100 Years Ago: Five-Minute Men Give Patriotic Talks, Belleville Production League Holds Meeting on Food, Honor Roll for St. Thomas’ Church, Soldiers of the Soil

The Intelligencer March 13, 1918 (page 7)

“Are Organizing Five Minute Men. War Bureau of Canada is Working to Maintain Confident War Spirit. The Dominion Government has appointed a Director of Public Information, under whom a War Lecture Bureau has been set up as a nation-wide publicity medium on matters relating to the great struggle.

Already in every province several hundred local representatives have offered their services for this patriotic work, who in turn secure the help of volunteer speakers who are known as ‘Five-Minute Men,’ and who give these brief, crisp addresses in the moving picture and other theatres and wherever ready-made audiences are to be found, in churches, schools, clubs, conventions, etc. …

At an informal gathering of citizens, held in the Council Chamber yesterday afternoon, the value of said publicity campaign was recognized, and a local committee formed as follows, Chairman, W. C. Mikel, K.C.; Secretary, W. L. Doyle; Committeemen, Rev. Canon Beamish, John Elliott, C. M. Reid and Rev. Dr. Scott. Frank Yeigh, of Toronto, the Secretary of Bureau gave an address on the work and plans of the Bureau.

The citizens of Belleville will therefore soon hear frequent five-minute talks on Government topics.”

The Intelligencer March 13, 1918 (page 2)

“Greater Production Was Discussed by Speakers. Under the auspices of the Belleville Production League a mass meeting of the citizens of Belleville was called for last evening at the City Hall for the purpose of hearing an important matter discussed, namely, ‘Greater Production.’ The attendance was by no means large, but those present took a deep interest in the addresses given. Previous to the speaking, excellent music was furnished by members of the 15th Regimental band, which was greatly appreciated.

The gathering was presided over by ex-Mayor Ketcheson, President of the League, and in opening the meeting he briefly outlined its nature, namely, to stimulate all in the city to greater production during the coming season.

Mr. John Elliott, manager of the Standard Bank, was the first speaker, and in his opening remarks referred to the great struggle that is taking place overseas. …  We have done much since the war commenced, we must do more. …  Every garden in Belleville should be got ready to produce so that what the farmers produce can be exported. Let the boys go out and assist in the farm and let the citizens of Belleville produce enough to feed the citizens of the city. …

Mayor Platt stated that he was pleased to be present at such a meeting. He was only too willing to do all he could to help production. The city will plough lots to help production. There is no doubt that we must get food overseas especially as much food is going down through submarines. The situation is serious, and we must do our bit. …

Ex-Mayor Ketcheson—We want every vacant lot in the city cultivated, and we want citizens who have them to give them for this purpose. Committees have been appointed to see that these lots are ploughed up and the best seed possible will be secured. …

Mr. A. R. Walker, public librarian, stated that at the public library pamphlets will be available on planting of various seeds and the other information regarding production. He moved a vote of thanks to those who had sung, to the speakers and the band for music rendered. …  The singing of the National Anthem brought the meeting to a close.”

The Intelligencer March 13, 1918 (page 7)

“A Work of Art. A handsome honor roll has been presented to Ven. Archdeacon Beamish, rector of St. Thomas Church, inscribed with the names of twenty young heroes, members of St. Thomas, who have made the supreme sacrifice for God and home and native land.

The scroll was painted in watercolors by Miss Helen Yarwood, a talented artist, formerly of Belleville, and presented by her to the rector to be placed in the church. The lettering is the work of Sergt. Hancock, a member of the depot battalion which recently left Belleville for Kingston, and is very cleverly done in Old English. The Honor Roll will be dedicated at the Sunday morning service by His Lordship Bishop Bidwell.”

The Intelligencer March 13, 1918 (page 7)

“Soldiers of the Soil. The great need for greater production of farm crops has led the Ontario Resources Committee as their part towards fulfilling this demand to ask for the services of 15,000 boys between the age of 15 to 19 who will pledge themselves to go on the farms for three months this summer. The organization is being set up by the Y. M. C. A. National Boys’ Work Department. Organizers will go out to secure enrollment officers in all the larger towns of the Province, and the week of March 17th to 23rd is being set aside as special enrollment week.

It is said that if the allies fail to win this war it will be because they have not sufficient food, therefore a big effort must be made to increase food production along all lines during the season of 1918. Every loyal organization is expected to lend a hand toward this worthy and necessary cause. Mr. P. F. Brockel is in charge of the organization of the soldiers of the soil.”