For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
LEAKE, Douglas - of West Bench Drive, and of Sun Village Retirement Center, passed away at Moog House on December 13, 2014. His ship reached the far shore and docked very peacefully. He is survived by his wife Clara, two sisters, Doris Brooke and Joan Potter, and his sons and their families, Colin and Heather Leake, and Kelvin and Jan Leake, four grandchildren, Sarah, Megan, Amber, and Cassandra, and two great-grandchildren Emma and Gwendolyn. Doug was born October 9,1924, near Alesbury, Saskatchewan. His family moved to Oliver, B.C. in 1937. Doug joined the Navy in August 1944 and was assigned to the frigate HMCS Matane, crossing the Atlantic supporting many merchant ships. He was a long standing member of the Canadian Legion. Doug was a scout master, and played the drums in many dance bands throughout his life. He enjoyed his long employment with the Federal Department of Agriculture, retiring to care for his first wife Lois Eileen who was faced with a diagnosis of cancer. Doug will be interred in the Oliver Cemetery in the spring. The service to be held in April. He is sorely missed. (The Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group 26 Dec 2014)
My father's memories of Matane: Douglas was a steward on HMCS MATANE. His action station position was in the bowels of the ship, passing up shells into a conveyor system to the deck guns. There was much talk among his fellows about how many would manage to climb up to the deck on the skinny ladder they regarded as their only escape if they took a serious hit. He had great joy in his memories of his service on Matane intermingled with powerful negative memories of hanging over the rail, in a contest between the sea and his stomach. He was on Matane when she was dispatched to accept the surrender of German submarines at the end of the war. He managed to get a boarding party tour of one. He often remarked about the stale stench of men who spent months in a very small space.
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