Historic Landmark Purchased by Local Family
Jason, Stephen and Andrew Oud are not only good businessmen, they’re good neighbours, good corporate citizens, but more notably, they are visionaries……evident in their recent purchase of the iconic “Radome” located in the Village of Vanastra, the former Canadian Forces Base Clinton (CFB) in the Municipality of Huron East of Huron County.
The Oud’s connection to the former military community is longstanding through their parents’ link to Canada, and the deliverance of their homeland in The Netherlands during World War II. The liberation of Holland by Canadian forces, with the help of new technology at the time, namely Radar, was not lost on the Dutch, with many immigrating to Canada after the war.
After farming the land in Huron County for several decades, Peter and Joan Oud (coincidentally) purchased the dining hall at this once bustling Royal Canadian Air Force radar training base. Today, the refurbished and remodelled “Other Ranks Mess Hall” is now the home of Vanastra Packaging, owned by their sons.
The role of radar and the technical training conducted at RCAF/CFB Clinton were critically instrumental in the Allies winning World War II — and evidence of this significant achievement is now in the hands of the Oud brothers. The derelict white dome that housed state-of-the-art radar instructional equipment stands as a testament to Canada’s substantial contribution to the war effort.
The Oud’s vested interest in the Village of Vanastra goes beyond their business—it involves pride in the history of the former base as well as community spirit, both of which lead them to undertake initiatives that improve the neighbourhood, the environment, working conditions and local lifestyle. Value-added is more than monetary to these successful entrepreneurs, and the story doesn’t end HERE! .
With the acquisition of this iconic landmark, the Oud brothers have their sights set on renovating and re-purposing this building for commercial or institutional purposes. Although, the historical significance of the Radome is not far from their thoughts, propelling them to investigate opportunities to preserve and protect a portion of this important military icon.
If there was ever an example of the RCAF motto, “Per Ardua ad Astra” – “Through Adversity to the Stars,” it’s the Oud boys and their futuristic hard work!
Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer
Municipality of Huron East