Cross Country

Cross Country

BRITISH COLUMBIA

October 15 1949
Cross Country

Cross Country

BRITISH COLUMBIA

October 15 1949

Cross Country

BRITISH COLUMBIA

THE LIGHTSshone brightly on the stage of Trimble Park, in Vancouver. The drawing of the West Point Grey Community Association had reached its climax and a shiny new $2,300 car stood by, waiting to be taken by the lucky winner.

Miss Vancouver, Marjorie Hildebrand, drew the winning numbers from the barrel. The master of ceremonies announced that Richard F. Gade had

the ticket that won the car. Then there was a disturbance. Detectives climbed on the stage. They seized unsold “admission tickets.” They told the officials of the Community Association that they were conducting a lottery. And they towed Richard Cade’s shiny new car off to the police garage.

Gade, an English photographer and Eighth Army veteran who had been in Canada just 18 months, was baffled. He knew of the campaign by Vancouver police to halt the drawings which the city’s 15 community associations use to raise funds. “But,” he said, “it seems rather odd to me to let the crime, if you can call it a crime, be committed and then come down on it afterward.” Community Association officials claimed they had police permission to conduct the draw.

Police preferred lottery charges against four officials of the association. Among the witnesses they summoned was Gade. “1 suppose I will be helping in my own ‘execution,’ ” he commented. But, for him, it all had a happy ending. Almost a month later the case was thrown out by Magistrate Matheson. Gade hustled to the police garage, shined up his car, and drove off

THE PRAIRIES

While B. C. police are cracking down on lotteries, they’re running wide open just across the Rockies. A survey indicates that between 40 and 60 are going on at any given time in Alberto. Eight automobiles are being raffled off at one time on the streets of Edmonton. Professional promoters are active, staging raffles for service clubs, charities for a minimum guaranteed profit.

The lotteries are made legal by making them contests of “skill.” Ticket buyers have to fill in the last line of a limerick or answer some absurdly simple question.

Attorney-General Lucien Maynard said the province would consider legislation to halt the lotteries if the Dominion did not act. Meanwhile, he said, “I am fed up with people coming to me complaining against the operation of lotteries when in some instances their names are connected with lotteries.”

Which is the oil capital of Canada? To outsiders it may not matter, but to the more ardent Calgarians and Edmontonians it’s a burning issue.

Says Calgary: We are. The head

offices of the majority of oil companies in Alberto are here.

Says Edmonton: We are. Look at Leduc, Redwater and the other fields right at our door.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce thought it had the clincher to Calgary’s argument. “There are several score of American companies operating in the Edmonton oil fields,” a spokesman said. “If they established their head offices in Peoria, III., would that make Peoria the oil capital of Canada?”

* * *

It was the spring of 1940. John Wolpe, a handsome, rugged, 22-yearold six-footer was a clerk in an Ostend shipping office when the Nazis marched into Belgium. Berlin-born Wolpe greeted the invaders with no flags or banners. Instead, he went underground. For John Wolpe was a Jew.

In the spring of 1949, the University of Manitoba graduated John Wolpe with honors. This winter he will be at Harvard on a scholarship, seeking a Ph.D. in Romance languages. Between the shipping office and the halls of Harvard, John Wolpe has crammed enough excitement for several lifetimes. And John Wolpe, fugitive, has become John Wolpe, Canadian Army veteran.

When Wolpe went into hiding, he fled, not away from the Germans but toward them. He pretended he was a Flemish laborer, registered to work in Beilin, then gave the Nazis the slip and went to Bremen. Heiling Hitler loudly, be got a job as a longshoreman. His lunchtime hobby was sprinkling sand in the axle boxes of freight cars.

When the police began to question him, for he had no work pass, he fled again, this time to France. He signed on to work for the Germans in Bordeaux, then went to Calais, to get nearer to England, and possible escape. He bluffed his way into the closely guarded channel port and into a job building pillboxes.

Two and a half years later, the war came to Calais. The town was surrounded by the Allies and a truce was arranged to remove civilians. Wolpe slipped across the lines and was hauled before Major J. T. Carvell of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles as a suspicious character. He offered to tell the location of every pilllH>x in Calais. He also offered to help kill some Nazis. The

Wolpe story then began a new and even more thrilling chapter.

After questioning Wolpe closely the Winnipegs put him in a Canadian uniform, and sent him with a platoon into the town when the truce ended. The platoon was suspicious of this Teutonic-looking stranger but Wolpe, Sten in trembling hand, talked the 12 defenders of the first pillbox into surrendering. Then, single-handed, he rounded up another 56 prisoners. After that, D Company accepted him as one of its own.

Wolpe fought with the Winnipegs through France, Belgium and into Holland. He wore a Canadian uniform and drew rations but got no pay. He fought the Nazis with the fanaticism of an idealist. Said Lieut.-Col. L. R. Fulton, D.S.Ö., “As a soldier, Wolpe was worth a platoon of ordinary men.”

In April, 1945, Wolpe was hit at Deventer, Holland. Machine-gun bullets cut into his right thigh, and he still walks with a limp. He was hospitalized in England, and while in bed was formally accepted into the Canadian Army in September, 1945.

The next February he was brought to Winnipeg through the efforts of the General Monash branch of the Canadian Legion in that city. He entered the summer term at the University of Manitoba that year and proved a serious, argumentative but keen student. He paid his way with D.V.A. grants and summer jobs in the CNR yards.

Wolpe is still uncertain about his future. He doesn’t know what happened to his family. His father and mother were captured by the Germans and his brother went into hiding when he did.

ONTARIO

Why don’t schools have their own criminal codes, defining the various kinds of student wrongdoing and assigning the proper punishment to fit each crime? This was the proposal of

Magistrate J. A. Hannrahan, of Windsor, when the principal of a public school came before him charged with assault for slapping a 14-year-old girl. The principal was acquitted.

The magistrate thought that it would help teachers if it were set out in black and white when and how they could lay on the rod. Dr. J. G. Althouse, chief director of the Ontario Department of Education, disagreed. Teachers, he said, had the right to punish wrongdoers in a manner “similar to a wise and judicious parent.” That, he thought, was all the authority they needed.

Five years ago, seven Hamilton school children died in traffic accidents. Up to the beginning of the fall term this year, there had not been one death and there had been a 75% reduction in accidents involving school-age children.

Credit for this record goes in large part to the Hamilton Police Safety Club, with a membership of 32,000 from the city’s 52 primary schools. The club was founded by Inspector F. E. Eddenden of the traffic squad in 1944.

Every school day of the year a preschool radio talk on safety goes into Hamilton homes. Every Saturday night of the term the club is on the air with a safety talk, a radio playlet or a traffic quiz contest. There are safety essay contests, poster contests and competitions between schools. The club draws about 60,000 letters a year on safety subjects from its young members.

* « *

An official of an Ontario city made a disturbing discovery. He’d lost his key case. It contained his car key, several other assorted keys—-and the key of the jail.

He chewed his nails, but not for long. Someone found the keys, noticed that to them was attached the miniature of an automobile license plate. On the back of the plate it said: “Please mail to Key Tag Service, War Amputations of Canada, 4 Grange Road, Toronto.” The finder dropped the keys in the mailbox, the Amps got them, checked the license number on the tag against the motor list prepared by the provincial highway department and shot the precious keys off to their rightful owner by registered mail.

In two rooms at 4 Grange Road two amputees (one from each war) and a French-Canadian stenographer provide lost key service for 1,300,000 Canadian car owners for an annual fee of 25 cents.

More than 100 sets of lost keys are returned to their owners each month. They are posted from all over Canada and frequently from the United States, where the American Amps run a similar organization. Many key finders write in, asking for the service.

The key service now serves all provinces except British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and P. E. I. P. E. I. is coming in next year. Early in the year the provinces issue a list of plates issued with names and addresses of the owners. The Amps have the same plates made in miniature and mail them to the owners. If the owner wants the service he keeps the tag and mails back a quarter.

Viscount Alexander and members of his family hold tags. So do the premiers of five provinces. So also does a doctor in Switzerland, who heard of the service and wrote in with his fee and license number.

Alfred Bishop, an amp of World War I, manages the Key Tag Service. The profits are used to support the association’s national headquarters and to buy recreational equipment for its 17 branches. In rush periods the staff may number as many as seven, with ex-service amps preferred. But sometimes civilians are taken on. One of them is Gladys Sills, the 16-year-old

girl in the picture, who lost a hand in a farm accident and attends collegiate during the school year.

QUEBEC

The chimes of Empire rang with a cracked note when a group of British schoolboys who’d just toured Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, London and Niagara Falls aired their views on their Canadian counterparts as they sailed from Montreal. Here’s what a few of them said:

Geoffrey Goodwin, 17, England: “Some of the girls are beautiful but I must say the boys are a proper silly lot.”

Clifford Codings, 16, England: “The girls are a bit of all right but—gosh —they don’t know how to dance.” Mike Wiggans, 16, England: “Dancing? Why, with them it’s only an excuse to get their arms around each other and do a bit of necking. I find them absolutely sloppy.”

John Bogie, 15, Scotland: “I don’t

understand them.”

Gerry Burns, 16, Ireland: “I find

the girls absolutely terrific. You see, Canadians understand my accent better than they do these English lads.” Glyn John, 17, Wales: “They’re a

bit startling, I think.”

THE MARITIMES

The blueberry, which thrives where other crops fail, is bringing new prosperity to the scores of abandoned farms in Charlotte County in the southwest corner of New Brunswick. This year’s harvest of three million pounds, up 50% from last year’s, poured $300,000 into the pockets of Charlotte County pickers. The county’s blueberry crops were more valuable than the whole N. B. apple harvest.

Most of the blue gold came off farms which had been cleared by the first settlers at back-breaking cost then deserted when the thin topsoil wore out. But blueberry growing is not hit-or-miss in Charlotte. The fields are kept free of growth other than blueberries; are burned over every two years because the berries grow best after a fire; are sprayed to control insects. Occasionally they are treated with chemical fertilizer. Honey bees are imported to pollinate the blossoms.

Yields range from 2,700 to 4,500 pounds an acre.

Cole Bridges, of Calais, Maine, who has made a fortune as the world’s biggest blueberry farmer, is responsible for the boom in Charlotte. For 25 years he has been buying up deserted farms in the county and turning them to berries. Charlotte County farmers watched his results, followed his example.

The berries are all trucked to the United States to be canned or frozen for the bakery trade.

The first canal proposed in North America was one across the Isthmus of Chignecto, the narrow neck of land which joins Nova Scotia to New Brunswick and separates the Bay of Fundy from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

A Jesuit priest urged the project on the King of France in the 17th century. A canal was agreed on at the time of Confederation and tenders were actually called for by the first Dominion administration. Today Maritimers think it’s about time they finally got a Chignecto canal.

The early French priest pointed out that such a canal would shorten the sailing distance from the Bay of Fundy French colony to the Quebec colony by 500 miles. That same saving—and the unfulfilled commitment at time of confederation—are the two things on which the Maritimers will base an appeal to Ottawa this fall. The canal, say its backers, should open markets in Quebec and Ontario for gypsum, granite and limestone from the Bay of Fundy country; and provide a cheap short cut to New England markets for fish, lumber, pulp, paper and farm produce from northern New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P. E. I. and Newfoundland. Spokesmen say there’ll be no letup in the clamor for a canal this time until Chignecto is breached.

NEWFOUNDLAND

Last month, off the harbors and coves around Newfoundland, thousands of fishermen put out to sea a little way, tied their boats together in a solid mass, and spent the day gossiping, arguing about politics, singing lively chanties or even wrestling in the small confines of a dory. They also caught squid, the rudest fish in the ocean.

For these were the days on the squid jiggin’ grounds, when these small but ugly members of the cuttlefish family are caught and stored for bait in the fall fishing season.

The squid is a mass of tentacles surrounding a bulbous head attached to a torpedolike body. When you annoy him he shoots out a jet of sea water mixed with a brownish-black substance. This drives him out of danger and at the same time lays down a smokescreen.

To catch him, you drop overside a jigger, a lump of lead with prongs around one end. When a school of squid approach a waiting fleet of jiggers, the lines begin to twitch and the cry of “squid-o” goes up. Gossip and horseplay are forgotten and soon the air is full of flying squid and squid squirt. A roar of laughter goes up as a youngster on his first trip to the jiggin’ grounds opens his mouth to say something and gets it full of squid squirt. There’s another laugh when an American tourist, out for the fun, tries to pull a squid off a jigger and gets bitten. Meanwhile every man is pulling his lines as fast as he can.

Then the school passes, and the men settle down for another chaw, another gossip and the next run.