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Our Past is your Present!

We are a non-profit organization focused on promoting, preserving, and being a strong, active resource for all things of heritage value on Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia. Join us to learn about the history of Sea Island and its residents, past and present.


Veteran Stories Project

RCAF memorial plaque on Sea Island


This project emerged from questions we asked each other about the military life of our parents on Sea Island. Our parents didn’t like to talk about it and now, sadly, many have passed. Finding a few photos of a parent in uniform and government documents that welcomed or released them from the military service helped us to realize these were important heritage stories to record and preserve.

At first, a few Sea Island Heritage Society volunteers researched and wrote their veteran parent’s story. Now, we encourage families to write their veteran’s story and we want to help.

Write Your Veteran Story

Consider adding your veteran story to the SIHS Collection. The story can be any length and include any number of photos or images, especially of the veteran in uniform, their logbooks, postcards, or military documents that give life to their story.The original story will be archived in the Collection. We may edit for publishing in our newsletter, but edits would be done with your permission and approval. Contact Eunice Robinson at eunice@genbug.ca or Marylin Low at seaisland20@gmail.com for assistance.

List of some of the Veteran Stories Completed

We reaffirmed that after WWII, Wartime Housing Ltd. sold homes in the subdivisions of Burkeville and Cora Brown to returning servicemen and their young families. Burkeville homes became available when the Boeing Aircraft Canada Ltd. plant closed on Sea Island in 1945. Cora Brown homes became available towards the end of 1946. The veterans who chose to raise their families on Sea Island share a common experience. They all served in the Canadian military as members of either the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

Here is a list of the WWII Veteran Stories we have collected so far.

Sea Island Veterans Canadian Armed Forces Years Served
Bowman, Gerald Hunt (Leading Aircraftman, LAC) Royal Canadian Air Force 1941-1945
Eastman, Norman D. "Norm" (Flight Lieutenant) Royal Canadian Air Force 1939-1945
Etches, James Edward "Jim" (Staff Sergeant) Canadian Army 1939-1946
Hamalock, James William "Jim" (Signaler) Canadian Army 1943-1946
Hollingshead, Frederick Norman "Fred" (Pilot Officer) Royal Canadian Air Force 1943-1946
McClellan, Alexander Greenway "Mac" (Corporal) Royal Canadian Air Force 1942-1945
Meneice, Howard Robert Samuel (Sergeant) Canadian Army 1941-1946
Oliver, Henry Edward Robert "Hank" Royal Canadian Air Force
Thomas, Roy Daryl Royal Canadian Air Force 1940-?

Excerpts from Veteran Stories

Here are excerpts and photos from a few of the veteran stories in the Society's Collection.

RCAF Flight Lieutenant Norman David Eastman

RCAF Flight Lieutenant Norman David Eastman
(Sherri Eastman)

Eastman, Norman David (Flight Lieutenant)

Doug Eastman noted in the story that his Dad, Norm Eastman, volunteered for RCAF service in Toronto in 1939. He was posted to Western Air Command, Vancouver in administration, later doing duties in Bella Bella, Tofino, and Boundary Bay before going to the United Kingdom with RCAF No. 6 Group Bomber Command. Norm's repatriation and honourable discharge in December 1945 reunited him on Sea Island with his wife, Irene and their three boys, Gordie, Dave and Doug in a new house on Boeing Avenue, Burkeville that "Rene" had rented from Wartime Housing Ltd.

Canadian Army signaler James Jim William Hamalock

Canadian Army Signaler James "Jim" William Hamalock
(Eunice Robinson)

Hamalock, James "Jim" William (Signaler)

Eunice Hamalock Robinson shared that her Dad enlisted in the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) Army in 1943. After basic training, he was shipped overseas. He was one of those who took part in “D” Day on Juno Beach and a member of the SDG (Stormont Dundas Glengarry Highlanders) as a regimental signaler. He was discharged in Regina, Saskatchewan on March 12, 1946 after receiving the 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp. In December 1946, he and his wife Bess moved into their home at 129 Myron Drive, in the Cora Brown subdivision on Sea Island. Their four children were born while living there. Jim and Bess were expropriated in 1974, and relocated to No. 3 Road and Steveston Highway in Richmond.

RCAF Corporal Alexander Greenway McClellan

RCAF Corporal Alexander "Mac" Greenway McClellan
(Dick McClellan)

McClellan, Alexander "Mac" Greenway (Corporal)

Dick McClellan shared that his dad, Mac McClellan, joined the RCAF on July 23, 1942, for a term of voluntary active duty as a Corporal, radio equipment operator, at RCAF Sea Island. He flew on reconnaissance missions 200 miles out over the Pacific (considered overseas) and was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal upon his completion of his term of active duty on September 22, 1945. In 1947, with his wife, Isabelle, and young son, Dick, they moved into their home at 127 Myron Drive in the Cora Brown subdivision. Marylin was born two years later. They stayed in Cora Brown until expropriated in 1968.

Canadian Army Sergeant Howard Robert Samuel Meneice

Canadian Army Sergeant Howard Robert Samuel Meneice
(Marion Menzies)

Meneice, Howard Robert Samuel (Sergeant)

Marion Meneice Menzies shared that her father was a member of the RCEME (Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). While training on Vancouver Island, he and other members of his unit were extras in the movie “Commando Strikes at Dawn”. On June 7, 1944, he saw action arriving on the Normandy Beach for the second day of the “D” Day invasion. He met his future bride in Holland. He was discharged on July 3, 1946. After returning home, Howard, Marie and baby daughter Marion lived in the Hotel Vancouver until they were able to move into their home at 137 Myron Drive, in the Cora Brown subdivision, in early 1947. Four more children were born while living there. When Howard and Marie were expropriated, they moved their house over to Gabriola Island.