Oshawa WWII veteran volunteers at Ontario Regiment Museum
Next September will mark 80 years since the start of the Second World War.
And as the years go on, the number of veterans who served in that war are continuing to dwindle.
But that hasn’t stopped one Oshawa vet, who continues to educate the public about Canada’s past.
At 94 years old, Don White says he rarely sits down and flips through photos.
In 1944, at the age of 18, he went overseas to serve during the Second World War.
He has an album full of pictures and memories from that time in his life.
A time few now remember first-hand.
But White is able to share those experiences with others at his volunteer job.
He guides tours at the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum in Oshawa, twice a week.
“It gives me a great deal of satisfaction being able to impart some of the things that happened. The only problem I have sometimes is, I don’t want to glorify it. I don’t want people to think I’m the only one that did it because I was only one little guy amongst thousands that were there doing the same thing,” said White, a Second World War veteran.
He’s been guiding tours at the museum for the past 20 years, offering his knowledge to people young and old, including a group of cub scouts.
“I enjoy the fact that the kids seem to be interested in learning things and if I can impart a little bit of stories here and there that helps them kind of realize what things are, that makes me feel good too,” said White.
“It’s an amazing connection to our history, as a Canadian Armed Forces museum, having a serving veteran of the Second World War here to tell the stories to really make that personal connection with us and then share that with our visitors, that’s exceptionally rare today,” said Jeremy Blowers, Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum executive director.
White is the last one still alive from his Royal Canadian Dragoon troop.
Two weeks ago, White was thanked and honoured by the prime minister of the Netherlands for helping liberate his country from Nazi occupation.
While there are stories he doesn’t like to share, he’s grateful when people take interest in his life, and the lives of others who have served.
“This is kind of a godsend for me, so I can keep going,” said White.
White plans to continue volunteering at the Ontario Regiment Museum as long as his health allows him.
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