It is at this time of year that my thoughts return to a Christmas past. I remember my first Christmas in Canada in 1964 and how different it was from my homeland of Ireland. The biggest difference I recall was the size of the family Christmas tree. In Belfast our tree was usually just big enough to set on a table in the front window. I was awed as a child seeing the glow of many coloured lights blinking and flashing in the windows as I walked up my street. Now in Canada in 1964 I see decorations on front lawns, houses outlined in hundreds of lights. Huge trees in living rooms, they reach from the floor to the ceiling loaded with so many sparkling decorations and tinsel. Christmas carols and music floating in the air outside the busy snow covered sidewalks as shoppers dash in and out of stores filled with Christmas fare. It was probably one of the most compelling reasons for my desire to return to Canada and make it my home after I left the Navy. I fulfilled that dream on the 18th January 1967 when I stepped of the Cunard liner at Pier 21 in Halifax. Wonderful memories of a time now gone forever. However, I do have one small reminder of that Christmas long ago, a Christmas card printed for the crew of the submarine Alcide. On the front is the Alcide ships crest, inside a photo of the boat on the surface with a tall ship in the background. For those wondering why I refer to the submarine as a boat, it is not detrimental but rather the proper term when referring a submarine. Merry Christmas everyone and a wonderful New Year.
God Bless and keep reading.