July 11th, 2018
Times-Gazette article from December 6th, 1947.
To have a look at what precluded the journey of the displaced people is quite interesting, as it shows the large efforts that were in place to rally the support that allowed them to arrive in the first place. We will have more on Canada’s closed-door policy of immigration, and how it slowly changed, in another story, as for now we will focus specifically on Oshawa’s response.
'The United Polish Relief Fund which commences in Oshawa on Monday, December 15, is an appeal that should command the attention and sympathetic understanding of every citizen,' said Ernie Marks Jr., manager of the local campaign"
Photograph of the Polish Relief Fund campaign manager in the Times-Gazette on December 13th, 1947 (left).
December 19th, 1947. Times-Gazette. Announcement asking for donations for the United Polish Relief Fund of Canada from the Oshawa public.
On December 5th, 1947, a meeting was held at Bloor Street East's Polish Hall to plan for the campaign, as reported on in the Times-Gazette the following day. The week of December 14th to 20th, then known as Polish Week in Oshawa, was decided to be dedicated to the raising of funds. The United Polish Relief Fund was Canada-wide, as well as in the United States. In the next year, on April 5th, an article about the final results of the campaign appeared in the Times-Gazette. The end was met with celebration at Olive Avenue's Polish Hall and the total received ($1,936) was forwarded to the fund's base in Toronto. J. Misztak, past president of the Polish Alliance of Canada (Branch 21) "stated that in the Canada-wide campaign Oshawa Poles had contributed more money for the fund than any comparative group." T.K. Creighton, chairman of the fund and Oshawa's mayor Frank McCallum were "guests of honour at the banquet." This then was a collaboration between Oshawa's ethnic communities, in this case the Polish, and local government officials – typical for such campaigns and other related efforts to bring the DPs to Oshawa.
Times-Gazette notice from February 14th, 1948 with an appeal to donate from Oshawa's mayor, Frank McCallum.
The Canadian Appeal for Children was partnered with both the Canadian Council for Reconstruction (through UNESCO) and the National Council for the United Nations Appeal for Children in Canada. It provided food, clothing, and medical supplies, in addition to supporting the "restoration of the educational, scientific, and cultural life of the war devastated countries of the world" (Times-Gazette, February 26th 1948). Local banks were the ones accepting the donations on behalf of the campaign. This campaign was not the first, nor was it the last in support of the displaced people and the reconstruction of war-torn Europe.
To read some more of the stories we have collected, visit our Stories page.
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