A man responsible for building some of Sicamous’ important community institutions did so after helping to liberate Europe from the cockpit of a fighter plane.
Al Green lived next door to local historian Gord Mackie’s brother when he still resided in Sicamous. Mackie still recalls stories the man told of his overseas service with the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF).
Green served in skies over Britain, North Africa, Italy and the Middle East after joining the air force. He was shot down twice over Britain early in the war. The first time, he ditched his plane, a Supermarine Spitfire, in the sea, but was quickly rescued by a friendly navy vessel. After his plane was badly damaged a second time, Green put it down in the shallows near the spectacular Cliffs of Dover and, according to Mackie, he was able to walk across the wing and jump onto the beach without getting his boots wet.
Mackie said Green flew fighter cover helping aerial bombardments during the Battle of Monte Cassino, a pivotal part of the Allies’ Italian campaign.
After the war, Green moved from the Vancouver area to Sicamous in 1948. The Air Force veteran had a major effect on his new home beginning with his role as the clerk in charge of the mail service on the railway line, which ran from Sicamous to Kelowna.
Green helped establish Sicamous’ first post office in 1955. In 1953 He also helped found the Eagle River Credit Union, which he had a management role in until his retirement in 1972.
Although he moved away from the Shuswap later in life, Green left an indelible imprint on the community. He is one of a multitude of veterans the community will be honouring and remembering at the Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov. 11.