President Wilson's Terms

October 7: Port Arthur


The Government issued Daylight Saving order (see April) to force the entire country onto Daylight Saving as another Fuel saving measure. The Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William had tried DST on their own in 1908 and 1909, but then changed time zones in 1910, which they had considered a permanent change to Daylight Saving Time.  It seems some Aldermen had forgotten this change as they propose it again by asking Port Arthur City Council to give “full consideration […] to the advantages of the Daylight Saving Order now in force, and consider the advisability of retaining the same in force rather that reverting to the method of recording time heretofore in force.”

October 8: Fort William


The Fort William council received a letter from the Great War Veterans Association of Canada asking that a portion of Mountain View Cemetery be set aside for use by the Great War Veterans Association. This was referred to the Property Committee.

The Great War Veterans Association was formed in 1917 and later amalgamated with other veterans’ groups in 1926 to form the Canadian Legion which in 1960 would become the Royal Canadian Legion. As members of the military return from overseas, the need for a support system for veterans became evident.  The Royal Canadian Legion continues to assist military personnel and their families today.

October 8: Fort William 1918-10-08-2a1918-10-08-3a

Food control was an ongoing concern throughout the war across Canada and greatly affected the prices.  Dr. R. J. McFall, the Chief of the new Cost of Living Branch of the Department of Labour was now in control of food prices, which he clearly thought were too high in Fort William. He asked the Mayor of Fort William to appoint a committee of two Alderman and the City Clerk to “inquire into the high cost of various articles of food.”

He also issued instructions to the dairy producers to lower their prices.  City Council asked him to withdraw those instructions “until he investigated the prices charged. He was also informed that no advance has been a made in the price of milk for the past 12 months not with-standing the increased cost of production.”


October 15: Port Arthur1918-10-15-04

We saw in July that arrangements were being made for ammunitions to be brought from France to outfit the minesweepers being built by Can Car.  In September, the members of the French Navy who arrived were celebrated by the Lakehead.  It appears that perhaps one of these French Naval Officers was ill or injured and passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  The Port Arthur City Council decided to honour French Naval Officer, Edmond Jean Marie Rault, by ordering a wreath for his funeral and ensureing that Council was represented at his funeral.

October 15: Port Arthur1918-10-15-011918-10-15-02

Coal dealers in the Lakehead had usually purchased their supply through direct importation. The dealers were informed by the Fuel Controller for the Dominion that they would have to start buying from a middleman. This would result in an increase of price.  The Council decided to “urgently represent” to the Fuel Controller that the dealers should be able to continue importing coal directly to keep costs low for citizens.

October 15: Port Arthur1918-10-15-011918-10-15-03a1918-10-15-03

As we saw in Fort William, there was a problem for both cities of soldiers who were fighting overseas ending up in arrears on their property taxes.  Fort William had agreed to protect soldiers’ property from tax sale and it seems that Port Arthur did as well.  Here Port Arthur’s Finance Committee had identified the properties owned by soldiers who were so far arrears that their properties could have been sold by the City to make sure that they were eliminated from the Tax Sale list and protected from sale.

October 15: Fort William1918-10-15-06

In Fort William, the Council stated their support of “the Board of Health in any measures they take, no matter how stringent, to stop the spread of Spanish Influenza.”

1918 to 1920, the Spanish Influenza killed between 20,000 – 50,000 Canadians and between 20 to 100 million people globally. In 1919, the Dominion Government established a Department of Health as a response to the crisis.

Spanish Influenza

October 21: Port Arthur1918-10-15-05

The demands from the citizens on the Cities continued.  Here the Port Arthur City Council refers requests to their Finance Committee:  Requests for a grant to the Serbian Relief Committee;  the Soldiers Aid Committee looking for the balance of funds on their grant;  a Mr. W.P. Charles looking for a designated area for the burial of deceased soldiers; and a suggestion from a Mr. Matthews that they use the sinking fund in order to buy Victory Bonds.

October 21: Port Arthur1918-10-21-04

Port Arthur Council expressed condolences to Mr. J. R. Lumby, President of the Fort William Board of Health, on the loss he and his family have sustained in the death of his youngest son, Private Rex Lumby of the 8th Battalion, who was killed in action.

October 22: Fort William 1918-10-22-5a


Due to the influenza outbreak, the Provincial Secretary of Ontario discouraged public meetings during the epidemic, but allowed that committee meetings and small meetings in connection with the victory loan should be permitted.

Fort William City Council also discussed closing  “all public schools and separate schools and also the public library […] during the epidemic of the Spanish Influenza, similar to the case of the churches, and public places, and this Council would recommend such action to the Medical Officer of Health and the Local Board of Health.”

October 22: Fort William 1918-10-22-8a.jpg1918-10-22-8b

On October 8, Fort William City Council discussed orders sent by “Dr. R. J. McFall, Chief of the Cost of Living Branch, Dept. of Labour, Ottawa,” which resulted in the special committee to be known as the “Fair Price Committee” to investigate the price of bread, milk, etc. In this same connection a letter was received from C. Birbett, Secretary of the Thunder Bay Productions Association.

October 22: Fort William1918-10-23-7a.jpg

The Fort William council received a letter from the Fort William branch of the Catholic Army Hut Association asking for a donation to provide funds for soldiers in France.  The Catholic Army Hut Association is perhaps referring to the Knight of Columbus Catholic Army Huts. The Army Huts were a place for military personnel who have completed active duty and are returning home to have access to services and recreation during the First World War.  The Knights of Columbus is still an active organization in multiple countries.

The Council also received a letter from the Canadian Serbian Relief Committee asking for a donation for the Serbian Relief Fund. The Serbian Relief Fund was formed in 1914 and was a humanitarian aid operation.

Army Hut Campaign

October 22: Fort William1918-10-23-10a.jpg

The Board of Health was a joint board between both cities.  Fort William City Council also extended their “deepest feeling of condolence,” to the Chairman of the Board of Health, Mr. J. R. Lumby and his family on the death of their son, for “the supreme sacrifice that has been made in Flanders by Pte. Rex Lumby.”

October 28: Port Arthur1918-10-28-051918-10-28-06

Port Arthur issued the remainder of the 1918 grant that was issued to the Soldiers Aid Commission in response to the letter of request that was received from the Commission on October 12. The Soldiers Aid Commission was formed in 1915 and 2015 was the commission’s 100th year of assistance.

Victory Loan Campaign

October 28: Port Arthur1918-10-28-07

On October 8, the Fort William City Council discussed giving a portion of Mountainview Cemetery to the Great War Veterans Association.  It seems similar letters were sent to Port Arthur City Council who received letters from both a W. P Charles  from Major Ruttan in respects for a burying place for returned soldiers.  The matter was then “referred to St. Andrew’s Cemetery Co. and the Riverside Cemetery Co. with the request that they deal with the subject at once.” Port Arthur Finance Committee also expressed their willingness to meet both Major Ruttan and Capt. Blanchard for further discussion of the matter.