Marie was born in 1931. She moved to Ladner from Calgary in 1961 as her husband, Marcel, worked for the military as a Signals Operator. He was posted to the Vancouver Wireless Station, which was located at the current North 40 Dog Park, beside Boundary Bay Airport. It operated as a signals intelligence station and had about 200 military and civilian personnel working there.
Along with their three children, Marie and Marcel lived in the married housing quarters. She recalls back then it really felt like a community, the station had it’s own gymnasium, pool and even a Kindergarten. There were around 100 families living there with plenty of activities for the kids including hockey, baseball, skating – even Brownies and Cubs. One particular event stands out, Hurricane Frieda in 1962. Marcel was a volunteer fireman, he helped on the base that night and Marie remembers the damage the hurricane caused. “A fierce wind blew our trailer right over and trees were uprooted along Ladner Trunk Road.”
While she lived at the station, Marie wrote a weekly column for the Delta Optimist about life there, the “Vancouver Wireless Station News” – she was paid a whopping 10 cents per inch of column! In 1965, Marcel moved the family to their new house on Central Avenue. By then there were 6 children and Marcel commuted to the station until it was closed in 1971. In the years following the closure, Marie continued to keep in touch with some of the women she had lived with at the station, about 20 ladies would meet regularly for lunch at Ricky’s to catch up and talk about what life was like all those years ago. Marie has 6 children and 9 grandchildren.