Mechanic on the canal

George during a Remembrance Day ceremony in 2019.During WWII, George Gonsalvez helped guard the Suez Canal against invasion. He was a certified craftsman. Before joining the war, he’d studied for four years to earn his degree as a mechanical and electrical engineer, and he worked on machinery during his 10-year career in the military.

Born in December 1917 in British-ruled south India to parents of Portuguese decent, George joined the British military at the age of 27 with hopes of traveling the world.

Around that time he also met and married the love of his life, Evelyn, who was a nurse and midwife.

“Soldiers do the best we can,” George said. At the end of the Second World War, he can remember parades and parties that lasted for four days.

The military gave the couple the option to move anywhere in the world; they chose Canada.

George said he was “so grateful” for that opportunity.

After 10 years, George left the military in the hopes of starting a family. He and Evelyn had five children and moved to Fernie, BC. When George retired from his work as an engineer, he moved to Kelowna.

Now 103, George continues to enjoy life and his passion for beta fish at Lake Country Retirement and Care Community. He has 12 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

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