100 Years Ago: Thrift by Penny Bank Depositors, Farm Soldiers, Mother’s Day Observed by Soldiers, Military Carnival to Be Huge Success

The Intelligencer May 21, 1918 (page 2)

“Thrift Exhibited In Penny Banks. Penny Bank depositors have the reputation of being most patriotic savers and are in a large measure living up to the injunction issued last year, ‘Do not draw out until you need the money more than your country does.’

The children of a certain Indian reserve in Ontario have lived up to the letter of this injunction, and have never drawn a cent of their money for the last twelve months. The bank authorities were so much concerned about the strict observance of their suggestion that they wrote to the school teacher in charge of the Penny Bank on the reserve asking her if there was any misunderstanding. The teacher replied that the children quite realized that their deposits were available at any time, but that they were endeavoring to follow the advice to leave the money in the bank until they needed it more than their country did.”

The Intelligencer May 21, 1918 (page 2)

“Farm Soldiers. Seeing Mr. P. F. Brockel, Secretary of the Belleville Y.M.C.A. running around in a Ford car one might imagine that there was money in the Y. M. C. A. business. However, the car and Mr. Brockel just signify the desire of the Ontario Government that Mr. Brockel be given every facility to cover quickly the six counties allotted to him—his territory in connection with the Soldier of the Soil movement in national service.

The Soldier of the Soil, organized by the Ontario Government to help the farmers is operated under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A. National Council for Boys Work, and nearly one hundred boys have enlisted for farm work from the schools of Belleville and vicinity. The province is divided into districts with a Y.M.C.A. man in charge of each who will work in co-operation with the farmers needing farm labor and keep in touch with the boys working on the farms. Each Y.M.C.A. supervisor is supplied with a Ford car to enable him to look after his district efficiently.

Special examinations were held on April 20 for teen-age boys from the fourth book up and all boys taking high enough standing were permitted to enlist in the Soldiers of the Soil; reporting for farm duty by May 20, and upon giving three months farm service to be given their standing upon return to school. The boys completing their national service on the farms will be decorated with the National Badge of Honor, which is a neat bronze emblem surmounted by a beaver, sheaf of wheat centre and surrounded by scroll work inscribed as follows: ‘Canada Food Board.’ ‘Soldiers of the Soil.’ As a variation to farm life the Y.M.C.A. will provide entertainment of various kinds, picnics, etc., so that all work and no play will not make Jack a dull boy.”

The Intelligencer May 21, 1918 (page 4)

“Mother’s Love on the Battlefield. ‘Mother’s Day’ in Canada has not the deep significance which attaches to this very worthy tribute to the love, which only a mother can inspire, among the soldiers on the firing line. Mother’s Day was fittingly observed by the soldiers in France on May 12; Y.M.C.A. officers being prominent in the movement. One hundred and fifty thousand specially printed sheets of notepaper were supplied the soldiers, besides twenty-five thousand special cards bearing a message to Canadian mothers. That message, which expresses the unalterable determination of the soldiers of Canada to prosecute the war until victory is secured reads in part:

The Gift of Freedom. ‘It is really you, our mothers and our homes, for whom we are fighting. When the gift of freedom is ours then we will come home and lay it reverently at your feet, for it will be hallowed by the blood of many comrades. Then we shall devote our lives to service in our country, in the upbuilding of happy homes and noble citizenship. Pray for us that this high and holy vision may be ours—that we may be given courage and patience to finish our task. What a glorious home-coming there will be! Till then we remain where we are, fighting for our mothers and homes.”

The Intelligencer May 21, 1918 (page 6)

“Some Big Event For Veterans Celebration. Grand Military Carnival For June 3rd Promises To Be a Huge Success. Some startling announcements of novel events for Belleville’s Big Day are assured in a very few days. Two members of the entertainment committee left to-day for Toronto, where they expect to make final arrangements for some big special features that are sure to put the first Great War Veterans’ Reunion of this district, a huge success. Watch the local papers for special announcement in the very near future.”