Dateline Cowichan: Duncan prepares for air raid bomb attack

Admiral Mainguy Sea Cadets and officers pose in front of the clubhouse sometime between 1960 and 1965 in this photograph by Jay Powley.  - courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archive
Admiral Mainguy Sea Cadets and officers pose in front of the clubhouse sometime between 1960 and 1965 in this photograph by Jay Powley.
— image credit: courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archive

A scant two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, Duncan’s air raid and fire wardens were prepared.

In February 1942, some 60 of them met with Duncan’s senior city warden Mr. A. J. Castle to discuss evacuation in the face of a bombing raid. The local 750 children would be evacuated to bush on College Street hill before either being loaded on buses in charge of teachers and wardens or walked home by wardens.

Should Duncan Hospital be hit, St. John Ambulance men and the Women’s Red Cross Corps would evacuate patients to the door. There, trucks containing stretchers would take them across town to the Knights of Pythias Hall on Brae Road that would be used as an auxiliary hospital.

Castle praised the work of Mr. J. L. A. Gibbs, chief warden for the whole district; and of Mr. A. J. McKelvie, his assistant. They deserved tremendous credit for the day and night work they had done over the past months, he said.

In Duncan, Mr. K. F. Duncan was in charge of the east section; Mr. D. Cockrane, central; and Mr. J. C. Wragg, hill. Castle emphasized housewives should gain knowledge of incendiary bombs.

1942: agriculture

When Cowichan Agricultural Society held its directors’ meeting, Arnold Flett was elected president. Mr. B. C. Walker became first vice-president, Capt. C. L. Anderson second vice-president and R. Morford, secretary.

1942: cougars

Cowichan Station’s James Mearns bagged five cougars, including a mother and half-grown kitten, over a three-week period. The cougars were worth $75 in bounties, just over a quarter of their worth before the depression of the 1930s.

1942: raffles

The raffle of a miniature doll-house built by Mr. Leachasen raked in $165 towards Red Cross funds in Youbou. Contributions by all 501 employees at Industrial Timber Millls brought the total to almost $4000.

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