Museum exhibit honours prolific military family

John “Jack” Curry, youngest child of Beatrice and Charles Curry, speaks at the unveiling of “The Curry Contingent” exhibit.

John “Jack” Curry, youngest child of Beatrice and Charles Curry, speaks at the unveiling of “The Curry Contingent” exhibit.

A new display at the CFB Esquimalt Military and Naval Museum is shining a light on an oft-forgotten piece of military history.

“The Curry Contingent: A Canadian Family’s 100+ Years of Service” chronicles the history of the Curry family. It began withCharles Curry who served Canada in the First World War; his nine children followed in his footsteps serving Canada in either military or civilian service.

“This is the story of an ordinary family going to great lengths to serve their country,” said Base Commander, Capt(N) Steve Waddell on Sept. 22 at the display’s unveiling. “To have a single family be so devoted to their nation, and supporting its values, freedom, and citizens, is truly an inspiration.”

Consisting of letters, interviews, and family photos, the display goes through each Curry’s service, and life before and after the military.

John “Jack” Curry Senior, the youngest of Charles and Beatrice Curry’s nine children, and one of two surviving “Curry Contingent” siblings, came to the display’s opening from Regina, Saskatchewan, where he now lives. Too young to join his siblings during the Second World War, Jack enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1954. Serving in Germany, Chilliwack, and Egypt, he retired in the 1970s.

“Those were great years,” he says. “It was a family tradition, and they were truly some of the best years of my life. I wouldn’t trade anything for them.”

Jack says the display touched him deeply.

“It’s a great thing to have our history join the history of the military,” he says. “It’s hard to believe anyone would go to this length just for our family, but it is a great thing to see.”

The Curry legacy continued following the Second World War, with three Curry grandchildren serving. Ron Curry served as Base Commander of CFB Edmonton from 1999-2002.

LS John “Jack” Curry Junior, son of Sgt Harvey Curry, enlisted in the Army, and currently serves as the Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) Target Cell Manager for CFB Esquimalt. LS Curry helped Clare Sharpe, museum exhibit designer, track down information and material on the Curry family.

“It was great getting to dig through my family history,” he says. “There was a lot I didn’t know, and doing this gave me a opportunity to really get into the specifics of my family. I’m proud to be a part of this family, and I’m proud to carry on the tradition of service.”


Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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  1. George Gray says:

    Worked with Jack when he was with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, province of Saskatchewan during the 1980’s and 90″s. Enjoyed reading the article.

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