Throughout the spring, Ottawa placed ads and ran press releases relating to salvage collection. Householders were urged to collect paper, metal, bones and rags. An editorial in the Summerside Journal in May outlined the four-fold purpose of the campaign: "to save raw materials, to raise money for war purposes, to give everybody on the home front a chance to help win the war, and to inspire a spirit of national thrift that may endure even after the war is over."
The Red Cross carried out the first collection in Summerside. The effort was part of a nationwide campaign in September 1941 to gather scrap aluminum for the manufacture of airplanes.
In November 1941, the federal government appointed Mr. N. Stanbury of Halifax as the salvage organizer for the Maritimes. He visited Summerside the following April. As a result of his address to a meeting held in the Town Hall, the Summerside War Salvage Committee was formed. C. B. Morris was appointed as chairman, L. G. (Lloyd) Lewis became secretary, and W. E. Darby treasurer.
Within a few days circulars were distributed to describe the materials wanted for a salvage campaign on Saturday 25 April 1942. An editorial offered the comment - "It is satisfactory to know that this long-awaited salvage campaign at last is to be undertaken here." Citizens were instructed to have materials collected for ready access by the volunteer crews of six trucks that would be driving through the town.
A. B. L. Horne offered part of his large warehouse for storage until a junk dealer could come from Charlottetown to take charge of the shipment. People who had been saving tin cans were disappointed to learn that the cans were not being accepted in the collection. An article that ran in the paper in 1943 explained the reason.
Another salvage collection took place on Saturday 30 May 1942. This drive was followed by a lapse of time when nothing was collected. An editorial in November 1942 commented on the lack of organization. A week later another editorial on the subject referred to several sources of metal, including Holman's water tower and 20 tons of steel beams from the High School fire being ignored. At the end of the same month an article stated that 42 carloads of scrap from the Island had been shipped to the mainland. In December an account of the Summerside salvage drive was published with the announcement that the proceeds were being divided among local war services.
In early 1942, the government started to place notices to boost the collection of scrap rubber. By June the local committee was endeavouring to find enough to load a railway car. A September editorial described the value of that particular commodity.
Fats became the priority in 1943 and numerous ads appeared in newspapers. Women were encouraged to "Be a munitions maker right in your own kitchen." Every can, filled with a pound or more, could be taken to a local butcher who was authorized to pay four cents for a pound of rendered fat or one cent for unrendered. Consumers were told that one pound of fat could make one pound of dynamite.
By August of 1943, scrap in order of importance was as follows: fats, rubber tires, tubes, metals, and rags. There were many newspaper articles and notices that explained why these items were needed. View some samples.
The federal Director of National Salvage and his provincial representative visited Summerside in November 1943. They encouraged the community to separate its salvage drives, collecting one item perhaps every month. The local committee decided the next drive would be for paper.
At Christmas time local citizens were asked to save their seasonal paper and boxes for the upcoming collection in January. In May 1944, a government ad stated that, "Canada Needs 20,000 Tons of Waste Paper Every Month."
Another paper collection was made in July with "valuable assistance rendered by the Girl Guides under the capable supervision of Miss Carrie Holman." Nearly 8 tons was gathered.
The next paper drive began in December '44 and lasted into February, this time with the efforts of the Boy Scouts as well as the Guides. An editorial reminded citizens to support the cause. The collection for this final campaign was approximately 12 tons.
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