100 Years Ago: Women’s Canadian Club to Continue Scrapbooks in Summer

The Intelligencer July 10, 1915 (page 3)

” ‘News From Home’ For Our Soldiers. The Women’s Canadian Club Asks for Your Help in Sending it to Them. To the Editor of the Intelligencer, Sir,—We all know how, when we are away in distant lands, we are thrilled by the words ‘NEWS FROM HOME.’ How greatly intensified this desire must be among the Canadian soldiers fighting so bravely, in Belgium and in France, so far from home and loved ones!

Realizing how great must be this longing among our troops at the front, pupils of the schools of Belleville joined in the ‘NEWS FROM HOME’ plan introduced into the Province by the League of Empire and carried it out most effectively under the direction of the inspector and the teachers. This is the plan—Clippings from the local newspapers, little items giving home news of people, events and sports, short bright sayings and pictures that provoke a smile, pasted into scrap books made of strong manila paper and then sent off weekly to the men at the front.

A few sentences quoted from a letter received in April last in Toronto, and written by Col. E.W.B. Morrison, commander of the 1st Canadian Artillery Brigade, testify to the feeling of the soldiers. ‘I am sitting in a trench on the embankment of the Ypres Canal in Belgium. …  It just occurred to me that the children at home would like to know that their painstaking work had been appreciated amid this hideous turmoil and that they had contributed their ‘bit’ to help the men behind the guns.’

The schools are now closed until the autumn and concerted work on the part of the school children is in abeyance. If the soldiers are to get their budgets, some one must continue their work. A letter has been received from the Secretary of the League of Empire in Toronto asking the Women’s Canadian Club of Belleville to carry it on here. At a meeting of the Executive it was decided that the Club would undertake to produce a certain number of scrapbooks weekly and they ask for the hearty co-operation not only of all the members of the Club, but also of the citizens generally. …

If you desire to assist in the work you may do so by sending to the convenor of the work, clippings—items of news, not over two weeks old, of interest to the men from Lindsay, Peterborough, Picton, Belleville and surrounding districts; no war news please. …  Sample copies may be seen either at the home of the convenor or in prominent windows on Front street. May B. Johnson, President Women’s Canadian Club.”