GREG SCOTT: Nelson area raises $642,000 in final Victory Loan Campaign

From the archives of the Nelson Daily News in 1919

Poster for the 1919 Victory Loan campaign.

Poster for the 1919 Victory Loan campaign.

Greg Scott brings us highlights from the Nelson Daily News a century ago.

Dateline Nov. 1, 1919

Halloween passed off appropriately and quietly in Nelson last evening. There were the usual festivities which are attendant on the occasion, and Halloween parties were numerous. In the suburbs of the city parties of youths were very much in evidence carrying out their pranks, and though many tricks were played and much fun enjoyed by the young people neither the provincial or city police had any reports of serious damage or wanton destruction which usually accompany Halloween festivities. There will be some householders who, this morning, will find their gates hanging high on a lamp post or that some other prank has been played on them.

Dateline Nov. 7, 1919

The King, in a proclamation to his subjects today appealed to them to help him in celebrating the anniversary of the armistice Nov. 11, by a suspension at 11 o’clock of all normal activities for a brief space of two minutes. The event, which stayed the carnage and marked the victory of right and freedom, should thus be commemorated so that “the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated upon reverent remembrances of the glorious dead.” His Majesty expressed the belief that all will gladly unite in this simple service of silence and remembrance.

(In Nelson a civic holiday was proclaimed but no arrangements were made to mark the observance of the first anniversary of the end of the First World War.)

Dateline Nov. 8, 1919

After having elected its civic governing body by the proportional representation plan for the past two years Nelson will at the next civic election revert to the old majority plan. However the citizens will be given an opportunity of deciding at the forthcoming civic elections which plan they prefer.

It was pointed out at the meeting of city council that the plan had been adopted by the previous council without consulting the ratepayers and it was considered advisable that the citizens should be given the opportunity to say whether they preferred the proportional representation or the majority plan. Although reverting to the old majority system of electing the mayor and aldermen it is not likely that the ward system of electing the aldermen will be adopted again.

Dateline Nov. 8, 1919

Fire, originating in the workshop, gutted the big frame garage building of the Nelson Transfer Company, yesterday forenoon, destroyed five motor vehicles and badly damaged a sixth, destroyed the company’s winter equipment, consisting of sleighs, cutters, and harness stored in the loft and cooked to a turn a fine carcass of venison. The loss on the building is estimated at $6,000, covered by insurance, and on the motor vehicles about $8,000.

When the fire started, the big building was packed with motor cars, and considering the rapidity with which the fire spread, it is surprising that the loss in machines was not greater. The fire department, in spite of slippery streets, reached the scene in record time but it was obvious from the first that there was small chance of saving the building, but by hard work the firemen confined the fire principally to the rear. The building which will have to be rebuilt was only completed a few weeks ago, its final cost being about $11,000. ($11,000 in 1919 equals approximately $150,000 in 2019)

Dateline Nov. 26, 1919

Over 40 columns of news and editorial mention was accorded the Victory Loan Campaign by the Nelson Daily News which helped put Nelson over the top. Nineteen of the 40 columns was local or district matter written by the local staff, 12 columns was telegraphic matter or district correspondence, four columns of editorial, and six columns came under the head of propaganda. Of 62 newspapers surveyed, The Daily News was one of the highest in the table.

Final figures for Nelson and district, after the successful whirlwind finish to the three week campaign, show the magnificent sum of $642,000 exceeding its target of $280,000 and the 1918 total of $555,550. The grand total for Kootenay Boundary, with the final figures yet to come from the majority of points, is $2,960,500.

(The First World was over, but there were bills yet to be paid and therefore one last Victory Loan Campaign in 1919. $605,000 in 1919 equals approximately $8.24 million in 2019 with $2.96 million equaling approximately $40 million)


Ad from the Nelson Daily News of Nov. 11, 1919.

Ad from the Nelson Daily News of Nov. 11, 1919.