Skip to the main content

The Immigration Story of Dr. Craig Cole (English Immigrant)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Creative Commons: 
Accession Number: 

Story Text: 

When is an Immigrant not an Immigrant?

With two parents, both born in Canada and great grandparents on both sides of my family who had arrived in Canada in the mid 1800s, I have never thought of myself as a Canadian immigrant, but a recent visit to Halifax and the Pier 21 Museum of Canadian Immigration started me wondering if my first sight of Canada might not have been the arrivals hall at Pier 21.

My father had graduated from medical school at the University of Western Ontario in 1937 and went to London, England to do post graduate training in eye surgery. On March of 1939 I arrived on scene. Realizing that war in Europe was imminent, my father decided that he had better get me and my mother back to Canada as quickly as possible. The attached photograph shows my father on board a ship, holding me in his arms. I had no idea the name of the ship, or where it had arrived in Canada, but the Scotiabank Family History Centre discovered my father, my mother and me (age 4 weeks) on a passenger list of people aboard the Ausonia II out of Southampton.

The ship actually landed in Montreal, not Halifax. My father returned to England to finish his training before coming back to Canada where he joined the Canadian Army for the duration of the war. My first memory of him is his return from the war, with a great number of other demobilized soldiers to a welcoming mob in our home town of London, Ontario.

Having been born of Canadian parent in the U.K., I apparently have dual citizenship. Does that make me a partial immigrant?