JUNE 1944

NO. 12

Published at the Hespeler, Ontario Plant of Dominion Woollens and Worsteds, Limited


Annie Stoddart


No. 15 S.F.T.S., Claresholm, Alta.

Before enlisting in September of 1943 in the R.C.A.F., Annie had been employed with us for eighteen months in the Worsted Yarn section as a flyer spinner and latterly as a cap spinner.

Fast Forward Annie Stoddart


Ruth Zvaniga


No. 12 V.T.S., C.W.A.C., Saskatoon.

Ruth was employed here for three and a half years, having originally worked in the former Knit Goods section. When she decided to give the C.W.A.C.’s a break in October 1943, she was working in the Drawing Dept.

Fast Forward Ruth Zvaniga

Yarn Assembling

Ed Sault

Ed. Sault Bundles Yarn

Here we see Ed. assembling hand knit yarn for shipment. Three grades of yarn are assembled, one known as Special Canadian and is a high grade quality yarn. Another is Special Fingering, a medium grade yarn. Both these grades are worsted yarns. The third is woollen, known as Wheeling yarn.

The yarn comes to Ed. From the dyehouse in skeins, is put up in six pound spindles and wrapped ready for shipment.

Ed. has been doing this job for sixteen years and has an enviable record—no complaints. He first came to the mill with the Forbes Company when still a boy, and worked on the job he is now doing for three years. He then left and took up the blacksmith trade here in town at a blacksmith shop across from the Day-Smith Company.

He remained there for twenty-eight years and with the advent of motor cars and the lack of houses, Ed. closed up shop and returned to the mill.

Ed. is the father of five children, all of whom have been employed in the mill at one time or another. At present, a daughter, Mildred, is employed in the Payroll Dept. Another daughter, Helen, was employed in the Drawing-in Dept. previous to her enlistment with the C.W.A.C.

Ed. has seen many changes in his time here, and he has said that with all the changes, the yarn he handles still retains the same fine quality.

Display of Hespeler-Made War Materials Fills Largest Store Window in Town

Once upon a time the baseball bat would have been a lethal weapon in the hands of a fighting man. What it lacked in the “knobbiness” of the traditional war-club it made up in its “springiness” of handle. Yes, the baseball bats in the Wood Specialties display below are sold direct to the Department of Munitions & Supply and find their way to the fighting fronts of the world. But our boys don’t use them to bash in skulls—they bang out homers behind the line. Morale building equipment is fighting equipment in these history making days. Baseball bats, together with the ace, pick and hammer handles in the same display, are standard Canadian Army equipment.

The proverbial sitting duck would have an easy time of it compared to a merchant-man caught in a harbour by a U-boat. But U-boats don’t get into our harbours. They are kept out by great nets that swing on gadgets made in Hespeler. The Kribs Company also make one of the parts that form an anti-submarine assembly still on the secret list. The government is not taking chances.

No—those are not mittens in the Day-Smith display. They are “balaclavas,” a Naval cap and an Army cap. Shown as well are navy blue and khaki scarves, jerseys, and V-neck sweater coats—all standard equipment for Canada’s fighting man.

In the summertime a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of tropical worsteds and Allied airmen in tropical countries find the summers long and hot. Artex Woollens have supplied tropical worsteds for Allied airmen.

In the foreground is a display of contrasts – the homely mug, plate and soup bowl of the mess hall together with three shiny louvres for installation in destroyers, corvettes and mine-sweepers. The louvres ventilate each room below the water line and every room when the ship is battened down. The “S”, by the way, stands for Stamped & Enamelled Ware Ltd.

When tunnelling Gibraltar several years ago, Ontario hard rock miners set a record for Army Engineers for tonnage of rock removed in a specified time. They used, among other tools, pipe wrenches made by Jardines. All three services use these wrenches and many war industries. They are to be found in the tool-kits of Canadian tanks fighting in Russia and of water tank trailers in Africa, Sicily and Italy.

At this very moment, no doubt, hydraulic parts made by Whitehall Engineering are hovering somewhere over enemy territory snugly fitted into deadly Lancaster and Mosquito bombers. When you read of a home-coming bomber “pancaking” in a cloud of dust, you may be sure that some of its hydraulic equipment was damaged by the enemy—there was nothing the matter with the parts.

And finally we come to the cloth you are making. If every yard produced since Hitler “stuck out his neck” were laid end on end, the path would stretch from here to—say, wouldn’t you like to have had gas coupons to go that far! An army travels on its stomach in more ways than one. Although the patrol headed for enemy lines crawls along the ground, their battle dress must stand up. Does it ever give you a thrill to think that somewhere perhaps, a husband, a sweetheart, a brother or a friend is lying warm and concealed in a suit of 31 Drab that you helped to make?

The sun shines on Stager’s window for a few hours each day. The sun never sets on Hespeler-made war materials in the fight the world war.

Hespeler Production Goes to War

Hespeler Production Goes To War


By this time you will all have received your copy of the new Agreement. There should be no reason why you cannot carry it in your pocket or hand bag. Last year’s copy was, we admit, rather awkward to handle. We hope you will study the new Agreement and make it your guide for the coming year. If you are doubtful of the meaning of any clause, consult your steward. He will be glad to explain it to you.

The response to the recent poll taken by the Recreation Club for summer activities was rather disappointing. What is wrong with the older people? If you feel you are too old to be bothered with recreational doings you should bear in mind that the same line of reasoning was probably responsible for your lack of opportunities when you were younger. If you don’t get behind this club and try to make a go of it for the younger set, they are going to be in the same rut as you are now. Think of the overseas gang too. Why not have the club in a strong, healthy condition when they return? Give your Recreational Club representatives a boost.

By this time the holiday schedule should be lined up. If you find that the original date set doesn’t fit in with your plans, give your steward at least ten days’ notice of your change of mind and no doubt he can make arrangements with your foreman to your satisfaction. We want you to be satisfied.

To our new members—we meet the first Wednesday of every month at 8:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. We’ll be glad to see you there or at any other time for that matter.

President W.W.U.



Arrangements have been completed to form an eight team ladies’ softball league in the plant. The league will be divided into two groups, one group playing on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and the other group playing on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. It is hoped to enlarge the league with more teams as soon as they can be formed. All games will be played at Forbes Park.

The men’s industrial team, composed of the remainder of last year’s two teams, won its opening game with the Independents by a score of 17 to 11.

Bicycle Club 

At a recent meeting of the Recreation Club a Bicycle Club was formed. Keen interest was shown in this venture and an outing was arranged for Saturday, May 27th. Due to bad weather at the scheduled time of leaving, many who planned on attending did not turn out. Eventually the sun came out and those who did attend report having had a very good time, and are looking forward to the next outing.


To Dan Jiggins in the death of his wife, Elizabeth.

To relatives and friends of Henry Reading, card feeder, who died recently in the Guelph Hospital following an operation.

To Ned Davidson in the death of his father who was well known around the plant.


The Winding Dept. is hoping that the table lamp they presented to Edith Clements on the occasion of her marriage to Cpl. Ed. Haist on May 26th, will lighten the many happy years ahead of them.

What’s this we hear about Doug Wilson taking the “big step”?—We would like to hear more about that.

We are sorry to hear that Len Jagger has been in the hospital with pneumonia. The Wool Sorting Dept. sends their best regards and hopes to see you back soon Len.

John McTaggart was pleasantly surprised when his son, Pte. Gerard McTaggart walked into his home here. Pte. McTaggart has seen service in Africa, Sicily and Italy and is home for a well deserved rest.


Clifford Russell, stationed at Vancouver with the Merchant Marine, was in the mill recently to see how things are going in the Weave Room.

Robin Low, Gordon McIntosh, Edgar Stremble, Tom Foss and Alex McCormick dropped in to see the gang in the Weave Room while home on leave.

Jean Masterson took time out while home on leave to visit her former associates in the Woollen Spinning Dept.

Bill O’Krafka paid a farewell visit to the boys in the Woollen Yarn Stores before leaving for the east coast.

Shirley Harlock, home on leave from Montreal, visited the Worsted Spinning Dept.

The boys in the Combing Dept. were pleased to see Lloyd Fleishhauer around the plant. Lloyd has been stationed in Newfoundland and was home on furlough recently.

Mark Kohli who was home on sick leave for several weeks dropped in to say hello to the gang in the office before returning to Moncton where he is stationed.

George Kohli visited the plant while home on a two-week furlough from Camp Ipperwash.

It was pleasure to see John Wildman around the plant. John is in the Navy and came to see the gang in the Yarn Shipping Dept. while home on furlough.

Donald “Pete” Morlock home on furlough from Dafoe, Sask., called in to see how the boys in the Woollen Yarn Stores Dept. were getting along.

Alf. Scheffel, home on leave from Centralia, visited at the mill before leaving for greenwood, N.S., where he has been posted.

Wilfred “Lefty” Johnson while home on furlough from the west coast, visited the boys in the Cloth Examining & Shipping Dept.

About thirty overseers and foremen attended the meeting of the Galt Zone of the Grand River Valley Division of the Industrial Accident Prevention Associations held at the Highlands recently.

Another St. John’s Ambulance First Aid course has been completed and the following employees have been successful in passing the examinations: Nettie Hadfield, David Goertzen, Helen Westgate, Joe Hadland, Betty Garside, Mary McLaughlin, Anna Hogue, Isobel Rife, Horace Easton, Marie Mindy, Rita Cutting, John Redford, Evelyn Atchison, Fred From and Carl Matthies.


The manpower shortage has become so acute that at one of the department’s annual spring picnics it was necessary for one man to escort twelve girls for the afternoon and evening events.—How does he do it?
Glad to see Sadie Gibson, Helen Grieg and Walter Cutting back with us again after their illnesses.

The girls at Gordon Hall are going to miss Edna Rolls and Marjorie Mick who left last month to become farmerettes for the summer at their home in Moorefield, but welcome back Helen McCormick who has been on the sick list for two weeks. No wonder they are glad to see her back, she’s the cook.


Lt. Col. Neil Baird has just returned to Canada after three years overseas. He went to England with the H.L.I. in 1941, and for the past six months he has been serving in Italy. At present he is on the General Staff at National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa.


Our hearts go out in sympathy to the parents, sisters and brothers of John and Russell Dahmer, who were reported killed in action only two days apart – May 24th and May 26th. The tragic news comes as a distinct shock to their many friends in the mill and in the town.

Both brothers were serving in Italy but were not fighting side by side. When John enlisted in July, 1943, he had been a loom fixer for several years. Russell was the night winding floorman prior to his enlistment in August, 1941. They will long be remembered by their fellow workers for their willingness always to do more than their share.


Army…………………….……………. 117
Air force ………….….………………  75
Navy…………………………………..  14


Lorna Keetch

Shades of Isaac Walton! The old fishing hole was never like this. The improvement is Lorna Keetch.


A105843 Pte. J. K. Durnford,
Royal Canadian Regt., “B” Coy.,
Canadian Army, C.M.F.

“Received your regular copy of the mill paper and cigarettes for which I thank you very much. It is nice to read all the good news and it’s the only paper that interests me. I see Scott Dickie is still on the job—a good man, too. I wish I were on the warper across from him or on the looms rather than here. Some refer to this country as ‘sunny Italy,’ but as for me I call it a mud hole. How old Jerry likes this place is beyond me. I wouldn’t take a grape vine home as a souvenir. Maurice Bruce doesn’t like it either. There’s no place here that we would trade for a two by four of Hespeler. The ‘Ities’ pester you all the time for clothes and shoes. They offered me 20 eggs and 300 lire for a pair of shoes to-day. But they asked for this, so let them go bare footed.” Thanks John. Write again.


Brown Milne of Preston was the lucky winner of the first prize, $150 Victory Bond, given in connection with the Sixth Victory Loan Campaign.

The other prize winners were as follows: 2nd prize, a $50 Victory Bond, Mrs. Bernice Hartley; 3rd prize, $25 in War Savings Certificates, Irene Kendry; 4th prize, $25 in War Savings Certificates, Morrison Reid.

Fred Hutchings, master of ceremonies, announced that total sales amounted to $95,600, 103% of our objective. The names were drawn by Jimmy Grieg whose father, Jack Grieg, a former employee, has been serving in Italy for the past six months.


Barry Davis

Barry, son of Sigmn. Gordon Davis.

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1 Comment

  1. Doug Midgley

    I am leading a very quiet life at present. I am no longer with the Australians, but I am in Scotland with the R.A.F. At this moment I am with an attachment on the Isle of Man, a very beautiful place. Came by boat and lucky for me it was a calm sea. The next stage of my trip was by rail. You should see the Manx Special, in fact the whole railroad system is on a miniature scale, like the toy trains we used to see at the Toronto Exhibitions. The coaches are glorified cattle trucks. I placed my bag in the rack and down it came—no bottom. You talk about your Toonerville Trolley, this one would put a jack rabbit to shame. I have Saturdays off so I head for town for a feed each weekend. We can get lots of eggs and milk and once I was even asked how I would like my steak done.

    They use the bagpipes for music and while this was going on even the seagulls, of which there are hundreds, came to attention.

    J17310 F/O Midgely D.E.
    R.C.A.F. Overseas.


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