Collins, James Clayton “Clay”

Force: Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve

Clay Collins was born in 1926 to parents Sherman and Verna Collins who lived at Darlingford MB (near Morden). Around 1929 the family moved to Alberta, settling on a homestead in what is now called Happy Valley. When it was time for Clay and his sister Anne to go to school, they moved to Broncho Creek in 1933, while continuing to farm the Happy Valley homestead. The family moved several more times in the Spirit River area. During WW II Clay served with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve for four years, mainly on the Pacific and North Pacific Oceans. While training in Edmonton, he met his future wife, Peggy Brook. They were married on May 6, 1944 in Victoria BC. After his service in the Navy, the couple lived in Spirit River on Clay’s parents’ dairy farm. In 1947 they bought and moved onto his parents’ homestead in Happy Valley, and farmed and did other jobs. In 1965 Clay moved to Chetwynd BC., (Peggy and the children moved there a year later), first working at Fort St. John Lumber Co., and then for Canfor Ltd for 23 years before retiring. Clay and Peggy had 8 children: Carol, Linda, Daniel, Deborah, Corey, Joel, Stephen, and Shannon.

Source: Chepi Sepe pp. 324 – 328 (photos pp. 325, 326, 328)