The submarine Alcide arrived alongside in Halifax on the 18th January 1964, and for many of the married crew members the next few weeks would be hectic. Wives and families were scheduled to arrive in mid march via the Cunard line. In the meantime we had to find an apartment that one could afford and next find furniture to fill it . A tall order considering we also spent a good deal of that time at sea. Usually we only had weekends in which to find suitable and affordable accommodations. The advantage with so many seeking the same things, was many bargains were uncovered. Two in particular that answered most of our needs were Lakefront Apts and Glubes Furniture Store. The Lakefront apts were ideal with a rent of $100 per month for a one bedroom. For us used to so much less back in the UK these apts were luxury indeed. Hard wood floors throughout,a full bath and shower with endless hot water, and a kitchen complete with fridge and stove an ironing board that folded out of the wall, a white wall phone in the kitchen and a black handset in the living room. In the basement was a coin operated laundry room. Wow!!most of us had never owned a fridge, telephone, bath and certainly not hot water. Central heating was also a new luxury, and the cost of heat was included in the rent. Furniture should have been next on my list of priorities but instead I bought a 1956 Chev Belaire auto, rusty but still probably the nicest and newest vehicle I ever owned. I had to ask the salesman how one drove an automatic, first one I’d ever seen??? Once I had wheels getting around was much easier in my search for furniture. A shipmate discovered a small hole in the wall furniture shop in a side street in downtown Dartmouth, The Glubes store sold complete packages of furniture. A one bedroom apt deal cost $300. Wow this was great, still expensive on my meager income but affordable. I purchased the one bedroom package which included delivery. My Lakefront apt still looked rather bare but at least the essentials had been taken care of. My purchase included a sofa and easy chair,coffee table and two end tables, in the kitchen a chrome set and the bedroom a double bed with bookcase headboard, and a dresser with mirror. It was a start that most of my shipmates also took and to which wives could add small touches like curtains, lamps and carpets later. Looking back these many years later, I can say I became established in Canada in 1964 for a total of $500, I had a home, furniture and a car. Quite amazing and a big improvement from the dingy bedsitters with neither heat or hot water found in the back streets of Portsmouth that most married sailors were forced to rent in those times.
Gone are the days!!!!!
God Bless and keep reading