Monday, March 3, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1943--

  Workers at Ford of Canada crank out many weapons of war around the clock including the rugged Scout Car. 

January 1: There will be many meatless days this year. Canada Starch Limited offers this practical cookbook for doing more with less. Recipes included are old-fashioned baked beans and traditional pea soup. There is a mock duck dish made from lentils as well as potato and carrot pancakes.

Prince Bernhard, Princess Margriet, Crown Princess Juliana, Princess Beatrix, Queen Wilhelmina, and Princess Irene. The Dutch Royal family lives at Stornaway in Ottawa.

January 19: It’s a girl for Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana of Holland. The four-kilo baby is born in the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The room has been declared Dutch soil so that the princess can one day be queen of the Netherlands. The royal couple has sought sanctuary in Canada since the Nazis overran Holland in 1940. 

January 26: Steelworkers in Trenton, Nova Scotia and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario vote to return to work. They will give impartial arbitrators 30 days to negotiate their labour dispute. The two-week strike has cut the nation’s steel output by more than 60 percent.

1942 DeSoto was built by workers at Chrysler Canada in Windsor, Ontario.
February 17: Figures are released today showing that 17,260 new passenger cars were sold in 1942. That number is down significantly from 83,642 units delivered in 1941.

The Leonardo Di Vinci will be sunk in May of this year.
March 13: The 199-metre long Canadian Pacific steamer Empress of Canada is torpedoed by the Italian submarine, Leonardo Di Vinci. Within 20 minutes the liner sinks 640 kilometres off the coast of Sierra Leone. Of the 1,800 on board, 392 perish—nearly half of them Italian prisoners of war.

March 16: David Cronenberg is born in Toronto. He will grow up to be a film director, best known for mind-blowing horror flicks and scary movies such as Dead Ringers, eXistenZ, M. Butterfly, Spider and Crash.

March 31: The first war ration books expire. Federal finance minister tells the public that meat rationing will begin in May and the limit will be a kilo a week per person. Shoppers will need government issued coupons in order to buy meat.

April 3: Gasoline rations are cut drastically. People joke they have only enough fuel to drive to church so they can pray for more gas.

April 8: The Boston Bruins are wiped out as the Detroit Red Wings skate home with the Stanley Cup after only four games.

Nancy Greene in 1967 with the World Cup Ski Championship trophy.
May 11: Nancy Greene is born in Ottawa. When she is three, her family will move to British Columbia. Nancy will learn to love skiing and rack up medal after medal as a national champion, world champion and bring home Olympic Gold and Silver in 1968. She will be named Canada’s Female Athlete of the Twentieth Century and operate a ski resort with her husband in BC in the 21st Century.

April 15: Today is the deadline to apply to the government for extra sugar rations to be used in preserving and canning fruit, jams and pickles. The Dominion Department of Agriculture has issued a home canning pamphlet. Canning seems to be a lost art.

April 17: Bobby Curtola is born in Thunder Bay. He will grow up to become a teen heartthrob. The pop singer’s hits will include Hand In Hand With You, Don't You Sweetheart Me, Three Rows Over and Fortune Teller. He will be the first Canadian singer to have an album go gold. Host of the CTV show Shake, Rock & Roll, Bobby will be invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 1998.

The Eder Dam is badly damaged.
May 16: British and Canadian Lancaster pilots of the RAF Dambusters Squadron attack the Mohne and the Eder dams in Germany's industrial Ruhr basin, using a bomb that bounces when dropped at a low level. It is intended that the attack will disrupt the supply of hydro-electricity throughout the region. Damage is light and 53—including 13 Canadians give their lives for King and Country--as only eight the 19 planes complete the run. 

William Aberhart was Alberta's seventh premier.
May 23: Alberta Premier William Aberhart dies in office at the age of 64. Since 1925, the pioneer radio preacher has been heard throughout the Dominion on his Back to the Bible Hour.  Bible Bill” founded the Social Credit Party and became Premier of Alberta in 1935.

May 26: The National Assembly in Quebec City passes legislation requiring compulsory and free education to all children. There is no Ministry of Education however. Schools will be operated by Catholic or Protestant boards and a provincial Superintendent will oversee them.

June 14: Labour unrest continues as worker discontent with management sweeps the nation. More than 10,000 workers walk picket lines in Ontario and Quebec, demanding recognition for their unions and improved working conditions.

July 10: The 1st Canadian Division lands on the shores of the Italian island of Sicily. Casualties are considered light; only 60 of our boys are wounded or dead.

July 24: Benito Mussolini is deposed as the dictator of Italy.

August 15: A joint contingent of Canadian and American forces is on the offensive against the Japanese Imperial Army that has invaded Alaska. Today the Allied troops take Kiska Island without a shot being fired.

The TCA Lancaster carries 1179.34 kilos of mail for our soldiers in Europe.
July 22: Trans-Canada Airlines inaugurates its first non-stop flight from Montreal to the UK. On board the modified Lancaster bomber are three passengers and mail for our boys in the European Theatre. The 4,830-kilometres trip is made in a record-breaking 12 hours and 25 minutes.

August 24: Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Britain’s Prime Minister Churchill and US President Roosevelt are in Quebec City to confer on the progress of the war and to make post-war plans. They are joined by His Excellency, the Earl of Athlone, the Governor General of Canada.

The Royal Canadian Army marches through Italy.
September 3: The nation is glued to the CBC for the latest news bulletins as the 1st Canadian and 5th British Divisions hit the beaches of Italy’s mainland and sweep up the coast to Rome with lightening speed.

Italian General Giuseppe Castellano accepts surrender terms of the Allies.

September 8: Italy signs a peace accord with the Allies. The war is not over though; the German battalions already in Italy will fight to the death.

The English Patient will win nine Oscars at the 69th Academy Awards in 1997.
September 12: Michael Ondaatje is born in Sri Lanka. He will move to Canada in 1962 and sharpen his skills as a wordsmith. His book The English Patient will win The Booker Prize, The Governor General’s Award and the Canada Australia Prize, then go on win a Best Picture Oscar when the novel is made into a movie.

Tens of thousands of women work in factories building weapons for victory. Bomb Girls will follow the lives of four women working in a Canadian munitions factory on Global in 2012.
September 20: Employees may not leave their jobs at war-related industries, nor can they be fired without permission from the Selective Service Officer.

September 27: Randall Charles Bachman is born in Winnipeg. Randy will grow up to become a rock and roll legend, part of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. In 2005 he will be host Vinyl Tap, a slick weekly show about the classic rock era, heard coast-to-coast on CBC Radio One.

The Polymer Rubber Corporation will be featured on the back of the $10 bill from 1971 to 1989.
September 29: The first styrene is produced at the Polymer Ruber Corporation, Limited in Sarnia, Ontario. Styrene is essential in making synthetic rubber and the Crown corporation will produce 4.5 tonnes of rubber a month once the plant is running at capacity.

October 17: Prime Minister Mackenzie King unveils the Canada Medal. The merit decoration is to be bestowed upon members of the branches of the armed forces who have served bravely in the face of danger. Oddly enough, it will never be awarded to anyone.

October 22: German spies are landed by submarine at Cape Chidley, Labrador. They set up an automated weather station, KURT, but the batteries will fail after only two weeks. The station will be discovered in the 1950s and placed in  the Canadian Military Museum in Ottawa.

November 7: Roberta Joan Anderson is born in Fort Macleod, Alberta. Joni Mitchell will grow up to have an astonishing four-octave range voice and become a legend in the music industry, composing and singing hits that defy categories. She will be best known for such songs as Big Yellow Taxi, Help Me, Free Man in Paris and Snakes and Ladders.

November 11: No longer will Britain represent our nation in Washington, D.C. Leighton McCarthy is named as Canada’s first ambassador to the United States.

November 17: The Alberta government wants to lower the number of home births and announces that starting in April of next year, Edmonton will pick up the tab for all babies born in hospital maternity wards.

November 22: Yvan Serge Cournoyer is born in Drummondville, Quebec. He will grow up to be fast as lightening on skates and play for the Habs from 1963 to 1979. The Roadrunner will be on ten Stanley Cup winning teams, play in six All-Star Games and win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1973. The club officially will officially retire Number 12 in 2005.

November 27: They Grey Cup goes home with the Hamilton Flying Wildcats who beat the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers. Final score for the fall classic is 23 to 14.

December 2: The British House of Commons receives Lord Cochrane’s report on the future of Newfoundland and Labrador. He recommends that it continue to be governed by Commissioners until the war is over and that Newfoundland be returned to Dominion status when it is ready. The report does not favour Confederation with Canada.

December 9: Peter Dmytruk, a.k.a. Pierre le Canadien, is executed by the Nazis. The 23-year old RCAF Flight Sergeant had been shot down over France and rather than return to safety, stayed to become a leader of the French Underground Resistance. After the war, the Saskatchewan-born-and-raised hero will be awarded La Croix de Guerre by a grateful France.

December 20: The Battle of Ortona begins. Fierce fighting will rage for the next seven days in the Italian port city as the 1st Canadian Division engages the German First Parachute Division.

The Italy Star is given to Canadians who fought in Italy.
December 27: Without reinforcements or provisions, German soldiers finally surrender in Ortona, Italy. Casualties for the 1st Canadian Division are 1,374.

Establshed in 1931, the 17 restaurants in the Salisbury House chain are loved by Winnipeggers.
December 31: Burton Cummings is born in Winnipeg. He will form the rock band, The Guess Who. It will skyrocket up the charts with Undun, These Eyes, No Time and American Woman.  In 2000, he will purchase the Salsibury House restaurant chain and start travelling again with The Guess Who.

Drivers in the Keystone Province keep their 1942 plates and are issued this sticker to save metal for the war.

A total of 108 Plymouths are built by Chrysler Canada employees in calendar 1943. All but one is exported.

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