Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/1/2020 (190 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When Second World War veteran Henry Golis learned his name would grace a street sign in his old east Winnipeg neighbourhood, he had one but thought: "I feel honoured. Very much so."
"My house was there and all my children were born on that street," the 93-year-old lifelong Transcona resident said Thursday of the section of Regent Avenue West between Winona and Madeline streets now bearing the honorary title of Henry Golis Way.
Born and raised in Transcona, Golis joined the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was 17, serving as a flight sergeant and wireless operator/air gunner. On Feb. 12, 1945, his crew's Canso bomber crashed into Saanich Inlet on route to landing in Patricia Bay, B.C.
"I had this accident when I was 19, I was the youngest one in the crew," Golis said, referring to himself as the "youngster."
There were eight men on board the plane; he was one of four survivors.
Golis recalled the survivors fought through high fires to get to open water before being saved. He spent five or six months in the hospital due to burns and injuries.
He returned home to Transcona after Japan surrendered in August 1945, and restarted his life. In 1950, he married his wife, Elsie, and together they had two girls and three boys.
"I'm one of the surviving members of the Second World War legion here in Transcona. There's not too many of us left," he said. "It's going to be 94 years here in two weeks."
In November 2019, Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason made the push (with Golis' blessing) to rename the section of Regent Avenue West to recognize his contributions.
"It's an opportunity to honour their service," said Nason, the veterans and military liaison for the City of Winnipeg.
"It gives me a great deal of pride to acknowledge these people who served us and grew up in this community."
The honorary street name will remain for five years, in accordance with city bylaws.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.