The Al and Elsie Antonson Military Library

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012

The Al and Elsie Antonson Military Library

Al and Elsie Antonson met in Vancouver at the end of the Second World War, marrying soon after and raising their family in Burnaby, and then living in the Fraser Valley for many years after retirement.  Al’s collection of well-thumbed books on the war grew into a small home library which, with Elsie’s encouragement, was donated to CMEC in 2009. Those 250 books formed the cornerstone of the growing and fascinating shelves of books on Canada and war time engagements.  CMEC’s Dan Jahn, who had originated the library’s collection, approached the family with the concept of them “adopting” the library, and they embraced the idea and set about commiting their support.

In December of 2011, with support from their family and friends, the library was formally designated as the Al and Elsie Antonson Military Library at a ceremony officiated at by CMEC’s then-chair Gord Wozencroft, and with several speakers, including Al.  Elsie had passed away in June of 2011 at the age of 86, proud of this library as part of their shared legacy.

By 2012, the library’s holdings stood at over 1,000 volumes, most all catalogued by the founders’ daughter, Judy Darey and her team of helpers. Ongoing financial contributions and continued cataloguing from the family will ensure the collection is maintained as the years go by.  As bookshelf space and additional books come into place, the Al and Elsie Antonson Military Library stands as a testament to avid readers and ongoing researchers with the hope of informing future generations of Canada’s unique and important role in resolving the world’s conflicts.