Welcome to the Connellsville Canteen!
Amelia Macalla is pictured in the black dress (she was also a cook at the canteen) and Anna Sember is in the flowered color dress. This photograph was taken in Connellsville on Crawford Avenue.
Anna Zeka Sember
Anna Zeka Sember was born in Vanderbilt to Alexander and Melania Zeka. She was married to Peter Sember in 1915 and together they had eleven children. Three of her sons served in WWII: Joseph in the US Army Infantry in Europe: Theodore in the US Air Force in Europe: and John in the US Army Signal Corps in Okinawa and Japan. Another son, Eugene, served in the Korean Conflict in South Korea.
In addition to her sons in the services, Anna's brother, Andrew Zeka served in the US Air Force in South Pacific; Her sister, Marguerite Zeka, a first grade school teacher in the Vanderbilt Borough School, served in the WAVES; and another sister, Amelia Macalla, worked as a cook in the Canteen serving the troops stationed at the Connellsville Airport.
Anna joined the Canteen Ladies on June 21, 1944. She was with the Saturday group and a photograph of all the women working in the Canteen was taken on March 31, 1946. This picture was to be shown in newsreels at the Connellsville movie houses. Anna worked with the Canteen Ladies for 22 months and only missed 2 days. On April 4, 1946, the Saturday group met for dinner at The Crawford Tearoom in Connellsville, and their last day at the Canteen was April 10, 1946.
Anna looked forward to her times with the Canteen Ladies. She went faithfully by streetcar from Vanderbilt to Connellsville in all types of weather to "serve the troops". Somehow, saluting and serving the troops "donuts and coffee" as their trains passed through the rail road station gave her connection to her sons and siblings who were away at war.