World Tuberculosis Day

In recognition of 2015’s World Tuberculosis Day, a salute to the doctors, nurses, scientists and caregivers who work every day to defeat this ancient and persistent disease.

Robillard Collection.

Seventy-five years ago

Seventy-five years ago on April 9, 1940, Hitler stunned the world by attacking Norway. After a few weeks’ battle, German military might prevailed and the German invaders occupied Norway — an occupation that would last throughout World War II.

Norway’s King and government fled to England, vowing to continue to fight the Nazis and regain their homeland. To rebuild the Royal Norwegian Air Force, arrangements were made with Canada for the establishment of a training base for Norwegian aircrews here. “Little Norway” was built first at the foot of Bathurst Street in Toronto. In 1943, Little Norway moved to Muskoka Airport near Gravenhurst.

After their Canadian training, the Norwegians air crews returned overseas to fly with the British Royal Air Force, proving to be flying aces and helping to bring about the eventual Allied victory.

Canadians opened their homes and hearts to the Norwegians while they were at Little Norway and many of those friendships lasted a lifetime. Visit the wonderful Little Norway Memorial at Muskoka Airport, Gravenhurst, for lots more information about this fascinating part of Canadian and Norwegian history.

Visiting Oslo

Visiting Oslo, Norway this past August, we came across a statue of the late Captain Gunnar Sønsteby. Captain Sønsteby was a leading member of the Norwegian Resistance during Germany’s occupation of Norway in World War II. He was involved in many daring acts of sabotage and went by many aliases — the Nazis hunted him doggedly — but he was not captured. After the war, Captain Sønsteby was highly decorated, receiving more honours for his Resistance work than did any other Norwegian citizen. He passed away in 2012 at age 94.

Gunnar Sønsteby, Oslo, Norway. An admirer had placed a rose behind the statue’s ear.