Annie Mary Reid
August 28, 1947
It was 7:00 p.m. on August 28th, 1947 when I, along with my ex-Royal Navy husband, Peter, four little girls, and my mother, aged 71, disembarked at Pier 21 in Halifax from the Aquitania.
Standing on the pier with our bits and pieces of wartime-Britain luggage, I took a moment to gaze up at the leviathan that towered above and thought for a second I was abandoning my home of several ocean days. We were bound for, of all places, Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, supposedly to farm (on a bachelor brother's homestead, quite ignorant of what to expect and with only $300 left to start our new lives, after all expenses for seven of us.
Well, I could have written a book on the trials, frustration, (comedy to the local farmers) of the Reids' exploits with neither cow, chick nor garden spade on 140 acres, 40 broken. I could have - and I did. Suffice to say we moved after five years of 'farming'. The children grew up, were educated, married Canadians and had Canadian children. They too are married and doing well. We (my husband Peter and I) never "made it big", a bit too old to start over, I guess, though we're now comfortable.
I re-visited Pier 21 (summer of '96) after nearly 50 years. I tried to imagine the old "Aqui" which has, of course, long been razor blades. I heard, for a few minutes, the ghost-voices of the good friends we'd met on board. I wondered what their lives had been like in our adopted country. Since we (Peter and I) are now 86 and 82 years old, many, like us, will be in their 'golden years' or will have made another kind of passage. Six of the seven of us (our family, all but my mother) who crossed the pond to land at Pier 21 that August day in 1947 are alive and well. We have fond memories of our trip and are proud to say "We crossed the Atlantic on a big liner", a statement not many can make.
Annie Mary Reid, her husband Peter, her mother and 4 daughters were born in Scotland and came to Canada after the war.