I started writing this feature story to find out who “Blackie” was, after some former Camp Naivelt alumni told me about a wooden statute shaped like an airplane wing that used to sit in a place of prominence at the Toronto-area summer camp during the Second World War. The staff built it to honour the memory of a beloved sports director and camp counsellor — who everyone called “Blackie”. He had been a pilot serving with the British RAF, and was killed in action overseas during the Second World War. No one remembered his name, though.
They both grew up in pre-war Toronto, although one came from the poor neighbourhood known as The Ward, while the other came from a nicer neighbourhood near the Beaches. Both served in the Second World War, and it isn’t hard to see why they’d never met: Lt.- Col. Norman Cohen served as a navigator in the RCAF and was posted to England and then to Burma, while Lorne Winer was with the Royal Canadian Artillery and served in England and then through Normandy and Northwestern Europe after D-Day until long after V-E Day.