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Arriving in Egypt

Heroes Remember

First arrived it's all desert. It's hot. There's very strong customs. There's different tribes or warring and it's my first UN experience where the two parties that had been warring have been separated by X number of miles and we have to sit in the middle. And being a volunteer service, the Canadians are very good at that. They're very good at doing the diplomatic talking. They aren't carrying the baggage from other wars and you can't take sides. You have to listen to both sides and regardless what you may or may not think, you must remain neutral. Some parts of the Sinai Peninsula it goes up to 140 degrees. It's sandy. It's sort of consistent day after day of sunshine, yet you can get a shower and get wet and dry in a five minute walk. But all in all, it's a poor area for the population except in the local villages with a lot of bartering and trade from far countries in between. The war started between Israel and Egypt and they went across the Sinai and then they took part of the Sinai as they came back. And the strip is 30 miles wide by 12, or, yeah 30 miles long by 12 miles wide and at that time there was around 185,000, now there's over two million living there.

Mr. Gourlay speaks about his first impressions of Egypt and UN presence.

Ronald Gourlay

Mr. Ronald Gourlay was born in Dundee, Scotland on March 21, 1939. Growing up during the Second World War enforced the desire of wanting to be a part of the military. After moving to New Brunswick, Canada, in 1956, Mr. Gourlay first joined the Royal Canadian Army Service Corp. He travelled to Camp Borden to obtain training and after six months took on a trade in transport. Mr. Gourlay’s military service took him to Germany from 1957 to 1959, Egypt from 1960 to 1963, Cyprus from 1963 to 1965 and again in 1971. In 1983, Mr. Gourlay retired from the military. During his military career he travelled to 34 countries in 27 years. Mr. Gourlay speaks to youth about his experiences and has great pride for the service provided by his regiment.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ronald Gourlay
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

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