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Drown proving with Eskomos

In my time as an 851i served with four BPERO's. Some brought joy into my life on entering and some when they left.The BPERO at CFB Petawawa was John Bateman and later he would take up duties in recreation in NWT. During my CFB Edmonton tour I got the call from Bateman to go to Yellowknife to run a programme to teach drown proofing to the Eskimos in the dead of winter in the pool at Yellowknife INN.THe standard joke with the staff was no way the BPERO won't make sure you will go. The pool was in the basement of the inn and early mornings keep your feet dry as they stick to the deck.Some three weeks later I taught the group to swim and drown proof and learned a lesson. Young Eskomos have no body fat and all sink like stones, Long bodies and short legs make for further difficulties . Three weeks later the students all managed to swim in a fashion and drown proof .The whole episode was done under the watch full eye of John Bateman.Thinking back he was the best BPERO that I worked for.As a sidebar flying home we stopped in Fort Mak and in the 70's looked pretty small to what it is now.I encourage all 851 to take pen in hand and be on the history page as once your gone no one will know your story.

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Meleme McGraw
Meleme McGraw
Aug 04, 2019

I had an experience while stationed at CFB Halifax; (Example); Some of the Navy members who took their Recruit Training an Cornwallis had to pass their swim test before they could graduate and be sent to their respective units; as it turned out if they didn't meet the requirements it was decided if they were going to a unit that had a swimming Pool and swim-programs they could be posted to that unit with the understanding they would be enrolled in a swimming program; as it turned out I was the swim-instructor for the Navy at the time; I would ask them why the did not learn to swim while they were at home before joining the Armed Forces; an…

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