Jiskje Randles of Port Alberni shares photos of her father and father-in-law who fought in the Second World War. Randles was at a craft fair in the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)

Jiskje Randles of Port Alberni shares photos of her father and father-in-law who fought in the Second World War. Randles was at a craft fair in the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)

THEN AND NOW: Daughter remembers her father’s service

Father and father-in-law both served in Second World War

BY SONJA DRINKWATER

Special to the AV News

For the third year in a row, freelance writer and photographer Sonja Drinkwater is telling the stories of Alberni Valley veterans. But this year’s special section looks a little different.

In previous years, Sonja approached veterans and asked them to share a photo from when they served with their respective military branch. She then took a photograph of the veterans as they are now.

This year, 2021, some of the veterans featured are no longer with us, but their memories are kept alive by their families and friends. Another veteran has no photos from his military service, because the memories are far too painful.

If you know of a Port Alberni veteran who deserves to be featured in a future edition of Then & Now, please contact Sonja Drinkwater at sonjadrink@shaw.ca.

Jiskje Randles of Port Alberni is proud of her father and father-in-law for their service in the Second World War. Sitting at a craft fair in the Alberni Athletic Hall one day, Randles wanted to share the story of both of these men, so she displayed a card with photos of them and other tributes.

Jiskje Randles is the present generation, or the “now” in this Then and Now story.

The “then” belongs to her father, Peter E. Winchuk, and her father-in-law, William Randles Sr.

Winchuk was a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, and during the Second World War he was a sapper stationed in Italy. He later served in Holland, and spent some of his career as a cook. It was when he was in Nigtevecht, Netherlands that he married Jiskje’s mother, Jiskje Veenendaal.

William Randles was in the Lincoln and Welland Regiment from the Niagara region of Ontario. He served in Holland and Germany in the Second World War, fighting in the liberation of the Netherlands. He was a rifleman in the infantry and was wounded twice; the first time, after his recovery, he rejoined his regiment and then fought inside Germany and was more severely wounded. He was shot in the knee and was flown to England in April of 1945.

Randles married Rosemary Parkins who was originally from Detroit, Michigan — a hop skip and a jump from Warden, Ontario, where William was in tank training.

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