Henry Michael Bernaski 2,51,118
- Born: 4 Mar 1915, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 2,51,121
- Christened: 21 Mar 1915, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 121
- Marriage: Alva Ilene Douglas on 1 Jun 1942 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada 2,28,51
- Died: 18 Apr 2014, Souris, Manitoba, Canada at age 99 19,28,121,184
- Buried: Apr 2014, Souris, Manitoba, Canada 19,121
Another name for Henry was Hank.2
The following was provided by Kim Mills...
Hank was a maintenance, all-around handy-man. Hank and Alva have live d in Souris as long as I have known them. I remember spending many ho urs in their home when I was young playing with Mona. Hank was the bu s driver and janitor at Souris Public School and was also very good a t carpentry. Alva worked in the post office. At one time Mona worke d for the Royal Bank in Souris.
Event Description: Souris Personal Care Home
Address: Souris & Glenwood Cemetery
NE 04-08-21 W
Noted events in his life were:
• Alt. Birth, 3 Mar 1915. 19,28 Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada
as shown on his Headstone
• Military, Abt 1944. 185 Netherlands
Hank carved his name into a tree in Holland. The inscription is stil l 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 tr ee this past weekend. After Aunt Mona sent me an email from someone wh o had recently found the tree here in Holland, she had forwarded the e mail on to me. I then looked up the location and found out that it wa s only 45 minutes from where I am currently living. As I was camping w ith 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 a nd that one day I would like to see it before leaving Holland. With no thing planned on Sunday, we headed out on our adventure, Rossweg 14, 7 245 NK Laren, near Lochem Netherlands - the address the gentleman ha d written down was excellent (except for anyone who may visit it in th e future, it takes you to the second entrance and if you only continu e past it, the next entrance is the main one). We arrived around lunc h time and walked down the lane into the beautiful estate, there is on e main home ( very large) and to the left of it is a second smaller ho me. As we didn't see anyone outside and didn't want to just wonder aro und the property we rang the doorbell on the smaller home. A gentlema n answered the door and thankfully spoke really good English. He happe ns 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 an d immediately he asked if it was H Bernaski. I was surprised, he kne w exactly where it was as it was only 20 feet from the house. He kne w it so well, because over the years there have been many trees discov ered on the property and area of men who during the war inscribed ther e names, however your father's is pretty much one of the only that i s clearly legible and clearly marked on the tree (from the photo you w ill be able to see just how big it is). I thought we might be searchin g for hours on the property for a tiny inscription, but no it's prett y obvious that that is the tree. He did ask about one of the words a s he was not sure what it said, it took me a minute but the word was t he abbreviation for Manitoba.
The man was kind enough to let us know what the area was and a littl e bit of history on the area. Apparently (if I remember correctly) dur ing the war there was a landing zone close in the area and the area th at your father was at was used as a cooking and storing area. They wou ld transport and prepare the food in the area and then get it on the p anes to there men. So, I have to ask (as I didn't know the answer whe n asked), what did your father do during the war? The guy assumed tha t we was some sort of cook or transporter as he was stationed in tha t area.
You should also know that the tree is healthy and huge and will live f or another 100 plus years!
Coincidentally this past weekend was also a yearly celebration calle d "Market Garden." Market Garden from the brief little history lesso n I got, was a special event that happened during the war where hundre ds of men and women jumped out of planes during September 17-25 as a s olidarity to the Dutch troops and to reclaim the bridges taken by th e Germans. I think there was about 6/7 bridges in the same area surrou nding Arnhem. Each year they do a celebration and hundreds of people j ump out of planes on one day during the celebration. Market Garden its elf is named because an attack from the air was called "Market" and a n 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 woul d like to see them also.
I was very moved know that I stood in the same place where your fathe r 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, Apr 2014. 186 Souris, Manitoba, Canada
• Obituary, 18 Apr 2014. 28 Souris, Manitoba, Canada
• Grave Marker: Souris & Glenwood Cemetery. 28 Souris, Manitoba, Canada
Henry married Alva Ilene Douglas, daughter of Gordon Campbell Douglas and Anna Josephine McBurney, on 1 Jun 1942 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada 2,28.,51 (Alva Ilene Douglas was born on 5 May 1917 in Glenwood, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada,2,28,51 died on 24 Jan 2014 in Souris, Manitoba, Canada 28,121 and was buried in Jan 2014 in Souris, Manitoba, Canada 19,31.)