April 3, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-03_1

New regulations regarding Food Control were arriving from the Government all the time, and more information will be seen throughout the month of April.  Here, a letter was sent from the Canada Food Board regarding Fish Consumption, Canadians were encouraged to eat more fish to free up all of the meat to send to the front.

April 3, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-03_5.jpgBoth cities received requests from various charities for funds.  Here the Soldiers’ Aid Commission is asking for a grant, see April 8th below.

April 3, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-03_6.jpgPort Arthur was trying to get the government to establish a Military Hospital in their city, discussed in further detail January, 1918.  Here they are asking the Industrial Committee to get all the information possible about it and to “take action to prevent the removal of same from this City.”

April 3, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-03_7.jpgIn order to encourage the consumption of fish, the Port Arthur Market purchased fish from a local wholesaler, Kyro-Hellberg, for resale at the market.  Here the Market is shipping six boxes of fish back to Nepigon (Nipigon) because they had arrived spoiled and were not cleaned as per the order.  We saw in March that the market was acting as a wholesaler in Port Arthur for various controlled foods, including fish and pork to ensure a supply and a fair price.

Military District

April 8, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-08_1.jpg1918-04-08_4.jpg

As we saw above, the Soldiers’ Aid Commission had asked Port Arthur City Council for a grant on April 3rd, which was sent to the Finance Committee.  Here we see they have sent another letter, asking for $250.00 (approx. $4000 in today’s dollar), which is given to them, but they are asked not to make any further requests until after July 1st.  The Finance Committee authorized the “usual grant of $1000” at their meeting, which would be the total amount the city is willing to give them in a year, of which the $250.00 would be considered the first installment.

April 8, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-08_2

Port Arthur City Council receives a request from the Thunder Bay Production and Conservation Association, which promotes food production and conservation, for an immediate grant of $500.00 (approx. $7800 in today’s dollar), which is approved and granted.

April 8, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-08_3.jpg

In the Port Arthur Market Committee’s report, we see that there was a bit of a cashflow problem to pay for the fish ordered, so the City Clerk said that fish orders should not be accepted until there was sufficient cash transferred from the Market to the City Clerk in order to pay the invoice.  We also learn the wholesale price paid for the fish, an order was made to Kyro-Hellberg for 150 lbs at $0.11/lb plus $1.50 for express shipping charges.

April 9, 1918 – Fort William:1918-04-09_1

The Brotherhood of Railway Trainment asked Fort William City Council for the free use of the assembly hall for a patriotic fundraising event and their request was granted.  Many organizations, even if their main aim was not war related, held fundraisers for the war effort.

April 9, 1918 – Fort William:1918-04-09_2The Thunder Bay Production and Conservation Association also wrote to the Fort William City Council requesting a grant of $500.00.  Fort William City Council passed a By-Law to grant them the $500.00 for “patriotic purposes”.  All By-Laws had to be read and voted on three times before they were passed.

April 9, 1918 – Fort William:1918-04-09_3.jpg

Fort William City Council also passed a By-Law respecting the cultivation of vacant lands in the City.  The full text of By-Law 1844 can be read here, it gives the City permission to hold and use vacant lands for the purposes of cultivation; the ability to give permits for a cost of no more than $0.25 each to anyone to cultivate the vacant lands and that person would have first right to a permit on the same lands the next year; lays out the process for City taking control of the vacant lands and that the owner had the right to protest if they could prove they were going to be using the land for a revenue-producing purpose in the current year, and that no compensation would be paid to owners.

Naval Invention

April 17, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-17_1In March, we saw the tax rates laid out and that the Patriotic Purposes tax, the fund that was used to give grants to patriotic organizations for their work, was to be given one mill of the taxes collected.  Here, Miss Margaret Smellie, Sectretary of the Canadian Club and sister of Elizabeth Smellie, writes to Port Arthur City Council about this amount.

April 17, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-17_2dstIn a rare instance where the filed letter mentioned in the minutes is still in existence, we have a copy of the telegram sent by Mr. Keefer regarding Daylight Saving.  Daylight Saving was instituted in Canada in 1918 as a fuel saving measure and as a way to increase production as labourers could work longer daylight hours.  The Lakehead was one of the first areas in the world to try out DST by switching from Central to Eastern time zones on May 1, 1908, and switching back in November.  they did the same in 1909, but Fort William switched back, while Port Arthur stayed on Eastern Time, leading to a few months of confusion.  Both Cities then instituted what they considered to be permanent DST, by getting permission from the Ontario legislature to move full time to the Eastern Time Zone in 1910. In this telegram, Mr. Keefer is reassuring the Port Arthur City Council, that since they are already on Daylight Saving Time, they would not have to change times like the rest of Ontario.

April 17, 1918 – Port Arthur:
1918-04-17_3.jpgA letter about new fuel regulations is sent from the Fuel Administrator, H.C. Harris. Many fuel regulations were set down in February, when both cities were facing a coal shortage.

April 17, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-17_4.jpgIn May 1917, seed potatoes were purchased for the Garden Club at a price of $3/bag from various farmers, mostly from the Dorion area.  This year, it appears they will be able to get them at a price of $2/bag, purchasing 100 bags of seed potatoes for $200.00 (approx. $3000 in today’s dollar).

April 23, 1918 – Fort William:1918-04-23_1

Both Cities received requests for chartiable funds that would be going overseas as well as staying on the homefront.  Here, Fort William City Council has been asked by the Daughters of the Empire to make a “special donation for a hut or cottage in France.”

April 23, 1918 – Fort William:1918-04-23_2.jpgFort William City Council also referred a few letters to the Finance Committee: one from the Y.M.C.A collecting funds for their work with the soldiers at the front in France; and another, from the Board of Trade, looking for a reimbursement of their expences when their President traveled to “eastern cities dealing with the Government Land Settlement Scheme for returned soldiers.”  We heard more about this scheme in March, and more news is in the srticle below as well.

Land Settlement

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-29_1As we have seen above, the City of Port Arthur was bringing in fish from Nipigon for resale in Port Arthur in order to increase fish consumption to free up more meat to send to the front.  Here, a Mr. A. Clarke is requesting to open up a fish market and be given the sole right to handle Nipigon fish in Port Arthur.  City Council refers the matter to the Food Control Committee, adding that “he be requested to make an arrangement whereby other dealers will be able to secure a supply of these fish on favorable terms.”

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-29_2_1.jpg1918-04-29_2_2 The Garden club had decided to host a Dominion Day picnic with sports and children’s games at Current River Park on July 1st 1918.  The event would include various organizations and societies that they hope to get on board with the helping to plan the event.  They hope to include returned soldiers and those awaiting deployment and will arrange for the City Band and the McGillivray Pipe Band to perform.

The Garden Club, also decided to create forms for members to fill in about the produce they grow. They have also decided on the garden prizes, 1st, 2nd and 3rd for best garden, six consolation prizes, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd for Gardens of Soldiers’ Wives.  They also discussed asking Rennie Seed Co. to donate a prize as well since the Garden Club supplied their members with seeds from Rennie’s, so all vegetables exhibitted would be grown from their seeds.

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-29_3.jpg

We can finally see a report from the Food Control Committee to see what kinds of things they have been doing.  They distributed Canada Food Board posters around Port Arthur, and 3000 pledge cards to public schools. It is unclear what the pledge cards were about, but we can assume they were for children to pledge to help conserve food and do what they could to help produce it at home.  They also met with retailers to discuss the sale of “flat fish” and reported to the Food Controller about fish consumption in the District.

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:
1918-04-29_4.jpgAs we saw Fort William do above, Port Arthur also passes its own Cultivation of Vacant Lands By-Law, which is almost word for word the same as that of Fort William.  There was perhaps an template circulated by the government.

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:

The Port Arthur Market Committee suggests a school garden competition between teams of six boys each, age 13 and under, from each school: North Ward, Prospect, Central, Separate, and South Ward.  They would cultivate adjacent plots of 50 by 150 feet on Wilson Street, which the City would plow, harrow, fence and supply the seed.  The Superintendent of the Garden Club would arrange supervision, and a prize of a silver shield would be awarded to the school of the winning team as well as individual prizes.

In February, the Market Committee had suggested that Council lease 5 acre plots in Strathcona to encourage larger scale cultivation.  Here they have approved 5 people that the Mayor and clerk can sign such leases for.

They are going to arrange an auction sale to be held on the fourth Saturday of each month for farmers to sell livestock and farm produce, beginning and May.

They also note a shipment of 100 lbs of fish from Kyro-Hellberg Co. that needs to be paid for by the City clerk within the week.

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:1918-04-29_6.jpgDespite asking the Soldiers’ Aid Commission to hold off on making any more financial requests until after July 1st when Port Arthur City Council granted them $250.00 on April 8th, the Commission asks for another $250.00 to be granted from the $1000 that the Finance Committee had set aside as a grant for them.

April 29, 1918 – Port Arthur:
1918-04-29_7The Port Arthur City Council recieves a letter from the Garden Club regarding pilfering from gardens.  they send a copy of the letter to the Police Commission so that the Police will do more to monitor gardens and prevent the theft of garden produce.  It would be very discouraging to gardeners to put a lot of time and effort in, only for their produce to be stolen. If the Police were not willing to do anything about it on top of that, it could lead to people not being willing to garden at all, as they could view it as the City not supporting their efforts.