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Food rationing and gasoline rationing were a part of the war effort in Portage as in all other parts of Canada, and the Portage branch of the Red Cross played an important role too. (Dr. W. Dal zell was serving his 14th term as President for Portage and district Red Cross in 1941. )
The war took on added meaning and horror for Portagers when casualty lists were printed and names of happy, healthy youths who had been a lifelong part of our city were included. Some gave their lives in Europe's skies, some while guarding the Atlantic life-line and some in major ground campaigns. Several Portage boys received medals for bravery, some of them posthumously.
A mighty surge of thanksgiving and rejoicing swept the country on May 7th, 1945, when the news of the unconditional surrender of Germany was broadcast. However, Japan, who had been fighting on their side, refused to give up.
On August 5, 1945, the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima; on August 8, 1945, a second atom bomb fell, this time on Nagasaki; and on August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered uncondi tionally and a ceasefire order ended fighting in World War II.
On September 2, 1945, the Japanese surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay.
EVENTS OF THE '40s
During the war (in 1943) Olie's Restaurant was destroyed by fire, and in 1945 a new one, under the same name, was officially opened by Peter Anderson. The building was described as "one of the best equipped in Western Canada" by a local paper. The restaurant was 67 ft. by 43 ft. and the building which ran to a depth of 132 ft. contained a bus depot, a bowling alley, and the offices of Adam Brown Jr., Dr. W. Dalzell, Dr. G. Elliott, J. R. Colwill, K.C., and G. H. Mann, as well as the restaurant.
The production of peas in the Portage district developed from approximately 500 acres in 1938 to more than 7,000 acres by 1944 which constituted 7/10th5 of the entire Manitoba crop.
Direct relief cost the ci ty $26l.20 for the man th of January in 1945. Eight heads of families and 21 dependents were enrolled. The average cost per person was $7.91. Fuel amounted to $84.20; food $171.00 and shelter $6.00.
How many people know that Portage Ia Prairie was the first city in Western Canada to have compulsory milk pasteurization?