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Frances Lakhan
Frances Lakhan grew up as Fran Corney in her parents' home on Convent Street. She was fourteen when the Second World War started. Most of her memories of the war years are of socializing. She belonged to the Young People's group at Trinity United Church and was also a member of the Glee Club there. When many of the local young men enlisted, she and her friends spent time with the airmen of the RCAF Station. They frequently went to dances and singsongs. Other activities included skating, bowling, playing pool, going to restaurants, and just strolling around town. Movies were another form of entertainment and she recalls seeing "Meet Me in St. Louis" three nights in a row, having been invited out by three different airmen on three consecutive evenings. She still remembers, with disappointment, missing the farewell dance for the No. 9 SFTS in June 1942 because of an appendectomy. She was dressed in a pale blue evening gown when her father took her to the hospital.

In addition to her extracurricular activities of dating and socializing, Fran spent many hours knitting with her mother for the Red Cross. She also helped in the community by joining the Red Cross Corps when she was eighteen. As a representative of the group, she recalls being at the railway station to offer refreshments to war brides, some with babies, who were passing through on their way to communities in western PEI. Frances also helped out in the canteen at the Legion Home. She worked there for most of V-E Day, busy in the kitchen preparing eggs and toast for servicemen who were treated to free meals that day.

Frances remembers the war years as an exciting time, but thinks now that perhaps it was a "false gaiety." There was a strong undercurrent of worry and tension among the local people about the many Summerside men who were serving on the battlefronts. Fran's cousin, Lesley Corney, who was her age, joined the air force and was killed overseas. In addition to troubling news from afar, there was the upsetting news of airplane crashes or other mishaps at RCAF Station Summerside. Many of the young women knew the boys who were killed.

Near the end of the war Frances met a young British airman who was training to become a navigator. They married on 25 August 1945 and shortly afterwards he returned to England on a ship from Halifax. She left Summerside in December of that year to join him. Her first trip home was in 1951. In the 1960s she and her husband divorced and she married Eric Lakhan. They remained in London until 1979 and then moved to Summerside where they still reside.