I am from a generation that you likely never heard of. We are known as the “silent generation” or the “lucky few”. Born after the great depression but before the end of the second World War. We are the only modern generation who are smaller than the one that preceded it. I was born near its end. I was too young to know that the second world war even happened or that my Father was involved. I was still in grade school when Korea ended. Vietnam was an American war and my view coloured by the dissenters I met who had moved to Canada. The closest I got to war was the 1962 Cuban crisis when as a sailor in the RCN I was recalled from leave and sent to sea as part of the NATO blockade. From then to retirement were pretty much the glory years of the late 20th century and early 21st.
My first career at 15 was as an apprentice Ironworker building pulp mills and other large industrial structures. The Navy a short 3 year interlude the avoid a bitter Union takeover dispute came next. On completing basic training at HMCS Cornwallis in Nova Scotia I was then posted to HMCS Lanark in refit at the Point Edward repair base on Cape Breton Island. There I met and am still married to my life partner of more than 50 years. I served in Lanark for the rest of my enlistment. We then moved to Vancouver for work.
I worked a while as an auto parts truck driver then in inside sales. City jobs. Quickly realizing my grade 10 education would limit me I returned to ironworking out of town to get the funds to return to school. A college diploma in marketing and sales from the just opened Vancouver City College was acquired. A sales job with a large world-spanning industrial supply company followed. During that time an interest in Politics arose where our VCC class took over the student government wrestling the control of student fees from the administration. I became involved with the Young Liberals, secured a delegate slot in the leadership convention that elected PET and left that organization as President of the BC Young Liberals over the instigation of the War Measures Act. About the same time, I soured on the Corporate world. It was 1970. Early in my life around age 7 or 8 I went sailing on a 40′ schooner and loved it. A sea change occurred. We built then lived aboard, sailed ocean’s, and spent the next 40 years earning a living and having fun. Those years are chronicled here.
Now, retired in Cape Breton, I fear for what is likely to come. Concerns for the “common good” no longer seem to apply.