Sunday, January 13, 2008

NOT Serni’s Forest ~

NOT Serni’s Forest ~

THERE ARE no tanks in Serni’s forest.

And there are A LOT of tanks here! From around the world. From WW I, to the present.


Major-General F.F. Worthington Memorial Park.

CFB Borden.

Worthington, “Worthy”, “FF” was Canada’s “General Patton”.

Shortly after WW I, F.F. became convinced that ARMOUR was the way to go for the Royal Canadian Army.

And he wouldn’t shut up about it.

So, finally, in 1936, F.F. was commanded to set up, organize, and command the Canadian Tank School at London, Ontario. Within two short years the whole facility was moved to Camp Borden, near Angus, Ontario. The CANADIAN ARMY needed to scale-up… as the threat to the Commonwealth, now poised by Herr Hitler and his relentless Nazism was quickly emerging on the British horizon.

So… a second command came to FF in 1940.

This time he was ordered to organize, command and TAKE OVERSEAS the 1st Army Tank Brigade and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. No small feat, but Worthy rose to the occasion.

By 1944, FF was back at Camp Borden overseeing multitudinous base operations.

And when FF, the “Father of the Canadian Armoured Corps” died in 1967 he returned to Camp Borden one last time. To be buried.

His wife eventually joined him there.

Major-General Worthington Memorial Park, where FF and his lifelong love are entombed is indeed consecrated ground, and DND describes it as “a place for quiet reflection”.

Worthy’s son is the notable newspaper journalist, and founding editor of the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington.

The WAR YEARS were heady days both for Major-General Worthington and my dad. One man was capping off a career, another, only beginning.

On a personal note… when I was 17, my dad took me to see the legendary Camp Borden.

It’s where he initially trained when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, way back in 1938. And so, in the late 70s, with his mind starting to fail from that affliction of Alzheimer’s, a father quietly returns, to places known, and significant, wanting to share his past with a son… while there was still time.

CAMP BORDEN will always be a wondrous, and enchanted place for me.

In 2008,

PEACE ON EARTH!! To All People of Good Will!!

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