In 1940, Reuben Huva got a job at
Vancouver’s shipyards. His bosses told him
the job was part of the war effort. In fact,
some freighters were bound for England
with cargo. But, Reuben wanted to serve
directly. Eventually, he joined the Royal
Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and was posted
to B.C.’s Sea Island and Jericho Beach
stations. He was part of a crew that flew
cargo to domestic RCAF bases.
To Reuben, the war years weren’t about
thinking of your future but humanity’s. “It
was essential service, helping the country,”
he says. “We were going to win the war, and
it would be a better world.”
Upon finishing her formal education at
Frances Smith of Devonshire, England
wondered what to do next. The Second World
War hadn’t yet started, but she felt it was
around the corner.
She joined the women’s branch of the British
Army, the Auxiliary Territorial Service, serving in
the Royal Corps of Signals. This area provided
combat support through communications
and information systems. Part of her job was
reporting troop movements. “It was all a
learning experience, a real continuation of my
schooling,” Frances says. “You learned how to
connect with others, and at the same time you
were learning about peace.”
A Better World Life Lessons
Reuben Huva, Hollyburn House
West Vancouver, B.C.
Frances Smith, The Edgemont,
Calgary, Alta.