A Stone Bridge in Stonebridge Cove

A Stone Bridge in Stonebridge Cove

Barbara enjoys hearing from people she’s met through her speaking platform, visitors to her web-site, those who share an interest in GECO, Irish memorials, and local history, and anyone who would like to share a positive comment.

To contact Barbara:

  • Leave a reply below
  • E-mail Barbara
  • Write to Barb in care of:
    P.O. Box 30001
    RPO Huntingwood
    Scarborough, ON M1T 0A1

16 comments for “Contact

  1. Chris Moran
    November 23, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Barbara, I just heard you speak today at the Women’s Art Association on Bedford. I was telling you about my mom painting aircraft dials with radium paint! I called her tonight for details and here is some of what she remembers…

    – she worked for Kirk Dial on Dundas at Yonge & she thinks the building was called the Imperial Optical Building
    – they originally wore cotton coats while working then we’re given heavy, corrugated paper ‘aprons’ to wear as they were ‘safer’
    -couldn’t eat in the work room
    -before they left they’d wash their hands and put them under an ultraviolet light to make sure there was no paint on them & then they were checked again under ultra violet lights before they actually left the building & sent back if there was even a tiny speck on them
    -her older sister, my aunt, worked at GECO and loved it!
    -they heard that 6 girls died in the US of radium poisoning at that time but no one they knew of in Toronto was affected
    -my grandparents, Ethel and Earnest Pye, moved to one of those ‘apartments’ you spoke of after the war & my mom, who was married at that time, visited them there – no windows, no ceilings, just partitions and the communal bathrooms as you mentioned

    • November 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Chris, thanks for your post. It was a pleasure to meet you at the Women’s Art Association. I enjoyed chatting about your mom’s war work. A great source of pride for sure! The danger these brave women faced each and every workday is humbling. True war heroes! You mentioned your aunt worked at GECO. What was her name during the war? Do you think your mom would like to meet for a coffee to chat about life back then? I’d love to meet you and her if you’re interested. Let me know and we’ll set something up. Also, you mentioned your grandparents Ethel and Ernest Pye. An Ernest Pye worked at GECO as a senior member of staff. Any relation? Thanks again. Barbara

  2. jim Cowie
    August 21, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Barb
    I am reading your book and I notice numbers beside words. Are these foot notes and if they are where do I find what they mean.
    I am REALLY enjoying this book.

    • August 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Jim, glad to hear you’re enjoying Bomb Girls. The numbers represent citations (from where the information is sourced). You can find the notes to the book at via my Bomb Girls webpage in the links section or at: The book has over 100 printed pages of notes; the publisher felt the notes section was too cumbersome to include in the printed book. Thanks again.

      • Jim Cowie
        August 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        Hi Barb
        Thank you for the follow up re footnotes,that helps! By the way we went down to Warden and St. Clair to see the bomb girls mural, loved it! Yesterday we drove to Intrepid Park in Oshawa to see the CAMP X sight. While we were at the park we met a lady Joan Taylor who is a friend of Louise Johnson. She really had a wealth of information to share.We talked about Bomb Girls and I had your book with me so she is going to read it. I am now interested to find the sight of D.I.L. in Ajax if it can still be seen. I have ordered a book by Lynn Hodgson to learn more about CAMP X and D.I.L. Thanks Jim

  3. Hilary Bartlett
    August 11, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Barbara – Judy McMunn of Toronto Probus Club attended one of your tours and in conversation with you, you told her that you would like to speak at a probus club meeting. I am writing to ask if you would be interested in speaking at Toronto Probus Club on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. We meet at Holy Rosary Parish Hall, 356 St. Clair Avenue West. If you are interested in speaking at the meeting would be you please contact me at 416.322.4860 or at the email below. I look forward to hearing from you. Hilary Bartlett, Vice President

  4. Garry Leonard
    July 10, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Garry Leonard, from the University of Toronto. Nice to meet you at Ireland Park, Barbara, as MIchael finished his run. Above is the facebook site for the upcoming James Joyce Symposium on the subject of Diaspora.

    • July 13, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Gary, a pleasure to meet you at Ireland Park this past Sunday to help celebrate Michael Collins’s completion of his 900 km run. David and I are excited to learn more about your upcoming James Joyce Symposium. I’ve requested to join your Facebook group to keep in touch. Stay cool! With kind regards, Barbara

  5. Lisa Kennedy
    April 6, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    My father’s mom worked at the facility and he said that there was a picture of her and another woman working at the factory. Do you have any pictures with names attached? Here name was Jessie Thomson. Any info would be helpful.

    • April 7, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, even if I had a name, there are not many photos with names attached. A handful, really. Over 21,000 Canadians worked at the plant during the war, of which over 17,000 were women.All personnel records were destroyed after the war. Do you know what your grandmother did while there? Do you have a copy of the picture your father mentioned? If you and your father live in the Toronto area and would like to meet to talk about Jessie’s days at GECO, let me know and we can set something up. I’m collecting stories, hoping to have a second book published. Take care, Barbara

  6. Larry doble
    March 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Hi I am from Greenbank Home of David Cragg and doing a booklet next year on St Agnes Church now the Greenbank Hall which is 150 years old . I heard you are doing a book on the impact of the Irish and I have a lot of info on the Irish in Brock Township . I also get in speakers to talk to the members of the Sunderland Historical Society We should talk

  7. Meg
    November 14, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I wish I’d read your HomePage – just came across the mural today! Only wish I’d visited your website a month ago.

  8. Meg
    November 14, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Barb – There’s a beautiful mural on St. Clair, east of Warden (under the railway tracks) honouring the Girls of GECO – I took some pictures today, and wondered how I could forward them to you or post them to this website?

  9. Valerie Bennett
    July 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    You came recommended to me. I wondered if you were available to speak Sept. 18th 2012, 1 pm. This is for a group at the Scarborough hospital. Please advise quickly as I need to book this opening soon.

  10. Alan Harris
    June 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I work at the firehall at 3600 danforth which is the old Supreme Aluminum site. My mother (deceased) worked at GECO and I have a photo at home with all the names listed on the back. From the date of the picture she is only 16 or just turned 17. I also have a security badge from GECO that I found at a yard sale 15 years ago. Feel free to email or call me if you would like a copy of the picture that I think I sent to you years ago.

    • wayne curry
      April 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      My mother’s sister, Jessie Preece worked at GECO in the late 40’s she would go by a special bus everyday. We moved to Wilmar Heights in the early 50’s . We lived at 1 Shangarry Dr. and Biscaine Blvd. Went to Wexford School, we used to play in the GECO grounds and were warned to stay away because the grounds were unsafe and could cave in because of the tunnels. I think there was a type of low rental housing and even a school on the grounds at one time. Victoria Park and Eglinton was a wonderful place to grow up in. W Curry

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