Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tinglestat Remembered

During World War II there was a whole theater of conflict that few people know much about, that being the battles fought in the Alps and other mountain ranges of Europe.  An avid skier before the war, right out of med school my father was assigned (to his great delight) as the medical officer to the Lovat Scouts, a British mountaineering troop then training on the Columbia Icefields near Jasper, Alberta.  He met men from other mountainous nations during his training, and became fast friends with several in the tight-knit skier-soldier fraternity.  One such fellow was a Norwegian whose first name was "Tinglestat".  Upon going overseas, these troops established camps high in the mountains from which to engage the enemy.  Communication between the various Allied camps was risky as it was largely carried out by messengers skiing between them and on one such occasion, while running a message for the Americans, Tinglestat was the victim of a machine gun attack.  After the war, as a tribute to his friend Dad named our first family sailboat "Tingle" in his honour, and the tradition has stuck.  Next week, we'll be sailing Tingle IV on a B.C. lake, and I'm sure I'll tingle when she rises out of the water and planes in a good, stiff wind - but that's not why she's named "Tingle".