Remembering Regina in the Summer of ’42

By Dale Johnson Posted: August 9, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Archie Londry of Brandon, Manitoba, is a founding member of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum – and remembers his days in Regina.
Archie Londry of Brandon, Manitoba, is a founding member of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum – and remembers his days in Regina. Photo courtesy of Dale Johnson, External Relations.

Thousands of young people who wanted to be pilots during World War II spent time training at the College Avenue Campus in Regina – like 93-year-old Archie Londry of Brandon, Manitoba.

Londry has vivid memories of spending a couple of months during the summer of 1942 at the College Avenue Campus, when it was turned over to the military as a training facility during World War II.

“It was a general ground school, and covered such topics as meteorology and the theory of flight,” Londry recalls, at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon. He’s a founding member of the Museum.  

The University of Saskatchewan agreed to turn over Regina Campus – then occupying the buildings along College Avenue – as part of the patriotic duty of supporting the war effort. In the summer of 1940, classes were moved to various locations across the city. Most classes were held in an office building at Scarth and 12th; others were held in Lakeview Public School and Darke Hall.

With the students gone, the new recruits began arriving in Regina by the trainload from across Canada.  

It meant thousands of young Canadians got a brief look at Regina – mainly the College Avenue Campus. About 6,000 people trained in Regina during the war years.

When the recruits weren’t in the classroom, they were exploring Regina.

“There was nothing south of Wascana Lake, except for the Legislature,” recalls Londry.

“We saw quite a bit of the city,” he remembers. “We sometimes went on marches and parades throughout the city.”

As the war came to a close and training was stopped, the recruits left the College Avenue Campus, and the students returned, starting in January 1945.

For those people like Archie Londry who spent time a brief time at Regina College during World War II, they often share their memories of Regina with family and friends.

The College Avenue Campus continues to provide a vital role in education in Regina. Building on heritage for the future, the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project will transform the historic College Avenue Campus into a vibrant, accessible centre of learning.