Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Life On The Home Front: Montreal 1939 - 1945

Life On The Homefront

The Second World War came hard on the heels of a devastating Depression in which families struggled to survive. Life on the Home Front paints a poignant portrait of a city coping with the demands of war. Montrealers, along with other Canadians, were being asked for more sacrifice but this time it would include sending their sons,brothers, fathers and husbands off to war.
Montrealers had to "Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, and Do Without" as one slogan cautioned, and this they did. Many women went to work for the first time and often enjoyed the heady success of doing "a man's job"and earning a regular salary.

Life on the Home Front describes how dissent was also an ever-present reality. Montreal was often awash with anti-war banners and angry speeches which kept the police and journalists busy. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King had to walk a fine line in keeping the country together and united at a time of grave crisis.

All was not gloom and doom, however. Servicemen passing through Montreal as well as locals could enjoy the most vibrant nightlife in Canada. The cozy relationship between city officials, the police and the owners of "disorderly houses" as well as the shady characters who ran gambling establishments gave the name "Sin City "to Canada's metropolis.

(c)2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson
The Past Whispers
All Rights Reserved

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