Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1946
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1946

Prince George got its first radio station after the Canadian government granted a broadcast license to the Elphicke family for a 250-watt station to serve central and northern British Columbia. Broadcasting began for radio station CKPG at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 8 from the second-floor studios located in the Ritts-Keifer Hall on George Street. The first announcer was Jack Carbutt. The signal proved strong enough to reach Endako to the west, McBride to the east, and as far south as Seattle. Mayor Jack Nicholson joined owner Cecil Elphicke on air for the official start. Telephone lines were opened to encourage listeners to call in music requests. Regular features were a report from Parliament Hill broadcast Tuesday evenings and an "air edition" of the Citizen was read on Saturday mornings to provide information of interest to people in outlying districts.

In mid-May negotiations were breaking down between the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers (IWA) and the Northern Interior Lumbermen's Association. The union wanted an 18 cent per hour wage increase and a 44-hour work week. The union also wanted companies to operate union shops and allow check-offs or collection of union dues. The Lumbermen's Association responded, offering a five cent per hour wage increase for a 48-hour week. The union rejected the offer and the lumbermen asked the provincial Minister of Labour to appoint a conciliation board. On May 23, the 4,500 Prince George workers walked out and paralyzed the local lumber industry. Unions asked that camp cookhouses be kept going so the men in the camps could be fed, but the request was ignored. The union then proposed that the men would themselves pay back the cost of the meals after the strike. When lumber workers could not stay at the camps, the union then appealed to the public for billets. An immediate result of the strike was suspension of credit by the local general stores - signaling the expectation that this would be a long strike. Justice Sloan was brought in as mediator. He recommended that employers must deduct union dues if an employee so requested. The strike was eventually settled on June 27. The result was a newly-approved eight hour day and 44 hour week. Another result was an increased emphasis on jobsite safety.

Canada's Governor General - Sir Harold George Alexander, Field Marshall Viscount Alexander of Tunis - made an official visit to Prince George on August 22.

For the first Armistice Day celebration in Prince George following the Second World War, seventy-three veterans of the two World Wars honoured the war dead. On that clear, cold November 11, they formed in solemn rank at the Prince George cemetery. They came to pay tribute to sixty fallen comrades - their graves were marked with wreaths laid just the day before. The soldiers' bodies were laid to rest in the community which once had been home. A veteran's letter was published that week in the Citizen: "I write this with a view to encouraging the people to keep a place in the heart of our community life always open for those who gave their all so that we might live in peace and happiness. Let us never forget."

School dormitories were needed to house senior high school students from outlying areas. The idea to use some of the army buildings vacated at war's end came from school board member Harold Moffat and supervising principal of the Prince George school system, Ray Williston. Their plan was to move some army buildings to the corner of Edmonton Street and Seventh Avenue. The North-Central Teachers' Federation met in Prince George and backed the idea. They also proposed that the Department of Education should provide half the cost of acquiring and maintaining the dormitories for the District. The plan was approved, and the first dormitory operated by a public school board in British Columbia was opened and ready for the first 38 students by the beginning of the next school year.

Photographic History of Prince George
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