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No.7 Air Observer School was located where Southport is now, south of the city. The road was not paved from the city to the school, and in 1941 the airmen said they were weary of battling mud while travelling to and fro. Abnormal spring conditions made it worse that year. Mayor Ireland predicted that government assis tance would be forthcoming.
There can be no complaints about the lovely smooth road that leads to Southport now.
The Victory Loan quota for Portage and district was placed at $447,800.00 and spirited campaigns were organized to raise this amount.
Many will remember the impressive drive in June, 1941, which featured a military parade and dedication ceremony. Four bands Portage city, under Bandmaster Thos. Homer; Salvation Army led by Bandmaster Clarence Fawcett; the Winnipeg Sea Cadets directed by Lieut. W. A. Cramp and the Cameron Cadet band of Winnipeg furnished music for the parade. Patriotic floats entered by the Portage Collegiate, Prairie Gateway Chapter I.O.D.E., and several commer cial firms of the city headed the parade. Close behind came cadets from the Collegiate, under command of Fraser Cuthbert. Military units and organizations made up the strength of over 1600. An honor fligh t of Tiger Moth planes which droned overhead was another highlight of the dramatic event.
A huge Empire flag with emblazoned Victory Torch set the background of an improvised platform at the Collegiate grounds from 'which Victory Loan speakers addressed the massive panorama of people attending.
Mayor H. A. Ireland ably acted as chairman.
Does anyone remember the "Dominion Torch for Churchill'?
And were you among the admiring throng who saw it when it was placed on exhibition in the C.P.R. depot in Portage?
The Torch was constructed of distinctly Canadian materials; the base of maple, the shaft of pine, and the whole finished with 23 carat gold leaf. Inscribed on the base was "Canada's Victory Loan 1941 - Part of the Tools". After being viewed across Canada it was flown to England and presented to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the man who did more than any other mortal in bolster ing the morale of the English people when they were being peppered with German "doodle-bugs" from the air.