Resident Stories: Dr. Al Boggie – Remembrance Day Feature
Dr. Al Boggie has led a full life.
Having grown up in Vancouver, Dr. Boggie was a member of the first graduating class of UBC’s medical school. He raised a family of three children and proudly served his country alongside lifelong friends he met while in the Royal Canadian Airforce. As November is a month to remember the sacrifices made by thousands of Canadians who selflessly served to protect our democracy and freedom, we were pleased when Dr. Boggie, a resident at Tapestry at Wesbrook Village, agreed to share some of the stories that reflect his time overseas during the Second World War.
Dr. Boggie was only 19 when he decided to enlist. Stories of the war’s terrible impact on family in Scotland inspired him to action. Although he dreamt of being an air force pilot, he was approached to participate in a new developing program that would require specialists. The Royal Canadian Airforce was looking for young men with technical backgrounds, and given his education and abilities, Dr. Boggie found himself to be the perfect candidate for the new Radar Specialist division. “We were young men and we were eager to do our part,” says Dr. Boggie. “At the same time, it was an adventure. I had never been out of the province or Canada, and I was heading overseas to face the unknown.”
Dr. Boggie started his deployment in Ireland partnered with the Royal Airforce and eventually moved with his operation to India. Although he was excited to be moving south to warmer climates he unfortunately couldn’t escape the rain. As shown in the picture with this story, Dr. Boggie (third from left) and his fellow radio mechanics were caught in a monsoon that lasted five weeks, flooded their camp and left them “up to their knees in the drink”! As a Radar Specialist, Dr. Boggie assisted in the newly established operations of ground control intercept as well as airborne interception. His operation led him through Ireland, India, and Burma over his deployment.
When thanked for his selfless and brave service to our country, Dr. Boggie, now 96-years-of-age, is modest and humble. His service, like that of so many other Canadians – both past and present – was motivated by a love of for our country and a strong desire to serve. He is also grateful for what he gained in service: lifelong friendships, an opportunity to gain an education and a long-standing career in medicine. During this special month of remembrance, all of us at Tapestry pay our respects to Dr. Boggie and all the men and women who have proudly served our country.