I learned a new fact that this month, as I was doing research in The Gananoque Reporter. I discovered that the people and children of Gananoque shipped hundreds of pounds of maple syrup to the children of Britain in April of 1942. Maple syrup provided to the people of Britain a substitute or additional sweetener when sugar was rationed, as well as providing minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. The Reporter supplies very detailed information under the photo listing the schools and teachers whose classes participated in this drive to collect maple syrup.
The community of Gananoque had an active Red Cross work room, but in addition to that, ran a very active campaign called ‘Clothing and Food for Britain’ – ‘C.F.B.’ – that shipped directly to Britain’s ‘Women’s Voluntary Service’ rather through the Canadian Red Cross. The weekly Reporter provided very detailed reports of the items that were being sent and the names of the contributors every week. As I read articles like this, I consider what role The Gananoque Reporter played in encouraging this community of around 5000 people to continue to donate to the war effort by carefully documenting the monetary donations, salvage, sewing and knitting clothing for civilians, sewing and knitting for the Red Cross, the making of quilts, the buying toys, the gathering vegetable seeds, and here the collection of maple syrup and sugar. An article in the same issue as the above photo provides this information:
Schools Give One Hundred and Thirteen Gallons of Maple Syrup and Three Dozen Cakes of Sugar
“The gifts of maple syrup and maple sugar for the children of Britain from the children of this Inspectorate of Leeds County have surpassed all expectations. The C.F.B. shipping lists show a donation of one hundred and thirteen gallons of maple syrup and three dozen cakes of maple sugar. Inspector R. H. Roberts, who suggest and engineered the scheme, is to be highly congratulated upon the response from all sides.”The Gananoque Reporter, May 1942
“Mr. Roberts started the campaign by contributing syrup and sugar. The flow of syrup to The Reporter Office was then so constant that records were hard to keep. The three schools of Gananoque donated thirty-three gallons, twenty of these came from the High School, averaging more than two per form; one from St. John’s Separate School and twelve from the Linklater School. Ten of the classrooms for the Linklater School gave one gallon each while Miss Carpenter’s pupils raised their number to two.
Two C.F.B. shipments addressed to the Head of the Overseas Department of the Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence have already carried maple syrup. The Syrup cases were carefully wired by Mr. S. Sharpe of the St. Lawrence Steel and Wire Co. These consignments contained, in addition to the syrup cases, chests of bedding, clothing, shoes and tinned food. Each of these shipments weighed almost 900 pounds, while each had approximately 800 items. To date, C.F.B. gifts have reached four countries, namely England, Wales, North Ireland and Russia.”
In upcoming posts I will share some of the many letters from Britain that were published in The Gananoque Reporter — letters of thanks from civilians for the gifts they gratefully received.