Travis Paterson/News Staff Dave Cheperdak, CEO at Broadmead Care, talks with Edward Murray, a distinguished veteran, tenant and longtime donor, in the library at Broadmead. Dave Cheperdak, CEO at Broadmead Care, talks with Edward Murray, a distinguished veteran, tenant and longtime donor in the library at Broadmead. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Ninety-seven year old retired major still journals peacekeeping missions

“You wondered how one human being could do something like that to another”

It wasn’t until he landed in Cyprus in 1964 that Edward Murray learned just how awful that country’s atrocities were.

The Greeks and Turks who inhabited the island just didn’t get along, and it was getting worse. In a horrific 1963 incident, a group of Turkish villagers were killed in a deadly massacre.

By 1964, Edwards was part of the first contingent of Canadians who began Canada’s longest-running peacekeeping mission, part of a United Nations post.

His time there is captured in one of the many volumes of journals the 97-year-old retired major has penned. Despite a stroke at 94, Edwards has kept up the self-publishing from his unit at the Lodge at Broadmead, having taught himself to write with his left hand. Apart from working in crisis zones Edwards spent a career as a Canadian Forces instructor.

Sadly, he often was deployed to crisis zones, and his tales include some of most horrific modern atrocities.

When he arrived at Cyprus, it was soon after Greek Cypriots instigated the fall of the Cyprus’ civil government at Christmas of 1963. Thousands of Turks fled Cyprus at the same time.

“One of the first things the UN did was set up the Green Line, right through Nicosia [largest city on Cyprus] with Greeks on one side, Turks on the other,” said Edwards.

Edwards quickly learned there were several problems with this.

“We got a call that armed Greeks had crossed the Green Line, but by the time I was there to investigate they were gone.”

Then he met a pair of Turkish businessmen.

“They approached me to say their steel wool factory was awaiting a shipment of German steel rods,” Edwards said. “The problem was the merchant ships were in the harbour on the Greek side of the Green Line.”

Edwards contacted Brigadier General Tedlie, his superior, and “he got the rods.”

Not only that, Edwards was then appointed economics welfare officer to assist the unstable Cyprus government.

Initially, Edwards was in the U.S. when the Second World War picked up. He returned to Canada and enlisted with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and also toured in the Korean War.

His tales include that and more, such as the early days of Israel.

“My arrival was a real eye-opener,” Murray said. “You wondered how one human being could do something like that to another.

“When I tried to tell a reporter, the military wouldn’t let it be told.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Speed skating a family affair for View Royal twins

Kieran and Kyle Brown set to compete in B.C. Winter Games

Belmont Student Voices: Influential teachers, good or bad, play a crucial role

Chances are you’ve had an influential teacher at some point in your… Continue reading

Hatley Castle 8K takes place this Sunday

Royal Roads race is the fourth in the Vancouver Island Race Series

Grade 11 student gains leadership experience in 4-H club raising goats

Mira Finkelstein enjoys spending time mentoring younger members of the club.

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Air ambulance used parking lot for patient transfer because it was most efficient option

Lack of certification for helipad at Comox Valley Hospital not a factor in decision

Letter: West Shore needs vested interest to achieve rapid transit

Mayor Stew Young is at odds with the CRD board over its… Continue reading

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read