Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The labour troubles during and after the war culminated in the longshoreman's strike in the winter of 1923-24. Even though that was a bitterly fought fight, Vancouver was fortunate enough to escape the impact of a major upheaval such as the Winnipeg general strike of 1919.

The Canadian Legion also didn't turn on the unions as "betrayers of men at the front" like the American Legion did. And Canada was at war for almost three years longer than the U.S. Our fighting men were mostly working men during some period of 1914-18 either before enlisting or after they returned, wounded. A very large proportion of the union were men who had fought in the war by the time the was ended.

The last of WWI saw the trends of 1917 intensify. Except for the strikes. There was full employment, business was "the soundest in history", prices went higher, stocks of goods were low and housing was scarce.

The main war industry continued to be shipbuilding. 39 vessels, large and small, were completed, six still on the way with 33 wooden and 12 steel ships contracted for. There had been 39 tag days during the war, which raised $105,000 for various charities; people were complaining about the frequent appeals.

All things come to an end. Including WWI. News of the armistice arrived just after midnight, early in the morning on November 11. The town went wild; lights blazed, whistles blew, elderly housewives danced in the streets, dignified businessmen yelled, shrieked and beat on tin cans.

All day long, the streets were filled with people. At noon, traffic could not move at Hastings and Main. A step-seated, open B.C. Electric sightseeing car careened all over town with a band jam-packed on board, blaring out all the wartime songs. It was piloted by fast-talking, wisecracking Teddy Lyons.

A civic parade that afternoon made its way through the crowds of hoarse, happy, tired but still yelling and cheering men, women and children.

Thanks to the book Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis by Alan Morley for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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