Canada’s Greatest History Teacher hosts a conversation with 100-year-old WWII veteran Nick Janicki, who served with the 1st Battalion Canadian Scottish Regiment in Europe.

Conscripted at 18, Nick trained in Camrose, Alta., and spent two years in Sidney, B.C., protecting air force assets. He embarked for Europe in December 1944, learning in February 1945 that his brother had died in combat.

Nick participated in the liberation of the Netherlands, with significant battles, including in Deventer. Despite challenges and losses, he vividly recalls the joy of the Dutch people as they marched through liberated cities. After the war, he returned to civilian life, working in the deli and meat-packing business. He married June, and they were together for 55 years until her death.

In later years, Janicki revisited the Netherlands, including for the 75th anniversary of the war’s end in 2020. He became a guest of honor in Liberation Day celebrations in Deventer, acknowledging the Canadian Scottish Regiment’s contributions.

During his time in Deventer, Janicki formed a connection with a young woman named Dorothy Spencer. After leaving the country, they lost contact for 58 years. However, following the encouragement of his sister-in-law, Janicki reconnected with Spencer in Las Vegas. They enjoyed nearly 10 years together before Spencer’s passing in October 2012.

Nick Janicki, now living independently, emphasizes the importance of making the most of life and freedom, values he fought for during World War II.

The Veterans Breakfast Club’s Veterans Day VET-A-THON is a 12-hour online program bringing veterans from around the nation together to share their stories of service with the public. You’ll hear from veterans from every walk of life and branch of service, from World War II to the present. Guest hosts from across the globe will help share Veterans’ stories, military history, GI humor, Armed Forces trivia, and information for veteran and military families.