Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1942
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1942

In February, the City revived the ancient and honorable occupation of Town Crier. With an appropriate air of dignity and sense of importance, the crier walked the length of Third Avenue and up and down George Street, as well as other downtown streets calling out "Oh Yea! Oh Yea! Oh Yea! Hockey tonight at 8:30 o'clock." He yelled so loud, his voice could be heard even several streets over. The new Town Crier prepared for his role by singing four times a day to develop his voice. Twelve-year-old Teddy Range was appointed and he did a very good job!

Summertime revealed increasing vehicular traffic in the downtown area. The City declared that George Street and Third Avenue were to become "through streets", which meant that "slow" signs had to be posted at the four corners of the intersection. In addition, "U" turns would no longer be permitted. Pedestrian traffic was also taking its toll on the remaining wooden sidewalks. Many were breaking with wear, and property owners on the south side of Third Avenue between Quebec and Dominion began replacing the boards with concrete. Their efforts were praised in a Citizen editorial which suggested that such actions should be emulated "out of community pride and as an economy measure." The paving of downtown Prince George was accelerated.

During the Second World War, an issue of vital military importance was the construction of the Alaska Highway to move supplies and troops to the Alaska base. In mid-October, Ottawa announced that the most suitable path would be from Prince George to Dawson City. The United States Army Engineers decided to construct the Alaska-Canada Military Highway beginning in Whitehorse on March 8, 1942 and in Dawson Creek in May. Construction commenced without any official approval from the Canadian government. The project took seven months to complete, at a cost of $110 million US. Faced with a remarkable feat of engineering through impossibly hilly terrain and deep bogs, the construction workers felt the discomfort of isolation, temperature extremes, wild animals, black flies and mosquitoes. The workforce was comprised of 11,000 American troops and 16,000 civilians. The highway was completed on October 25, 1942. The next concern became the construction of a link between Prince George and Dawson Creek. Premier John Hart approved survey parties to explore potential routes, and the provincial government earmarked $6 million for building the road which was eventually named after the Premier.

The Prince George Rotary Club was formed on October 7 at the Shasta Café. Dr. Carl Ewert was elected founding President. The club's international charter was presented in a formal ceremony on January 22, 1943. Taking to heart the organization's motto "Service Above Self" meant focusing on making a difference for the greater good of the community. During the first month of the Prince George chapter's operation, with wartime issues pressing, a representative from the Wartime Prices and Trade Board was invited to explain the efforts that were being used nationally to stop inflation. One solution was the use of the ration booklet. During the war, commodities like tea, coffee and sugar were rationed. The speaker reminded local Rotarians that it "cost men's lives to bring such commodities to North America." The Prince George chapter participated in fundraising efforts for various causes in the City, and contributed to Rotary Club projects for the province. One of the first donations made to a cause outside of Prince George was funds for an addition to the Crippled Children's Hospital in Vancouver.

Photographic History of Prince George
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