Nov. 10, 2006
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new exhibit that tells the story of war brides and their contribution to New Brunswick will be opened today at the York Sunbury Museum on the eve of Remembrance Day. Premier Shawn Graham, also Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport, and Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister T.J. Burke will participate in the event.
"During the Second World War, thousands of young women left their homes and families to begin a new life here in New Brunswick. Over the past 60 years, they have raised families, built homes and made innumerable contributions to New Brunswick," Graham said. "It is a pleasure to attend the opening of this new exhibit that commemorates the importance of war brides to our great province."
Nearly one year ago, Burke introduced a motion in the New Brunswick Legislature declaring 2006 the Year of the War Bride, making New Brunswick the first province to do so.
"As the Year of the War Bride comes to an end, this is a wonderful way to ensure that their stories, contributions and influence are both recognized and remembered," Burke said. "It is a part of history that has been relatively unrecognized for far too long. I am proud to be able to publicly honour the life of my grandmother, and other war brides like her, through this exhibit."
The exhibit celebrates the 60th anniversary of the war brides in Canada. Between 1942 and 1948, nearly 44,000 women immigrated to Canada as 'war brides'. They brought with them 21,000 children. Of these, an estimated 3,000 war brides and their children came to New Brunswick, including Jean Keegan of Coulson, Surrey, England. She married Burke's grandfather, Sapper Charles Paul, of the Carleton York Regiment during the Second World War. She came to Canada in May 1946, on board the SS Aquitania, destined for her husband's family on the Tobique Indian Reserve.
The exhibit will trace the war bride experience, from meeting Canadians overseas, to the marriages that followed, the trans-Atlantic journey and their adaptation to life in New Brunswick.
It is made possible through the generosity of Cindy Gaffney, the daughter of Jean and Charlie Paul, and by Burke, her son.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Alison Aiton, communications, Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445; Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Justice and Consumer Affairs, 506-453-6543.