Raising Children in a Digital World

Join us for an evening presentation on Feb. 21 with Dr. Gordon Neufeld.

Learn More...

 

A World War Two veteran from Steinbach, formerly of Sprague, still clearly remembers his experiences in battle more than 70 years ago. John Owczar is now 93 years old. He enlisted in the army at the age of 20 and became a tank driver. Owczar saw action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He says he lost many comrades in battle and counts himself blessed to have survived the war. But Owczar adds there were a number of close calls and relates one such story

"At night we'd dig a trench under the tank so we could sleep under the tank all night. One morning I woke up and there was a great big mortar shell right by the tank, right beside me, that never exploded."

Owczar 2015 11 owczar 3 edited 1John Owczarrecalls another time when a fellow soldier named Owens told him that, when the war was over, they would celebrate together in Toronto. Owens would die a short time later from a bullet through the heart. And then there was the time Owczar's tank would not start.

"I was supposed to go on patrol with this officer and the tank wouldn't work. So the officer took the other tank and they went on patrol. Then, over the radio, I hear that the tank hit a mine and the driver was killed."

He also relates how the food rations they had were very tiresome.

"We had corned beef and hardtack, that's all we had. Then in the mornings we had canned eggs and canned bacon. I used to trade a can of corned beef to the French people for a couple of eggs. I'd had so much corned beef I was sick of it."

In remembering the war, Owczar adds that he has seen a lot of things he doesn't want to mention. He urges us to pause and reflect on Remembrance Day, to remember the men who died and the sacrifices made by so many for our freedom.

2015 11 owczar 1Owczar (right) overseas during the war

2015 11 owczar tankA tank that Owczar used to drive

 

More Local News

2017 01 niverville rcmp

Niverville Adopting Hybrid Policing Model

Niverville Town Council has decided to go with a hybrid policing strategy after reviewing an extensive police study conducted by Former Winkler Police Chief Rick Hiebert. The Town of Niverville…
2018 06 stan toews

Hanover Council Agrees On Pay Raise

Council for the Rural Municipality of Hanover has voted in favour of a pay raise. (Hanover Reeve Stan Toews)Last year, the federal government announced council members will no longer have one-third…

Two New Food Outlets To Be Built On Clearspring Lot

Clearspring Centre received approval from Steinbach city council Tuesday for a variance that will allow the construction of a new building on the mall parking lot, between Boston Pizza and Staples.…
2019 02 cold cold cold sun

Below Average Temperatures Expected To Continue

A local meteorologist says the extended cold spell we have been experiencing in southeastern Manitoba won’t be going away any time soon. Scott Kehler says even though we haven’t broken any records…

Graydon Pushing For Restoration Of Constituency Name

the MLA for Emerson is not giving up in his efforts to restore the name Emerson to his constituency. The Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission has decided to rename the riding as…

Steinbach Woman Finds New Home For WWI Letter

A woman from Steinbach who found a World War One letter in a box of old documents and newspapers, says the over 100-year-old letter will be kept in a museum. Amanda Kehler purchased the box just over…

Ritchot Mayor "Humbled And Honoured" By Opportunity

The Mayor for Ritchot says he is both humbled and honoured to have had ten minutes with a federal minister. Bernadette Jordan was recently appointed Minister of Rural Economic Development. She made a…
rcmp6

RCMP Catch Two Impaired Drivers, Make Arrest In Domestic Assault

Steinbach RCMP caught two impaired drivers over the weekend. Police received a report at 2:28 Saturday morning, that a vehicle was travelling in the wrong lanes on Highway #52 near Centre Street in…

DSFM Schools Remember The Voyageurs Of Old

Let them eat pancakes! Schools all across DSFM will be holding a variety of Festival du Voyageur events throughout the week including the ever-popular pancake breakfasts with real maple syrup. École…

Plenty of Construction This Year On Hwy 75 Near Morris

Manitoba Infrastructure has several construction projects planned this year on Highway #75 near Morris. Larry Halayko, executive director of Construction and Maintenance, says some of the work will…

Gross Pay Going Up For De Salaberry Council Members

De Salaberry council has approved a pay increase for council members. Reeve Darrel Cure says they are compensating for the loss of a federal tax break, similar to what many other local municipalities…

Ash Borer Threat To Continue In Manitoba Despite The Cold

It looks like emerald ash borers will continue to be a problem in Manitoba, despite the extremely cold weather we had in the Southeast. Many people were hoping the twin polar vortexes that brought…

Steinbachonline.com is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Login