Date Feb. 6, 2011
Author Harry Stuckless
Catherine Morris, addressed as Rena to all who knew her, followed husband Charles to Newfoundland in 1945. They were married on November 23, 1943 just prior to Charles receiving Royal Navy orders that were to post him to the Mediterranean for two years. In the fall of 1945 when the war was over they travelled by the ship, HMS Queen Mary, from Liverpool to Halifax and then crossed Newfoundland by train to Lewisporte. From Lewisporte they travelled by small boat to Tizzard’s Harbour and then to Wild Cove (near Moreton’s Harbour and Tizzard’s Harbour), Newfoundland.
Rena had been prepared by Charles for the rugged, lonely life she would face in Wild Cove, a community of four houses and few visitors. Irene, Harry, and Linda were born in Twillingate hospital and lived in Wild Cove for the first few years of their lives. She took on the responsibility of looking after her home and raising children with the help of her mother-in-law, Elfreda, who would see her every day until the end of her life. She liked to visit Jessie Small, a fellow war bride who lived in Moreton’s Harbour, as often as she could until Jessie’s death in 1949. Rena also developed a close friendship with Lill Wheeler, known to her children as Aunt Lill. Rena also met and became friends with Barbara Whalen, a fellow war bride and her children would visit Rena in Lewisporte. Charles worked away cutting pulp wood every winter and left her, a city girl, alone to face the long Newfoundland winters.
In 1952 Rena took her three children to Newarthill, Motherwell, Scotland and stayed there for one and a half years. When Charles relented and agreed to move her and her family from Wild Cove to Lewisporte, she returned to Newfoundland. In Lewisporte she made a happier life for herself and her family and developed close friendships with many people from Newfoundland and the Old Country.
Charles was employed by the Canadian National Railway in Lewisporte. Her last child, Nancy, was born in Lewisporte. She carried on an active social and cultural life and created a very happy home for her family. Rena participated in many organizations but her favorite was the Canadian Legion where she acted in plays, attended dances and socials. As her children grew she passed on her Scottish values such as honesty, education, and hard work. Rena loved to travel and visit friends and relatives in Scotland and her children who had settled in various provinces across Canada.
In April of 1979 at the age of 60 Rena died of a severe heart attack in Grand Falls hospital and was buried in the United Church Cemetery in Lewisporte. She was a very kind, caring and compassionate person to all who knew her. Rena gradually grew to love Newfoundland.