News

Writer’s parents started married life at Deni base

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February 13, 2018

Colin and Ellen ‘Pat’ Munro on their wedding day in Vancouver, Canada in November 1944.

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‘‘My mother was in the Canadian Air Force and my father was stationed at a RAAF base in Canada during 1944 as an instructor.

‘‘When he was posted to Deniliquin, my mother went AWOL (absent without leave) so they could marry in Vancouver on November 23, 1944.

‘‘My father returned to Australia during 1945, and was based at Deniliquin from June to September of that year.

‘‘My mother came later on a ‘bride ship’ from Canada over May and June 1945. My father had no idea when she would arrive — because of the submarines there had to be complete radio silence until just a few days before.

‘‘He and his brother, who also married a Canadian woman, took a boat to motor out to meet the ship in Sydney heads and greet their wives.

‘‘My parents’ married life then began in Deniliquin.’’

Mr Munro said his parents lived in a home known as ‘Glassonby’, in Edwardes St, Deniliquin — which would have been between George St and Cressy St, where government buildings now stand.

‘‘My mother always said being in Deniliquin was one of the happiest times of her life,’’ Mr Munro said.

The Munros are believed to have stayed in Deniliquin at least until the end of 1945.

During his trip to Deniliquin, which started Friday, Mr Munro met with local historian Betty Matthews who is writing a book on the Deniliquin RAAF base, called ‘Challenging Times’ and expected to be published this November.

He also met with Deniliquin’s Gordon Kilpatrick, whose mother Kitty Kilpatrick was the hostess at the Air Force boarding house in Wellington St, Deniliquin.

While he was away at college during the war, Mr Kilpatrick said he does have some memories of spending one of his school holidays with his mother at the house.

He remembered it being ‘‘full of airmen’’ for the better part of each day, but he said he was ‘‘too shy’’ to interact with any of the pilots.

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