The Military Museums

Tom Conrick (1927 – 2022) was born in Montreal on 28 Nov 1927. Of Irish descent he grew up in the neighbourhood of Point St. Charles.

In the Fall of 1944 Tom joined the Merchant Navy as a stoker. His first ship was the Philip P. Dodge, an old British Tramp Steamer. He said it was a leaky old tub which would always take on water between the deck plates in the sleeping quarters. It was a coal burner and the work was hard. The ship had a top speed of about 6 knots and he was proud to have survived that ship.

His next ship was the Mount Maxwell Park – a tanker in which he served from early 1945 until 1946 when he was released from the Merchant Navy and returned to Montreal. He was awarded the Atlantic Star for spending more than 6 months at sea in the North Atlantic.

His favourite port was New York as the ship was anchored in the harbour there on VE Day in May 1945. It was waiting to form a convoy for overseas when the war in Europe ended. Shortly thereafter they sailed to the Panama Canal for the Pacific theater of war. While anchored in the port of Colon Panama, the end of the war in Japan was declared on Aug 14, 1945. It was a very exciting time, and that is an easy day for him to remember as it is now his wife’s birthday too.

After leaving the Merchant Navy Tom worked in Montreal for Northern Electric (NORTEL) for 35 years until he retired in 1980. He worked for the installation department and travelled all over North America. He was retired for one year before moving to Edmonton and going to work for the Bank of Montreal. BMO had some of the first ATM’s and Tom worked for 9 years servicing those machines until retiring again in 1990.

He moved to Calgary in 1996 and became part of the CNVA. He has been a long time Director and was Master At Arms for several years.

Tom also got involved with the Naval Museum of Alberta Society and worked for a period as Director of Marketing for the Museum. He and his colleagues used to promote the Naval Museum at the Calgary Stampede and Spruce Meadows. He had been a watch keeper since 1996.

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