Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1926
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1926

The women of the Prince George Hospital Auxiliary organized May Day celebrations in 1926. Plans for the event borrowed from ancient springtime customs and British Medieval celebrations. School children elected Barbara Nichols as the first May Queen of Prince George. Her maids of honour were Dorothy Hartley, representing the Central District and Christine Neilsen, representing the South District. On May 22, a parade formed downtown in front of the Princess Theatre. The royal procession rode in a carriage pulled by two Shetland ponies. Bud Burden and Harold Moffat rode postilion and the group was accompanied by an honour guard of boy scouts. A stage was set for the coronation ceremony and maypole dancing in a field next to the home of local M.L.A., Harry Perry. After Mayor Taylor crowned Queen Barbara, a small child emerge from a large paper rose to the delight of the audience and stage party. As the May Queen was presented with a bouquet, music began and the signal was given for the maypole dancing to start. Fourteen girls took up the ends of brightly-coloured ribbons and performed spirited dances winding and unwinding the designs on the pole. The May Day tradition carried on for decades as an event on the Prince George spring calendar.

Council dealt with the problem of animals downtown. Although horses were a common sight and means of transportation, conflict arose between stock owners and home gardeners. It was common practice that stock - including steers, cows and sheep - was herded through City streets. Owners found it convenient to let them graze on street boulevards and vacant lots. Unimpeded, they strayed into neighbouring yards and gardens. City ranchers thought homeowners should erect cattle-proof fences to protect their yards. Some put bells on their animals intending that homeowners should awaken during the night and be alerted to the need to protect their gardens. The homeowners found an ally with the CNR. The Railway wanted animals controlled because they strayed onto the train tracks. Council passed a motion that an existing bylaw, to the effect that "no herding be permitted upon City streets" be more strictly enforced.

The Royal Canadian Legion was established in 1926 to assist veterans of the First World War. The branch in Prince George was formed on November 22 as "British Columbia No. 43 Branch of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League." The veterans chose Dr. Roy Alward as the founding president. A building on Third Avenue was chosen as the Legion's first location. It operated as a social centre and an office where needy veterans not eligible for disability pensions received financial help.

The provincial government announced in November that a minimum wage of forty cents an hour would apply to the timber industry. On the coast, timber interests had fought against the province's minimum wage act being applied to the industry. A review board decided that the fairness principle would prevail making the law apply to all industries.


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