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Ontario Youth During Wwii Essay

2181 words - 9 pages

The Youth were also major contributors to the War Savings Certificate Program. Since the commencement of the Second World War, Ontario schoolchildren donated $13,337,221 million towards the war effort through door-to-door canvassing, bake sales, movie and dance nights, carnivals and other campaigns in association with the Red Cross and other war charities. $6.6 million worth of war saving stamps were purchased, and $1.5 million worth of bonds. In 1943 and 1944 alone, close to $7 million was raised, amounting to over fifty percent of the total war effort. War equipment that was donated took the form of ambulances, mobile canteens, Red Cross wagons, utility cars, machine guns, wheel chairs, hospital cots, moving picture machines, magazines and cigarettes for the injured. In addition, pupils gave generously of their time in the collection of thousands of tons of salvage, and freely donated great quantities of food and clothing.
War activities made up an integral part of the regular school day program, and this was seen in two Ottawa schools, Lisgar Collegiate and Glebe Collegiate. These two high schools are an example of how the war effort was going on with “unabated vigour”. Pupils here had to set aside adolescent concerns of assignments and fashion to focus on the war effort. Joan Finnigan, an Ottawa folklorist, wrote in Lisgar’s 1943-44 yearbook, “Those were the days of irresponsible adolescence when a youth’s only political conviction was that girls’ skirts should definitely be shorter…We don’t have formal dances and we don’t buy new evening dresses…Girls are leaving school too soon, lured by quick money in temporary wartime jobs.” Prior to the war, at eighteen, one was making the jump up from childhood, but during wartime, at eighteen, a child became a man or woman because the responsibilities of the nation demanded it. Furthermore, children’s lives were affected by food rations, daily newscasts, and by the departures from school of peers who had enlisted. To counteract this, students busied themselves by knitting and raising money for Great Britain.
Students also bought War Savings Stamps and said in the 1941 Glebe Yearbook, Lux Glebana, “We all feel some sort of glow knowing that some concrete evidence of our willingness to help has been shown”. They were encouraged to do so by their teachers, who every Tuesday morning passed around donation boxes. In 1941 alone, Glebe students bought $4,110.75 worth of War Savings Stamps. Schools from the start were entrenching the idea of self-sacrifice in the students and making students feel very important in any task they did that contributed to the war effort. Canada’s Department of Munitions and Supply addressed youth directly and said, “When you boys go out and cut lawns…you release one more man for the armed forces…When you girls help with the housework…that means more hands to work in munitions plants”, and this motivated pupils in to continuing with the war effort. As part of this, the...

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