Sten Gun Grannies
Rosie the Riveter beware! The Long Branch SAL reply to Ronnie Lake. Photo credit of Archives Canada.
10-07-2011 11:31 AM
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They are Harmless girlies! No Mags in the Weapons & the mag housings are turned dowm. = Guns Empty!
They would probably do more damage to you witht thier Handbags!.......
She'd be a safety hazard on the shop floor. Glad she left her genes behind for posterity. Doesn't really look like she needed Gloria Steinem to "liberate" her either somehow!
"Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.
Correct some facts
Hi there. I'm Veronica's -- "Ronnie's" -- youngest son. Thought I would register to correct a couple of things.
While you live with a person such as my mother you tend to either take for granted the things she did or, as youth and inexperience misguides you, dismiss these accomplishments made so long ago with a "Whatever". As you get older, however, and her life events seem to influence others such as you people here and many elsewhere, the significance increases in your mind.
After working in the factory lathing out Bren guns she sang with some of Canada's most popular big bands (and remember, big band swing was the pop music of the day). She met her husband, a trombone player, in one of the bands. While my mom was beautiful, talented AND had an offer to join the famous American big band leader, Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra, she -- unbelievably -- turned her back on her career and its potential around 1947 to move to my dad's hometown of Edmundston New Brunswick to start a family. She gave birth to 5 kids, not 7.
Her husband died in 1963 (I was the youngest at 2 1/2) and she moved us all back to Toronto, providing for us all by herself through the ensuing years with a successful career in sales (mostly real estate and condos). I consider her to be at the vanguard of women's lib in the 1960's, not because she felt it was a cause to "fight for" but simply by her need to earn money via sales; an industry that was still male-dominated at that time. She was brave, wily and knew how to sell. "I don't sell homes", she used to say, "I sell dreams".
My mom had a wicked, silly sense of humour. Man, she loved to crack up! She also loathed the notion of retirement and, when she finally surrendered to it, she did not take to it well at all.
During the war, she was like any typical woman of her time, doing her part in the war effort against Hitler's pure evil (and earning about 40˘ an hour -- it was a job). The government searched the factories of Canada, looking for someone TO BECOME an icon of inspiration for women to get into the factories. They picked her. So, her image as Ronnie The Bren Gun Girl should not be confused with her having any opinions one way or the other regarding gun control. As best as I can recall she never voiced any criticism of gun control and, FWIW, was a Liberal party supporter all her life.
Contrary to common belief, perhaps typical of American's thinking "We're #1" and Canadians believing we live in their shadow all the time, Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl PREDATES Rosie The Riveter by several months. Plus, Ronnie was a real person, whereas Rosie, while inspired by a couple of USA factory war workers, was a concocted image. My mom was The Real Deal
I'm extremely proud of my mom, but not because she happened to be pretty enough to catch the producers of this national propaganda campaign's eyes. I am proud of her because yes, she was beautiful, but also a fantastic singer (her voice held up into the 1980's) and a person with extreme drive and courage to raise us without her husband (she never remarried, btw). When I look at her life of being pushed to national prominence as Ronnie, displaying great talent as a singer, refusing an offer of a career in the United States with a HUGE band leader because she loved her husband and dutifully (for the time) became a homemaker and mother in a small city that was "out of the action", then her husband dying and she never leaving us or giving us but instead provided for us as best as she could despite her dream-come-true life with her love being destroyed by his death (lung cancer)...her facing the challenges of her life alone are what makes me proud of her -- and thankful that I am part of her legacy. I know, however, that she lived with deep emotional pain after my dad's death. Who wouldn't, considering her deep love for him and all the things she sacrificed to be with him?
Thanks for reading
Last edited by Son of Ronnie; 09-30-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Well said Son of Ronnie. I believe we are all proud of her contributions both as a motivator and icon during wartime as well as her steadfast purpose to provide a family with the best that she could offer; you are proof of that success! Thank you for sharing the update.
Last edited by Sarge1998; 09-30-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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Here Here Sarge..............
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Thanks Son Of Ronnie, That was an awesome read. You should be proud of her and spread the news. She sounds like she was a Great woman and a even Greater Mom.
P.S. Does your sister look like her!!!! Just kidding! NOT }8)
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Long Branch Open House
I agree, nice to hear from "Son of Ronnie"
It was a nice day for the open house, very cool seeing the Sherman, jeep displays outside the remaining bldg. and the displays inside.
I will put some pics in shortly.
I was referring to the Long Branch Open House Sep 29/12, will put the pics in that thread.
Last edited by blazer91; 09-30-2012 at 08:08 PM.
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Thank you for your welcome!
No, my sisters no longer look like my mom did in those days. I'm er, "twice the man I used to be", myself!
Yes, the Long Branch open house was great! Attached is a pic of myself holding a genuine Bren gun at a little display for my mom at the open house. Heh. maybe my mom actually worked on the very gun I'm holding??
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I regret missing your "display", must have been outside talking to the re-enactors/collectors at the time.