By Doris E Rufli
Marg Huber was not old enough to join the Second World War. However, her uncle Bill Armstrong served as a Corporal in the Royal Canadian Air Force, while her father Frank Armstrong only made it as far as Winnipeg.
Her grandfather John Armstrong joined the British forces in the Boer Wars while still living in England (Oldham/Lancashire). He and his family subsequently immigrated to Canada in 1911 and settled in Saskatchewan.
Despite her young age, Marg contributed to the war effort. In Grade 4, she and her classmates – mainly girls but some boys joined in – knitted squares that their mothers stitched together to make blankets. Those were then donated to the Red Cross.
Marg also collected animal bones for glue at a nearby slaughterhouse and scrap metal for airplane manufacture.
When she was 13 years old, Marg received an award for her endeavors, usually bestowed upon children during the Second World War.
She also remembers visiting the meat market to procure ground beef with ration book coupons and meeting the brother of a neighbour who had been in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp. Marg says she recalls he looked like “paste” and took a long time to recover, but eventually married and had a family of his own.
Her natural talent for, and love of, music was rewarded with piano lessons by a British organ teacher, who told her after just six weeks’ training that all she now needed to do was practice.
Marg’s first performance in public was at her piano teacher’s interment, a full Legion funeral, as per his request. She was 16 years old.
In 1973, Marg settled in her homestead along Bradley Creek, having moved to British Columbia in 1960.
In 1977, she joined the Forest Grove Ladies Auxiliary (LA) of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 261 – the “extended arm” and support of the Legion. She faithfully carried out various duties, including president, secretary/treasurer and being in charge of entertainment.
She has also been playing the piano at the Forest Grove Elementary School for more than 30 years, performs with the Cariboo Cascade Ramblers and forms part of the Remembrance Day service in Legion Park.
Doris E Rufli is the Forest Grove correspondent.