Dentistry alum served in WWII then Korea with the Royal Canadian Dental Corps – Dal News

(Higher than: Joseph D. Bourqe standing in rubble on a armed forces development website in the course of provider in Korea.)

A new banner is traveling on a lamppost in St. Peters, N.S., this Remembrance Day, honouring the company of Dalhousie alum Main Joseph D. Bourque (DDS’51).

Not extended soon after finishing large school, Bourque enlisted in the navy, serving in the 2nd Environment War on the HMCS Sorel, aspect of the ‘Flower Course Corvettes’ that looked out for German submarines and safeguarded British ships.

He returned property and upon learning there was a growing require for dentists, enrolled in Dal dentistry by means of the Canadian Armed Forces. Right after graduating, he was stationed in Moncton, N.B. An early 1950s Countrywide Movie Board documentary demonstrates Bourque accomplishing dental assessments in Moncton on soldiers heading to Korea — and prior to long he, far too, was deployed there.

Additional than 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean War and there have been 516 fatalities, but Bourque was spared. He returned home after nine months, possessing been promoted from next lieutenant to captain to significant.

He practiced dentistry when in Korea, but also did fundamental training with the other troopers. “He went on maneuvers. He slept in a sleeping bag in rice paddies,” Bourque’s daughter, Rosemary Bourque (DDH’87) claims. “We [later] experienced his sleeping bag and military tent. Mother wanted to toss them out for the reason that they smelled, but Dad wouldn’t let her.” Rosemary adds, smirking, “Somehow, they managed to vanish through just one of our lots of moves.”

No humour in war

Rosemary claims her father, like quite a few veterans at that time, rarely spoke of war or his ordeals. But he would occasionally reference things he saw on the entrance lines, like Vincent’s An infection, an acute and unpleasant infection of the tooth margins and gums also recognized as trench mouth. In accordance to a e-book about the Royal Canadian Dental Corps, top quality dental-record maintaining also grew to become a precedence as dental records have been a way to determine deceased troopers who have been in any other case unrecognizable.

Not only was Bourque unwilling to speak of the war, “He wouldn’t at any time check out M*A*S*H [the TV sitcom about the Korean War],” claims Rosemary, revealed suitable. “Our family loved it but there was absolutely nothing funny about that time to him.”

Right after energetic services, Bourque labored as a army dentist stationed in Greenwood, N.S., then Churchill, M.B., Valcartier, Que., and Trenton, Ont. Rosemary, the youngest of 5 young children, says she never minded going, and it gave her a lifelong thirst for journey. She was disappointed when her father later went to do the job in Germany for a 12 months by itself.

Bourque retired from the armed service in 1969 and the relatives settled in Antigonish, N.S. Bourque turned a general public wellness dentist — and is believed to have been the final travelling public health and fitness dentist in Antigonish and Guysborough counties.

A newspaper clipping noticed earlier mentioned correct reveals Bourque greeted by loved ones on his return from Korea. 

Fellow alum, veterans and lifelong good friends

Numerous of Bourque’s dentist close friends ended up fellow Dal alumni and veterans, which include Maurice (Moe) Harquail (DDS’54) who grew to become mayor of New Glasgow, James McGaughey (DDS’51) and Vince McMaster (DDS’47).

“These gentlemen ended up lifelong good friends of my dad and they practiced in N.S. and P.E.I. after their military careers as nicely,” Rosemary says.

Bourque’s switch from navy to public health company, “speaks to his character for certain,” says Rosemary. He identified the require for superior dentists in each conditions and was self-assured he could help. She describes him as purposeful, ethical, amusing, really hard functioning and stern.

“He was not outwardly affectionate,” Rosemary remembers, but she does keep in mind waking in the middle of the night time as a younger girl and stumbling downstairs at 2 a.m. to find her dad in an armchair, studying. “He waved me above and held me in his arms until eventually I fell back asleep,” she claims. “He was committed to looking right after all those who necessary his assist.”

Mobile dentistry clinic: close of an period

Rosemary suggests his stoicism was also not a barrier to his doing great do the job for 11 a long time with the university-aged little ones he handled in his cellular clinic. He enhanced the oral wellness of thousands of youngsters. The operate ethic he modelled also built an impression on his young children, three of whom examined at Dal: Daniel Bourque (BEd’83), Rosemary Bourque (DDH’87) and Catherine (Bourque) Moulton (BScN’92).

Rosemary has labored in non-public apply for considerably of her dental cleanliness career, and for the past 15 a long time has worked in public health, like her father just before her. She delivers the fluoride mouth rinse plan (now a fluoride varnish program) in educational institutions.

Bourque endured a stroke in 1980 that forced him to cease working towards, but he and his spouse, Margaret, were being joyful living out their retirements on a farm they purchased in Merigomish, N.S. till Bourque was diagnosed with dementia. He died in 2010 at Camp Hill Veteran’s Memorial Hospital in Halifax.

The Memorial Banner Program permits household users to have a banner created with the title and photo of their veteran to be displayed on lampposts lining veterans’ hometown streets top up to Nov. 11. Bourque’s small children experienced his hung in St. Peter’s, in the vicinity of the small neighborhood of River Bourgeois, Cape Breton, in which he was from.

“It’s quite a wonderful presentation,” suggests Rosemary.