There was no war related business in the Fort William City Council for the month of September, 1917.

September 4: Port Arthur



In July 1917 Port Arthur City Council had granted the Port Arthur Branch Great War Veterans Association the use of the former Council Chambers in the old Municipal Building as long as they paid for the janitorial services.  The GWVA comes back to Council to request assistance in furnishing the rooms and Council authorizes the Property and Fire Committee to “purchase the necessary articles” and grants $200 ($3,260 in today’s CAD) to cover the purchases.

September 10: Port Arthur


Patriotic Funds were created to collect money in order to support soldier’s families and returning veterans. Port Arthur, and many municipalities, collected the money through a municipal tax levy.  Here Port Arthur City Council is authorizing the transfer of the 1917 Patriotic Levy into the Patriotic Fund.  $5,000 was being transferred, which is equivalent to $81,500 in today’s dollar.  In March and April, we saw that area townships and communities also contributed to the Patriotic Fund.

September 10: Port Arthur, excerpt from Report No. 11 of the Market Committee



In order to celebrate the gardening efforts of Port Arthur citizens, the Garden Club held an exhibition of prize produce from the gardens.  Here they propose awarding prizes for a Children’s Garden competition and a special prize for “best exhibition in show.”  They had to keep the total prize money awarded at $75, the 1st place prizes for Best Kitchen Garden and Best Flower Garden were $4 each, which would be equivalent to $65.20 in today’s dollar. There was even to be a special prize of $10 in gold ($163 in today’s dollar) to be awarded by Alderman Blaquier to the children’s competition entrant with the best kept back yard and front lawn.   As these prizes to not account for the entirety of the $75, perhaps there were regular prizes in adult categories always awarded by the Garden Club that did not need to be approved as they were well established.

September 17: Port Arthur


Port Arthur City Council had first discussed this letter requesting further funds for the 52nd Battalion on June 4 and had referred it to their Finance Committee.  Both Port Arthur and Fort William regularly contributed to the running of local battalions, usually in kind by eliminating their utilities payments, but occasionally with money for a specific purpose.  This request was a very special case as the 52nd was already overseas.  Both Port Arthur and Fort William continued to deliberate over what to do in October.

September 17: Port Arthur


As we saw in August food waste was a big issue in the war as there were food shortages.  Here the city receives a letter from The Honorable W. J. Hanna, the Food Controller of Canada, warning about the possible food waste of orchard and garden products.  This is discussed further on Sept 24th below.

September 17: Port Arthur


As we saw in May, the City of Port Arthur purchased large quantities of seed potatoes for the Garden Club to distribute to those gardening in the city.  Here the City Clerk, Mr. Milne, updates on sample potatoes that were planted in a Nursery in the Strathcona Addition, presumably to determine which potato grew best in the local conditions.

September 17: Port Arthur




In the September 10th minutes above, the prizes discussed were for Children’s gardens in general.  Clearly, there were other prizes awarded, perhaps regular Club prizes, but also some cateories were added.  In resolution 4717, they added a 1st and 2nd prize for best parnips [sic. likely parsnips] and a 1st prize for “vegetable oyster”, which is another kind of root vegetable, also called “salsify”.

September 17: Port Arthur





The Port Arthur City Council approved the awards of the Garden Club Exhibition and authorized the writing of cheques so that the prizes could be awarded at the Club’s Annual meeting on November 16th.  In the minutes of the Club’s meeting held just before the exhibition, they appointed the judges, and discussed the need for security at the venue overnight so that the exhibits wouldn’t be tampered with. We can see, in point 5, that there were to be three special prizes for gardens grown by soldier’s wives, and, in point 6, that the names of all the prize winners would be displayed in a “Black-board to be placed in a conspicuous position in the show Friday night.”

In preparation for the next gardening year, anticipating the same need for food locally, they suggest that the City clear 20 acres to be rented as 1 acre garden plots for $10/year.  In resolution 4719 above, we see that the City was not so sure about this plan and referred it to the Market Committee to make a further report.


September 24: Port Arthur



Here there is another letter from the 52nd Battalion, this time regarding band instruments.  And their request for a grant is held over yet again.

September 24: Port Arthur


In a rare move, one of the recruiting offices in the area withdraws their request for $150.  Both Cities routinely gave money or free utilities to various military battalions stationed in the area (see above), this is the first mention of someone coming back and saying they didn’t need the money.


September 24: Port Arthur




In the September 17th meeting (point 12 above) the letter from Mr. Hanna, the Food Controller was first introduced.  Here, with letters regarding food conservation from the Ontario Safety League and Miss Smellie, they formulate a reply.  They don’t feel that a special committee to ensure no orchard or garden produce is wasted is necessary because the “garden produce grown here will reach the public through the usual trade channels and that we are heavy importers of orchard produce.”  There was already the Women’s Auxiliary of the Organization of Resources Committee looking after the issue of food waste in general, they probably didn’t feel there was a need to have another committee.

September 24: Port Arthur


As discussed in August 1917 another issue of food conservation was ensuring that the grain grown in Canada be used for food and not be made into alcohol.  The City Council of Port Arthur passes a resolution that “this Council take an emphatic stand in demanding that there be total prohibition of the manufacture of spirituous liquors thus saving to the Empire immense quantities of grain and other food products…”  They are going to send this resolution “individually to each member of the Dominion House and each member of the Senate,” asking for a reply, which will be kept on file.

For more information of food during the war years, please see Food Control.