Wait for me Daddy

A photo of a boy ran from his mother’s grasp to reach his father’s outstretched hand. The photo became known as Wait for Me Daddy and is one of the iconic Canadian images of WWII.  This is Warren “Whitey” Bernard, five years old, son of Bernice and Jack Bernard.  On October 1, 1940, his father was shipped off to Europe.

Claude Dettloff, photographer

Claude Dettloff, photographer

New Westminster erected a War Memorial in their honor. Warren “Whitey” Bernard returned to Hyack Square to unveil the monument himself 74 years later. In addition, the picture has been commemorative on a stamp and a two dollar coin.

Father and son were reunited on October 1945.

Photograph by Claude Dettloff

Photograph by Claude Dettloff

“That’s probably the last time we were together as a nuclear family, as they put it today,” said Bernard in a recent telephone interview from his home. “We were never together again as a family after that moment.”

His parents’ marriage didn’t survive the war, they’d split up just a few years later, and there was no joyful reunion between his father Jack and mother Bernice when his father returned to Vancouver in October 1945, said Bernard. (Global News)

With a tinge of happiness for Bernard, I look at this monument with nostalgia every time the train passes by New Westminster Quay and when I visit the monument.

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