games. The great attraction
for Newitt was working with young people and creating a wholesome
environment for young people in the community.
Cameron, after leaving the navy in 1945 took up logging contracting
and road building in British Columbia. He and Ruby settled in Revelstoke
and although Bill's leisure time had been filled with flying, skiing,
prospecting, he became interested in his wife's new career in sculpting
soapstone, using the rock that Bill discovered several years earlier
when building roads for his company. What began as a hobby developed
into a full-time commitment. His sculptures were marketed throughout
Canada and worldwide. Castings of Bill's original bears have been
cast in bronze and aluminum and stand guard at the entrance to Revelstoke.
They are wonderful works of art and much admired. Bill also carves
small bears which are much in demand.
are other ways in which the community has been served. Rod
MacAulay a former signalman aboard the Nene, became a minister
of the United Church of Canada. He served as Minister/Superintendent
at both St. Giles and all Peoples, Winnipeg and at Brunswick Street
United Church, Halifax, providing help to the inner-city community
of people through the outreach program. For him it has been a life
of trials and difficulties but also rewards.
former shipmates decided to stay in the service or after discharge
rejoined a branch of Canada's armed forces. Dewey
Barwis was one of those who remained in the navy and was aboard
HMCS Athabaskan in the Korean conflict. Like all wars the civilian
population was devastated by the fighting and as much as fighting
a war, our sailors showed a compassion for the people. Dewey is
caught in a picture befriending a young Korean child, showing him
how to hold a baseball bat.
Dewey Barwis and Korean child
first Nene reunion was held forty years after the war. Through the
diligent efforts of Alan and Marg Turner a large group of NENE members
was brought together. They came together through word of mouth,
advertising in the Canadian Legion magazine, through securing lists
of names through the Department of Veterans Affairs. For those of
us receiving the call to say this is Al Turner, we're having a reunion
of the ships company, was a thrilling and exciting event.
the reunions we began to know one another better. Contact was maintained
through a periodic newsletter, prepared by Al
and Marg Turner. We found some members were flamboyant, others
reserved, others with an innate sense of humour, and with others
kindness and compassion born out of experience and the meeting of
life's many vicissitudes. These reunions brought together the wives
and we soon learned about the strength and the important contribution
each of them had made in building the life and giving substance
to the family of crew members. In all of these factors we found
the adhesive that binds the NENE family together. Each reunion we
were saddened to learn of the passing of another of our family,
our comrade or his wife.