Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1945
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1945

It was May 12, at 4:52 p.m. when Prince George was rocked with violent shaking. At first, City residents feared that the dreaded attack from the Japanese air force had come at last. Instead, it turned out to be a violent earth tremor. Witnesses described it as sounding "like thunder in the ground" and some saw great sections of the cutbanks fall, producing a huge cloud of dust and making the river brown. The cutbanks took on new appearances as tons of earth slid down the slopes in a matter of seconds. In city homes, windows shattered and plaster cracked. Stores reported goods flying off shelves. Remarkably, the liquor store lost only a dozen bottles.

August 9 marked completion of airport construction. The new triangle configuration was built with three 5,000-foot runways. Major users were Pan American Airways, Canadian Pacific Airlines, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force. The war had been the main impetus for both moving to the new site and for the accelerated rate of construction. Five days later, the war ended.

On Tuesday, August 14, people in Prince George celebrated the end of the Second World War along with the rest of the free world. Citizens experienced a cacophony of blaring sound from automobile horns, fire sirens, and even the constant tone of the tied-down whistles at the mill and CNR roundhouse. In the afternoon, streets filled with people who stayed through to the early hours of the morning dancing and celebrating in one massive out-door party! The City sponsored a street dance at the corner of Third Avenue and George Street which attracted hundreds of people. Other dances were held at Graham's Lodge, the CCF Hall, and the Canadian Legion. Others celebrated at house parties all over the city.

The Village of McBride needed better fire fighting equipment and finally in October took delivery of a pump engine and 2,000 feet of firehose from Vancouver. The donation had been organized by M.L.A. Harry Perry for McBride's recently-organized volunteer fire brigade.

As of November 1, a major change in the lumber industry came about after a ruling by the Industrial Relations Board concerning work hours in the lumber industry. From 1925, the common arrangement for those working in this industry had been a nine-hour day, six days a week, resulting in a normal 54-hour work week. With the new ruling, the work day was reduced to eight hours.

Photographic History of Prince George
| Milltown to Downtown | Settlers' Effects |

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