Someday, Clyde Clarke hopes to call Newfoundland home again.
As a young man out of high school, the native of the Curling area of Corner Brook joined the reserves and began working at Newfoundland Farm Products in his home city.
He honed his skills through the Royal Newfoundland Regiment after his enrolment in 1974 and 15 years later, answered the call to the regular forces. Ever since, he’s been based at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick.
Clarke is retiring from the Canadian Forces as a corporal next week. He served a tour in Cyprus as an ambulance driver from August 1991 to February 1992, and marks 40 years of service between his years as a reservist and the Army.
It is a significant number for Clarke, given he signed up right after graduating from Herdman Collegiate. His old classmates are also celebrating their 40th anniversary this summer.
His father, Allister Clarke, and other members of his family still live in Corner Brook. Clarke himself makes regular trips back to the city, having done so annually on Remembrance Day for at least the past five years.
Coming from a military family, he feels it is important to pay homage to Canadian Forces members, but also to do it back home in Corner Brook where the family military tradition began with his grandfather, First World War veteran Herbert Clarke.
So when it comes time to recognizing the milestone of high school graduation, he was again eager to sign up.
“I am looking forward to meeting fellow students who I knew back 40 years ago,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how they look 40 years later.”
He is also looking forward to seeing how the high school has changed from its days as Herdman Collegiate to what is now Corner Brook Regional High.
Clarke attended his graduating class’ 20th reunion also.
Of the 369 graduates from Herdman’s 1974 graduating class, 94 have already registered to attend the reunion scheduled for Aug. 1-3. Graduates are expected from across Canada and the United States. Some of the events include a graduate social, boat tour of Bay of Islands, a hike, dinner and dance, and a memorial service.