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Living Conditions at Two Extremes

Heroes Remember

Living Conditions at Two Extremes

There was a particular barracks which, in which the men lived. The females, they had a separate barracks. It was known as “bra-bat”, you know. It was like a long building with cubicles, large rooms and the bed, very sparse surroundings, you know, and something for you to hang your clothes. The basics, you know, washer and you know, toilet facilities and so on and that was it, you know. And when you got there, you knew that was going to be your home for six months. So like everybody else, I had a calendar on the wall and struck off every day, you know, and that helped the time to pass. And each one of us had an Egyptian who took care of the rooms and did everything, of course you gave them a stipend and they were quite happy because our money was worth quite a lot to them, you know. The camp, the building where we lived was at the edge of a camp. So we were just a few feet away from barbed wire, but we could look across, just nearby was a river called the Sweet Water Canal and the Egyptians lived on the other side of the canal. So these were the poor, this was the poorer section of town, you see, but they were close enough that we could shout to them and hail out, you know and from time to time we would go over to the other side and carry gifts for them because they were very, very poor. But we've also seen the rich side of Ismailia where people like President Sadat lived, he had a villa there. And they lived in some very fanciful houses with palm trees and all that, you know. And In colonial times those was where the British lived, you know. So within a few minutes, we could see two extremes.

Dr. Blizzard describes his barracks in Somalia and how in the near distance witnessed civilians living in two extremes - poverty and wealth!

Dr. Stephen Blizzard

Dr. Stephen Blizzard was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1928. His father was the principal of a primary school during his childhood. Dr. Blizzard left Trinidad in 1948. He received a scholarship to attend high school and graduated in 1953 from a school in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1958 he came to Canada. In 1959, he attended university with the Reserve Training Plan in Ontario attending medical school and in 1963 graduated in medicine and chose to intern at the Ottawa Citizen Hospital and resident in surgery at the National Defence Medical Centre. He spent two years as Senior Medical Officer at Rockcliffe base then was posted to Moosejaw where he had medical training and training to fly jets. On December 13, 1968 he obtained his wings. Following this, Dr. Blizzard was posted to the RCAF Institute of Aviation Medicine. Afer returning to Trinidad for six years, Dr. Blizzard then came back to Canada in 1976. With 16 years of military service, Dr. Blizzard continued on his career path and was employed with the Department of Civil Aviation Medicine holding many positions, one being senior official on the aviation medical review board for 12 years. Dr. Blizzard contributes much of his military career training to his success in life.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Dr. Stephen Blizzard
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Air Force
Aviation Medicine

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