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The Age of the Zoot Suiters

Heroes Remember

The Age of the Zoot Suiters

Well we were attached to the land, land ship, HMCS Star in Hamilton. That was our group from Guelph was attached to that and we were told to report to Hamilton and be ready for duty at sea, and that was it. We got, they put us on the train and sent us to Halifax. Hadn't been away, like I said earlier, it was a big day if you got to Toronto from Walkerton, in my growing up years. So this was a big step, and father said "Just keep your chin up, you'll be alright." The one good thing about it was, I was with people I knew, on board the train of course and of course we did the usual things on the way down. We were in uniform of course and we stopped in Montreal and I remember the officer in charge said "You guys don't go up the street alone in Montreal. You go in a bunch, just don't go alone." This was the age of the Zoot Suiters and we only had, we had one French Canadian in our unit and Frenchy, knew a girl in Montreal so he had to go and see her. So he went up street alone and there were three of us got off the train and went up street and it was just in front of the Forum, there were three or four, about four of these Zoot Suiters had Frenchy down kicking the whale out of him and cause he was in uniform and this was exactly what the captain had said, don't do that. So we went to his rescue and it was a good fight and one of the Zoot Suiters got his back broken, I don't know how that happened, but anyway, he must have fallen on the curb or something, and it wasn't long we're in the patty wagon. We're off to jail and I can remember the old man coming to bail us out, he said "These guys are going to sea. There's a ship waiting on them and you people don't seem to know it, but there is a war on now." And he was rather nasty I thought, with the police in Montreal. So we were released to him, his care and continued on down to Halifax.

Mr. Fisk describes his call up and a clash with Zoot Suiters in Montreal.

Kenneth Fisk

Mr. Fisk was born in Walkerton, Ontario, in 1926. His parents, despite the depression, both worked; his mother as an RN, and his father as a fruit farmer on their small rural farm. Unable to convince his dad to authorize his early enlistment, Mr. Fisk was forced to wait until late 1945 before he saw active service. His relatively short career was spent in the Gulf of St. Lawrence aboard the mine sweeper HMCS New Liskeard. He returned home to Ontario in late 1946 when sweeping for stray mines ended. He now resides in Harriston, Ontario, and remains a proud member of his local Royal Canadian Legion.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Kenneth Fisk
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North Atlantic
HMCS New Liskeard
Ordinary Seaman
Deck Crew

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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