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Furey Island named in honour of Private Joseph Furey of Firdale

posted Nov 5, 2018, 9:56 AM by Kathy Carr
Private Joseph Furey was born March 10, 1922 in Northern Ire­land, the fourth child of James and Kate Furey. The family moved to the Firdale district of Manitoba in 1928.
Joe enlisted in the Canadian army and was called to active duty to serve in WW2. He was stationed in Japan, where he was taken prisoner and held at Niigata-Rinko POW Camp. Some of the prisoners (including Joe) were “emp­loyed” in the mines in that area. In exchange for their labor, they received extra rations of a little better food to keep them strong enough to work. The boys who were not working in the mines had to survive on rice and whatever bugs they found to digest some protein. His brother Jim was also in the same POW camp. On January 5, 1944 the roof of their sleeping quarters collapsed during a typhoon, and a heavy beam fell on his bunk, killing him instantly. He is buried at the Yokohama Common­wealth War Cemetery in Yuenchi-Dori City, Japan.
In the 1960’s, the Canadian Government dedicated many formerly unnamed islands and lakes in honour of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives serving this country. Furey Island (50-08’24”, 95-53’05”) was dedicated to Pte. Joseph Furey. It is located on the Winnipeg River at Pinawa, Mani­toba.
His father, James Furey served in WW1 as a captain, and five of James and Kate’s sons also served, Jim, Joe, Pat, Michael and John (British Army). Pat was killed in action in Italy. Furey Lake in Northern Manitoba is named after Pat Furey.
Joe Furey was the younger brother of the late May Robinson of Car­berry. In August this year, several of his nieces and nephews visited the island at Pinawa. Those who attended are Willie Robin­son of Carberry, Jeannie (Robinson) Kirby of Sas­katchewan, David Furey, Linda (Furey) Morrison, Joyce (Furey) Joyal (Jim Furey’s children, all from Winnipeg), and Michael Furey (John Furey’s son) who was visiting from England.