From Luxembourg to Saskatchewan Woman on quest to find family

[email protected] Julie Chare. (Photo courtesy of Julie Chare) Julie Chare / Submitted Julie Chare’s father Albert Long in 1942. (Photo courtesy of Julie Chare) Although she never met any of her Canadian relatives — with the exception of a single brief visit from her grandmother — Saskatchewan still held a place in her heart growing up.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“I always felt a part of Canada,” she said.“It’s difficult to explain. Even though I’m not a Canadian citizen and I never was … both my parents were Canadian citizens and they always said we are Canadian citizens as well as British.“There was some sort of bonding there.”There was very little communication between Chare’s immediate family and her relatives in Saskatchewan. She said each year the families would mail each other Christmas presents and recalled how one year she received a locally-made necklace and earring set that she still treasures.“That was the only contact we really had because we didn’t have a phone. It was just by mail,” she explained.After her father passed away in 1987 and she moved to Luxembourg, Chare lost touch with her relatives in Roch Percee. But in recent years, she has spent a significant amount of time researching the area online. Julie Chare is pictured here on her wedding day with her father Albert Long in 1970. (Photo courtesy of Julie Chare) When Roche Percee experienced a devastating flood in 2011, Chare followed local reports of the event.“It felt devastating to see the damage done by the flood, even though I didn’t know exactly where (my family) lived or anything,” she said.Now, she is hoping to reconnect with any relatives she might still have in Saskatchewan when she plans to visit with her husband next May. She also plans to tour the area to see the places her parents talked about.A number of her relatives are buried in the Bienfait cemetery, including her grandfather Ernest Long (who passed away in 1958) and her uncle Stanley Long (who passed away in 1991). She believes one of her uncles owned a farm near Roche Percee or Estevan.“I grew up with these names and yet no details,” she said. “To see these places that my parents talked about but I’ve never seen … to me it’s quite important.” Julie Chare / Submitted Julie Chare / Submitted Growing up in England, Julie Chare often heard her parents mention Saskatchewan places like Roche Percee and Estevan and the relatives she had there. Now the 71-year-old is trying to track down long-lost relatives in the hopes of finally meeting them.Chare’s grandparents Amy and Ernest Long moved to Canada from the English town of Rugby in 1919 when her father, Albert Long, was just two years old. They settled on a farm near Roche Percee, where they had four more children — Stanley, Ruby, Gladys and Robert.At age 25, Albert volunteered for the Canadian army during the Second World War. While stationed on the south coast of England, he met Evelyn George, whom he married in England in 1942. When the war ended three years later, George travelled to Canada as a war bride to be with her new husband in Roche Percee, where they lived for a while. But after struggling to purchase a farm, the couple moved back to England in 1947.Just months after moving back to England Chare was born.

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