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The immigration story of the Lepine family (Scottish Immigrants)

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.

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Father stationed in Scotland with the Canadian army. Married mother in September 1942 in Inverurie, Scotland. I was born in June, 1943 in Ellon, Scotland. My grandfather, mother and I travelled by train to Liverpool England where we boarded the Louis Pasteur, which had been a French luxury liner. Family was not allowed to tell anyone when we were leaving. The ship carried war brides, children and troops.

When taken over by Britain, the ship was stripped of all luxury items including carpets. Of course as baby bottles were glass (I was 7 months) and the floor was steel plate, I arrived in Halifax with a nipple on a coke bottle. Everyone was expected to go on deck, put on the Mae West while holding their child/children. This was the drill in the event the ship was torpedoed. Remember this was January 1944.

We shared our cabin with another war bride and her baby boy. She was seasick the whole voyage, so my Mum has to take care of her baby as well as me. Mum was not able to go on deck for the drill with 2 babies to take care of so the captain paid her a visit. She told him of the situation and said if he would like to come down and watch the baby, she would be happy to go on deck with me. He said that was ok and left.

Landed in Halifax, NS and travelled by train to Ottawa, Ontario. Lived with fathers brother and family til Dad came home.