January 8: Port Arthur



Port Arthur and Fort William were responsible for the billeting of the 141st Battalion while the troops were stationed in the Lakehead, looking after finding them spaces to live and train. Here, Port Arthur assisted the 141st in gaining permission from C.N.R Superintendent, J.E Nelson, to use a C.N.R. shed to run training drills indoors during the winter.

January 8: Fort William



After the municipal elections held on January 1, 1917, Fort William’s new Mayor, Harry Murphy, discussed many issues facing the 26th City Council in his inaugural address. One of these was the necessary by-law for the Patriotic Fund that the previous Council had suggested in September 1916. It was estimated they would require $45,000 to administer the fund, to be raised through taxation, as there were 218 families receiving an average of $15.22/month at that time. This would be the equivalent of approximately $710,000 and $240/month in today’s Canadian dollar.

Another major issue facing the new Council was how to support the returning wounded soldiers. Mayor Murphy felt it was their business to helping local organizations in finding employment for these men.

January 9: Fort William


At the first Fort William City Council meeting of 1917, the day after the Mayor’s inaugural address, the Council agrees to provide the necessary funds to the Patriotic Society for 1917, regardless of whether or not they pass a Patriotic Fund by-law to raise the funds.

January 15: Port Arthur


Women’s Suffrage was a hot issue in 1916 and 1917. Manitoba gave women the right to vote in January 1916, and all levels of government across Canada were pressured to do the same. Ontario gave women the vote in April of 1917, and the Federal Government passed the Military Voters Act and Wartime Elections Act in 1917, which gave the vote to military nurses and female relatives of soldiers. Here the Ontario Equal Suffrage Association sent a letter to Port Arthur City Council regarding the vote for married women in the municipal elections. Fort William held a referendum on the subject in January 1915 and voted in favour of married women getting the vote.

January 15: Port Arthur



Both Port Arthur and Fort William City Councils routinely covered the electricity costs for the military. Here Port Arthur will cover the costs of the electricity bill for the 141st’s Officer’s Mess.

January 15: Port Arthur



By the end of 1916, many demands had been placed on both City Councils’ for funds from one organization after another. On November 20, 1916 Port Arthur City Council had voted to refer the British Red Cross’ request for a grant to the 1917 Council. Here they are referring it on to the Finance Committee pending the year’s determined tax rate.

January 15: Port Arthur



The Khaki Club was a place for soldiers to relax and socialize in their off hours and was run by the Y.M.C.A.  Here they are asking Port Arthur City Council for the purchase of two billiard tables.


January 22: Port Arthur



Again, the Port Arthur City Council will cover the costs of the light and telephone bills for the 141st Battalion’s Officer’s Mess.

January 22: Port Arthur



Both Cities gave financial support to local organizations that were helping out with the war effort.  Here the Soldiers Aid Commission requests a grant of $600 to aid in their work and the Port Arthur Treasurer is directed to write them a cheque.

January 23: Fort William


Alderman G.R. Duncan requested action be taken to get the vacant industrial buildings in Fort William to be used for the manufacture of munitions.  The Council agrees to form a deputation to speak with the Minister of Munitions, the Prime Minister and their M.P. Mr. J. J. Carrick about it.

January 29: Port Arthur



Lieut. C. B. Price of the 257th Battalion was running a recruiting office at the Prince Arthur Hotel and applied to the City of Port Arthur to cover the light and telephone costs for the office.  The request was granted.


January 29: Port Arthur:




Here Port Arthur City Council writes to the Federal Government in support of a resolution by St. Catharines City Council to get the government to do more to make military recruitment more effective.  They want to “bring into force the Militia Act” so that able-bodied men will be in military service; stop men going to the US to escape military duty; nationalize public utilities and munitions plants so they are “used to the fullest capacity for National Service and eliminating private gain”; and to “insure the proper treatment of returned soldiers” and be employed in Home Service or as recruiters.