The War Charities

By Erica

Every year, the YMHA raised money to finance its operations. During the 1930s and 1940s, Annual Balls took place as part of social activities of the Y. The funds collected would raise money for the Y. However, during World War II, this money went elsewhere. Proceeds from the Thirtieth Annual Ball, held in 1940, were donated to the Central Co-Ordinating Committee for Sports and Recreation Military District No. 4. The War Charities Act was instituted in 1939 and set regulations on how funds could be sent to help the military. The YMHA was one of the organizations which sent funds as part of the War Charities Act. Donating these funds was just one of many ways the Y was active in supporting the Canadian military during World War II

The Y kept close correspondence with the Canadian military during these years, as is evidenced by the following document. The Y donated its proceeds from its 31st Annual Ball, which totaled the amount of $612.47, a measurable sum in 1940. J.M. Humphrey, a Major in the Auxiliary Services, thanked Harvey Golden, the Executive Director of the Y. He wrote,

“This generous gift on the part of your organization has been the means of keeping Hockey especially to the forefront within the various units of this District during the past winter season, without such help it is doubtful as to whether even the League, now flourishing, could have been thought of.”

It is neat to find out that the Y donated money to help fund the military’s hockey program, a key Canadian sport and pastime. The Y was involved in many other activities for the war effort, such as hosting dances and providing lectures for soldiers. World War II is central to the Y’s history, as demonstrated by the stained glass window in the Y lobby. It is interesting to know for all of us that the Y’s funds and involvement helped finance fitness and fun for Canadian soldiers.

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