Joannes Bernaski
Josephine Ries

Henry Michael Bernaski


Family Links

Alva Ilene Douglas

Henry Michael Bernaski 2,48,112

  • Born: 4 Mar 1915, Regina, , Saskatchewan, Canada 2,48,115
  • Christened: 21 Mar 1915, Regina, , Saskatchewan, Canada 115
  • Marriage: Alva Ilene Douglas on 1 Jun 1942 in Red Deer, , Alberta, Canada 2,48
  • Died: 18 Apr 2014 at age 99 24,115,162
  • Buried: Apr 2014, Souris, , Manitoba, Canada 24,115

bullet   Another name for Henry was Hank.2


bullet  General Notes:

The following was provided by Kim Mills...

Hank was a maintenance, all-around handy-man. Hank and Alva have lived in Souris as long as I have known them. I remember spending many hours in their home when I was young playing with Mona. Hank was the bus driver and janitor at Souris Public School and was also very good at carpentry. Alva worked in the post office. At one time Mona worked for the Royal Bank in Souris. 2,48

bullet  Christening Notes:

at St. Mary's Church


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Alt. Birth, 3 Mar 1915. 24 as shown on his Headstone

Military Service, Cir 1944, , , , Holland. 163 Hank carved his name into a tree in Holland. The inscription is still clear in Sep. 2014.
Megan Story wrote in an email to her aunt Mona Bernaski:
"So as my previous email said I got the opportunity to visit Hank's tree this past weekend. After Aunt Mona sent me an email from someone who had recently found the tree here in Holland, she had forwarded the email on to me. I then looked up the location and found out that it was only 45 minutes from where I am currently living. As I was camping with a friend this weekend, we actually were only a 20 minute ride away. I then explained to my friend the story I had found out about Hank and that one day I would like to see it before leaving Holland. With nothing planned on Sunday, we headed out on our adventure, Rossweg 14, 7245 NK Laren, near Lochem Netherlands - the address the gentleman had written down was excellent (except for anyone who may visit it in the future, it takes you to the second entrance and if you only continue past it, the next entrance is the main one). We arrived around lunch time and walked down the lane into the beautiful estate, there is one main home ( very large) and to the left of it is a second smaller home. As we didn't see anyone outside and didn't want to just wonder around the property we rang the doorbell on the smaller home. A gentleman answered the door and thankfully spoke really good English. He happens to be the caretaker of the property and a few others in the area. I explained that I was seeking a tree from the second world war and immediately he asked if it was H Bernaski. I was surprised, he knew exactly where it was as it was only 20 feet from the house. He knew it so well, because over the years there have been many trees discovered on the property and area of men who during the war inscribed there names, however your father's is pretty much one of the only that is clearly legible and clearly marked on the tree (from the photo you will be able to see just how big it is). I thought we might be searching for hours on the property for a tiny inscription, but no it's pretty obvious that that is the tree. He did ask about one of the words as he was not sure what it said, it took me a minute but the word was the abbreviation for Manitoba.
The man was kind enough to let us know what the area was and a little bit of history on the area. Apparently (if I remember correctly) during the war there was a landing zone close in the area and the area that your father was at was used as a cooking and storing area. They would transport and prepare the food in the area and then get it on the panes to there men. So, I have to ask (as I didn't know the answer when asked), what did your father do during the war? The guy assumed that we was some sort of cook or transporter as he was stationed in that area.
You should also know that the tree is healthy and huge and will live for another 100 plus years!
Coincidentally this past weekend was also a yearly celebration called "Market Garden." Market Garden from the brief little history lesson I got, was a special event that happened during the war where hundreds of men and women jumped out of planes during September 17-25 as a solidarity to the Dutch troops and to reclaim the bridges taken by the Germans. I think there was about 6/7 bridges in the same area surrounding Arnhem. Each year they do a celebration and hundreds of people jump out of planes on one day during the celebration. Market Garden itself is named because an attack from the air was called "Market" and an attack from the ground was called "Garden."
I think and hope I got all the history right on this.

I have attached a few photos for you to see and maybe your family would like to see them also.
I was very moved know that I stood in the same place where your father had once during a hard time some 70 odd years ago.

Maybe one day you or your family will get to see it too!"

Cemetery: Souris & Glenwood Cemetery, NE 04-08-21 W, Apr 2014, Souris, , Manitoba, Canada. 164


Henry married Alva Ilene Douglas, daughter of Gordon Campbell Douglas and Anna Josephine McBurney, on 1 Jun 1942 in Red Deer, , Alberta, Canada 2.,48 (Alva Ilene Douglas was born on 5 May 1917 in Glenwood Municipality, , Manitoba, Canada,2,48 died on 24 Jan 2014 in Souris, , Manitoba, Canada 115 and was buried in Jan 2014 in Souris, , Manitoba, Canada 24.)

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