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Heroes Remember

Interviewer: Is there a brotherhood or a bond between you men? Oh yes, oh definitely, oh yes. We appreciate each other when we meet once a year and it's always a pleasure to meet one another, yes. Interviewer: Are you proud of the service that you and your comrades gave to Canada? Very proud, yes sir. Very proud. And I feel privileged to have been used, as I say, for the freedom that we know today. I'm a happy to man to, I know what is freedom you know. Interviewer: Is it important to you that other Canadians come to understand and appreciate what you men went through? It is hope so, I hope so. Because a person who has everything does not appreciate the things he has. I think in order to appreciate something we have to suffer a bit. It's like earning our salary, we have to work to earn it. When we have the money in our hand, we are proud and happy to have gained it, earn it. So it's the same thing I think in life. People should know, should know what suffering it is when there is a war and that they should do everything not to have any war.

Mr. Castonguay recalls the brotherhood he shared with his comrades. He feels Canadians must try harder to understand what sacrifices these men made and the suffering they experienced.

Bernard Castonguay

Bernard Castonguay was born in Montreal, Quebec on February 9, 1921. He was the fourth of eleven children. His father worked for CPR as a seam fitter. Mr. Castonguay left home at the age of sixteen to look for adventure. He worked as a lumberjack and on the railways. Unable to find work in 1940, Mr. Castonguay went to Quebec City and joined the Royal Rifles of Canada. He was then shipped to Gander, Newfoundland where he worked as a signalman and sentry. Afterwards, he went to St. John, NB. While in Hong Kong, Mr. Castonguay was captured by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp (Omeni) in Nagasaki, Japan to work in a coal mine. After his service, Mr. Castonguay worked with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) later becoming the Regional Director of CNIB. He also volunteered and worked with the Canadian Council for the Blind.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bernard Castonguay
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Rifles of Canada

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