Unlocking North Vancouver History

A Riveted Community: North Vancouver’s Wartime Shipbuilding

Wallace Shipbuilder Feature

North Vancouver’s home-front culture was in full swing during the war. People participated in many ways to conserve supplies, support the war effort and hasten Allied victory. Families planted Victory gardens and recycled everything from vegetable peelings to newspapers and sardine tins; the peelings could be fed to pigs, the newspapers could be made into gas-mask bags or cartridge cases, and the sardine tins used to make explosives. Boys underwent military cadet training and girls made facecloths, socks, handkerchiefs and baby articles for the Red Cross. School papers encouraged teens to skip milkshakes, listen to the radio rather than buying records, and save money with movie passes. Everybody walked, cycled or took public transit to get around rather than using up precious gasoline and rubber. Basic foodstuffs, such as sugar, coffee, tea and butter, were rationed; in December of 1942, for example, the federal government limited every Canadian to a half-pound (250 g) of butter per week.

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This back cover from the April 1944 issue of the Wallace Shipbuilder exhorted workers to invest in war bonds and support the men fighting overseas.

The shipyards hosted many victory-loan and war-bond drives; this was the sixth victory-loan drive at Burrard Dry Dock.

By early 1944, Canadians felt buoyed at the prospect of the invasion of Europe by the Allied forces and redoubled their efforts to “support the cause.”

Zoom in on the small text in the upper right, which tells you about Neil Fletcher’s parents, who were World War I veterans.
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