Reunion - 26/7/42

- Vol.18/1942/No.8-Aug. p.8 – “Heading the Powell River service parade was the London reunion of local overseas men, at the Canadian Beaver Club, on July 26th. Through the initiative of LAC “Tish” Schon, this affair brought 72 Powell River boys of all ranks and services together in London, for what all describe as an outstanding day in their lives. The boys marched through London as a disciplined body, visiting Westminster Abbey and other historical spots, and returned to the Beaver Club for a special banquet, at which the Agent General for BC, and other notables, were present. This is the first known instance of an organized get-together of men from any one district in Canada during this war. Powell River has pioneered the home town reunion in the Canadian overseas forces. The reunion was featured in the papers and on the radio.”
- Vol.18/1942/No.8-Aug. p.15 – “Scores of letters are now coming in from the boys overseas, telling of the wonderful time they had at this historic gathering in London on July 26. They tell the story of Corp. Joe Graham and a couple of pals walking into a London pub that night. Joe shouted out at the top of voice, “Powell River ‘’Shun”-and half the population of the pub shouted “Here!”
- Vol.18/1942/No.9-Sep. p.4/5/6 – “The pictures on this page are historic. They were taken at the Canadian Beaver Hut in London, and show seventy-one Powell River boys, collected on one spot and at one hour. This reunion of Powell River boys in the overseas forces is unique in the history of war. To our knowledge, it is the first organized reunion of any group from a special area. The boys were representative of all branches of the service, and came from widely scattered military areas. The idea of a Powell River overseas reunion was originated by Corp. “Tish” Schon, RCAF, former local business man. Corp. Schon contacted Canadian officials in London, interviewed the staff at the Beaver Club, and arranged for special entertainment. The Powell River Company was privileged to assit Corp. Schon in this historic gathering. The Company sent airmail letters to commanding officers of overseas units, asking for co-operation in arranging leave for Powell River boys in the unit. In each case this co-operation was unreservedly given, and the Company wishes to take the opportunity of thanking the officers commanding the First Seaforths, the First Battalion, Canadian Scottish, the New Westminster Regiment, for their personal assistance in arranging necessary leave for Powell River boys in their battalions. Their sympathetic co-operation along with that of many squadron leaders and unit commanders, was largely responsible for the wonderful success of the London reunion. Acting in co-operation with Corp. Schon, the company contacted every individual Powell Riverite overseas, and the response was amazing. Every local lad who could possibly leave his unit was there, and many others, tied up in operational duties or too far away to make the trip, sent in letters and telegrams of regret. Of the Powell River men stationed in England, all but a few were present. In addition, Jack Grundle came down from Scotland, and Bruce Patterson travelled from Ireland. Sergt.-Pilot Martin Naylor arrived late in the afternoon,
apologizing because he had spent the night in hospital after being shot down over the Channel the day before. Scores of letters from the boys telling of the reunion have poured in. One and all consider it a red letter day in their lives. “We resumed,” said Corp. Joe Graham, “the old arguments we started three years ago!” “It was a grand day,” Pilot Officer Jock Kyles writes. “It looked like Powell River had taken over London for the day – and they just about did that.” “Thanks for getting us to know about the reunion,” says Gunner Howard Rowe. “It was the first time since my arrival in England in 1939 that I have met any of the old gang. It was the best thing that has happened to me over here.” And so they talked, as scores of local boys pumped each others hands, swapped gossip of the home town, and visited most of the famous spots of London, including the “pubs”. At the Beaver Club banquet, Corp. Schon received the well deserved thanks of the boys for his efforts. Later in the week, Corp. Schon was given a special seven-minute broadcast over the CBC, which was heard by almost everyone in Powell River. Present at the Beaver Club Banquet were Mr. McAdam, Agent-General for British Columbia, and A.C. Cummings of the Canadian Press, who wrote a special despatch on the reunion. The Powell River get-together, as suggested, is unique in the history of this war. Powell River is the first community in Canada to arrange an organized reunion of its sons overseas. The thanks of the residents of Powell River are due to Corp. “Tish” Schon for suggesting and organizing the overseas entertainment - an undertaking in which the Powell River Company was proud to have a share.”
- Vol.18/1942/No.9-Sep. p.23 – When the Powell River boys of the Canadian Scottish left for Debert Camp, in Eastern Canada, they carried with them a Powell River emblem, made by the ladies of Powell River. This emblem was used in group pictures in the east, and when the regiment sailed for overseas the flag was taken along. And when the boys gathered at the Beaver Hut, the Scotish lads had the forethought to take the much cherished emblem along. So in the reunion pictures, the ladies of Powell River are seeing the old emblem they sent away with the boys. This is now in the custody of Corp. Schon, and is being returned to Powell River for safe keeping.”
- Jul/46, p.4 – (photo caption) “Under the inspiration of Flying Officer Trish Scion, and with the co-operation of the Powell River Company, the Canadian Legion, and residents at home, Powell River personnel staged two successful Overseas reunions at the Beaver Club, in London. Above, (photos) the two groups at the first reunion, held on July 26, 1942.” (also see below - Vol.19/1943/No.3-Mar. p.8)
- Vol.18/1942/No.9-Sep. p.24 – “The overseas organization of the Beaver Club reunion, which has been detailed in these pages, was handled by Corp. L.A. “Tish” Schon, RCAF. “Tish” was the originator of the idea, and has received the thanks of all the boys for the splendid manner in which he carried out all arrangements. He was a busy man. He interviewed Beaver Club officials, saw the BC representatives in London, arranged for special entertainment, and for about two months all his spare time was spent on this one project. “Tish” must be as we are gratified with the outcome of his efforts-and we take this opportunity, on behalf of all the residents of Powel River and district, of publicly expressing to Corp. Schon out appreciation and thanks.”
- Vol.19/1943/No.3-Mar. p.8 – “In the late sunner of 1941, the First Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment, started the first leg of its overseas voyage by journeying across Canada to Debert, Nova Scotia. Before the battalion left, members of the Lukin Johnston Chapter IODE presented the Powell River members of that famous outfit with a special Powell River emblem. The emblem stayed with the boys at Debert. When the battalion went overseas, the flag was carried along, and when seventy-five Powell River boys came together for a historic reunuion in London in July, 1942, the IODE emblem was in the forefront of the picture. Following the London reunion, the emblem was sent back to Powell River and turned over for safe-keeping to the Lukin Johnston Chapter.”