Bomber Boys - They Came, They Served, They Live On in Remembrance
Join Ian Robertson, journalist and author of Camp Picton: Wartime to Peacetime, and Karen MacNeil, author of The Boys Nobody Talks About, for an afternoon of discovery and reflection.
Ian will share photos, stories and anecdotes as he weaves together the tale of No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, RAF, Picton and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that was behind its creation.
Karen will take you through her personal journey to uncover the long-hidden truths about the bomber boys in her family – the two uncles who never made it home and the Dad who somehow carried on.
Bomber Boys - They Came, They Served, They Live On in Remembrance is apart of the Beyond the Base: A History Story Series.
Karen was born in Newmarket, Ontario and raised in Don Mills, a suburb of Toronto. She is the baby-boomer daughter of a World War II RCAF veteran and a retired information technology project manager who worked both locally and internationally in London and New York. Karen loves history, mysteries and writing. A dedicated hockey gramma, and an avid traveler, when she is not hanging out with her family or volunteering, she is in her car or high in the skies on her way to her next adventure.
Born in Ottawa, Ian Robertson was the son of RCAF Flight-Lieutenant John W. Robertson, who was based at Mountain View Station for a year after the Second World War following his return from England, and Doreen 'Rene' Robertson. Educated in an Ottawa Valley one-room ghost town school, then in the city, Ian graduated in communications from Loyalist College in 1970 and worked as a newspaper reporter/photographer at different publications starting in Belleville, at a weekly then The Intelligencer. While later working at The Kingston Whig-Standard bureau in Picton, he fell in love with Prince Edward County, helped launch quarterly County Magazine with a friend in 1976, writing about people and history — including No. 31 Bombing & Gunnery School, Picton, now Base31. Always interested in history, Ian has also written local books, including ‘Camp Picton: Wartime to Peacetime’. In addition to newspaper awards for writing and photography, he spent the summer of 1980 in Great Britain on a Commonwealth Press Association fellowship with nine other journalists from around the world. After an 18-month stint as a communications officer with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Toronto, he joined The Toronto Sun in 1987, from which he retired in early 2013. In addition to news stories and features, he wrote numerous travel articles for that paper, based on trips in Canada, the U.S., but mostly to other countries. Finally, since early 1987, Ian has written columns for Canadian Stamp News, the country’s only newspaper about the hobby, specializing in — of course — Canadian history.
ABOUT THE VENUE
The Pilot's Lounge
Nestled in the historic Sergeants Mess Hall sits The Pilot's Lounge. This space currently serves as the bar for guests seeing a show in the 177-seat performance space at the opposite end of the venue, but comes alive in unique ways as a casual and cozy lounge and live entertainment space in 2024. Perfect for intimate concerts, comedy shows, or community events, The Pilot's Lounge is complete with an original 1960s red-padded bar and a back games room that used to be the hangout spot for soldiers when the site operated as No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School during WWII.