In June 2004, Julia Mackey travelled to Normandy, France, for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. It was one of the most moving and powerful experiences of her life. During that week-long journey, Mackey interviewed dozens of Canadian, British and American World War II veterans who had returned for the ceremonies. For many, it was their first time back to France since the war.
The stories they shared with Mackey and her own life-long interest in Remembrance Day inspired the development of her play Jake’s Gift, a surprisingly funny story of a Canadian World War II veteran’s reluctant return to Normandy, France, to find the grave of the brother who never came home.
In a very special Remembrance Day interview, Vancouver Presents contributing editor Mark Robins was live at Presentation House Theatre to find out more about Jake’s Gift.
They were joined by 98-year old WWII veteran Doris Gregory who dropped out of university to join the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in 1942.
The author of How I Won the War For the Allies: One Sassy Canadian Soldier’s Story, Gregory talks of her experiences writing for the university’s newspaper under Canadian icon Pierre Berton and her travels to England as one of the 3,000 women stationed overseas during the war.
Jake’s Gift continues at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre until November 17. Visit phtheatre.org for tickets and information.