Oshawa woman seeks husband’s friend who penned VJ Day letter

Oshawa woman seeks husband’s friend who penned VJ Day letter

It is sad that some of our veterans who took part in our nation’s greatest struggle now struggle to remember their role in history. Donald Lidster is one such veteran. He served in the Pacific theater during World War II and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After giving so much to Canada, his wife now needs our help to find a lost wartime friend.

Ms. Lidster was interviewed by Reka Szekely of Durhamregion.com in Oshawa on November 10, 2012.

Ms. Lidster said it all began a month ago while she was sorting ethrough her husband’s possessions. She found the second page of a letter written on Legion stationary during the Second World War by “Louis.” It was written on VJ—victory in Japan—day. She is certain that his old friend Louis Keleman penned it.

“I was startled, I knew exactly what it was,” she said, adding she has no doubt it’s from Mr. Keleman, who served in the Navy.

The letter seems to continue a conversation the two men were having about Navy ships and Mr. Keleman refers to Mr. Lidster by his nickname, “Ish”.

“I stopped for a while, Ish, because VJ has just been announced. We had a couple of beers, a sermon, and a little sing song for a while. The big dance is tonight so I’ll close for now so I’ll get ready. It was about four when announced here so we got a good head start, your chum Louis.”

With the discovery of the letter, Ms. Lidster said she’d love to get in touch with Mr. Keleman to catch up and to tell him about his friend. She also thinks Mr. Keleman would enjoy seeing the old letter. The two lost touch three years ago.

She believes he may have been living with his daughter in Oshawa, but she doesn’t know his daughter’s last name. She’s hoping people in the Oshawa community will help her find him.

Anyone who can get Ms. Lidster in touch with Mr. Keleman can reach her at 905-723-2186.

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Ryan MacKellar

Marketing and Communications intern

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