Lest We Forget
This year in honour of Remembrance Day, the Recreation & Leisure staff at the Lodge reached out to the teachers at Kinnwood elementary school in Forest to invite students to participate in a poppy art project. Several classrooms wanted to get involved and sent over dozens of poppies to the Lodge. Veteran Alex Sparenburg was touched by all the poppies made by the students and displayed in the halls and sat down to talk to the Recreation & Leisure staff about his military experience and his memories of World War 2.
Alex was born in Brussels, Belgium on July 27, 1931. His family moved north toward Holland to a small farming community. They had a farm and when the Germans invaded Belgium, his parents had to go out and do what they could to put food on the table. Alex stayed home to care for his grandfather and 3 younger siblings. His family immigrated to Canada in 1951.
Alex enlisted in the Canadian Army when he was 27 years old. He did 3 years of active service where he was stationed in Ipperwash and did a lot of training up in Algonquin Park. After that he spent a year as a soldier in the reserves, which meant he was only away from home for a week at a time. Alex had planned to go to overseas as part of the Occupation force, however his new wife had a farm and did not want to leave Canada, so he stayed home to be with her. Alex said he never had to fire a shot during his time in the army but was trained on all the equipment and weapons for combat to be prepared for anything. After leaving the army, he and his wife bought a farm near Grand Bend and raised their family there. Alex was a mechanic by trade and loves motorcycles, airplanes and war history.
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