Here’s a lovely hint of a story to think about as we approach Christmas: when soldiers were posted to B.C. in 1943 to guard against a feared attack by the Japanese, New Westminster opened its doors and made sure every last one had a home to go to for Christmas:
Despite omnipresent danger, tasteless bully beef and hardtack rations in the field, and nearly dying of pneumonia one year, Christmas in the army was the only place Charles Goodman wanted to be in his youth.
Having left home in Saint John any lying about his age so he could enlist in 1943, the 15-year-old found joy and escape from unhappy family life in military camaraderie.
Sent to B.C. to defend against a feared Japanese attack during his first military Christmas, Goodman recalls the town of New Westminster opening its doors to feed and fete every soldier on the festive day.
That gives me some warm and fuzzies. It’s so typically New West.