Helgi Martin Christiansen (Smitty)

Smitty was born in Selkirk, MB on December 9, 1923 to Helgi Martin Christiansen Sr. and Nancy Christiansen. He was the eldest of 6 children. At age 17, he and his friend hopped on their bicycles and rode into Winnipeg to enlist in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Dad was trained as a sonar technician at the Maritimes on a corvette named the HMCS Pictou K146. He traversed the North Atlantic protecting merchant ships from North America to Londonderry, Ireland during World War II. Following his discharge in 1945, Smitty returned to Selkirk, became an electrician initially employed at the Gimli airbase, then Winnipeg airport, ending his career at Vancouver airport. In the early 1960s Dad became a naval reservist at HMCS Chippawa in Winnipeg, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Smitty built a home in Charleswood (with a VLA mortgage of course) where he settled with his family in 1965. He died on January 26, 2004 due to mesothelioma.

HMCS Pictou at New York

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