Isabelle K.

Ajax, Ontario

Durham Regional Fair

A Young Canadian Serves His Country

My project is about a young Canadian, Lance Sergeant Donald C. McFarlane, serving his country and his hardships and experiences in the Second World War. It outlines his role in the war and, like many Canadians, how he served his country and continued to do so throughout his life.



What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing I learned about my topic is that I had a great-grandfather who fought in the war and, not only that, but was also a prisoner of war. I had no idea I had such a heroic member of my family. It was also interesting for me to track down all of the personal information and artifacts from my relatives from many places. That my family members saved and protected the materials so that I could discover them one day is astonishing.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

The important lessons that I learned are you should fight for what you believe in because it is important to show initiative. I also learned that you should never give up hope. My grandfather's notes home from the prisoner of war camps were full of messages to reassure and comfort his family. My grandfather’s determination after the Second World War shows how he can continue to still serve his country in many ways the rest of his life.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

My life now compared to those then is different because most Canadians don't have to fight in war. Back then it was not a choice, but some chose to join sooner than they were allowed. Today people volunteer and choose careers where they can be called to serve in a war and I can make that choice or not if I want to. There is so much technology now and ways to communicate quickly in five seconds, such as cell phones, texts, emails and FaceTime, and then they used telegrams or letters which took a long time to share news.