100 Years Ago: Free Y.M.C.A. Bathing and Swimming for Soldiers

The Intelligencer February 3, 1916 (page 7)

“Y.M.C.A. bathing and swimming privileges free to all Soldiers. Mr. F.S. Shepperd the travelling secretary for the Military Department of the Y.M.C.A. was in town yesterday and met a number of men in connection with the work being carried on locally. …

The Belleville Young Men’s Christian Association have authorized Mr. Sharpe the Military Secretary here to extend to the battalions in town the free use of the bathing and swimming privileges in the mornings and arrangements will be made by the officers that this opportunity may be taken advantage of.

While probably no other organization in the country has suffered more through the war than the Y.M.C.A. on account of more than fifty per cent of its total membership enlisting it has felt its equipment was just the ‘bit’ it could do to bring pleasure and profit to the men’s lives and had promptly put it at the Militia Department’s disposal at cost or below or as in Belleville, absolutely free.

The response to the Military Y.M.C.A.’s request for reading matter has been so general that all the quantities offered have not yet been collected for want of time and facilities to do so. The new quarters are open now and are with the exception of the Toronto equipment probably the best Barracks Y.M.C.A. in the Dominion. The piano will be moved in this week and programmes are to be presented from time to time.”