JULY 1944

NO. 1

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

In Memoriam

John Dahmer


Killed in action May 24th, 1944

Russell Dahmer


Killed in action May 26th, 1944

They gave their lives so that we who remain will build a better world for those who follow.
Piecing It Together  PIT stop (Dahmer Brothers)

Child of Antiquity – – The Sheep

How often do you, who comb the fleece, spin the yarn and weave the cloth, ever think of our raw material other than in terms of bulky bales bearing mysterious markings and symbols? We revere the inventors of basic textile machinery and marvel at modern improvements but how much credit do we give to those rugged gentlemen who, since the beginning of time, have striven to improve sheep and its wool for specific purposes.

While the shepherds tending their flocks by night on the hills of Bethlehem heard “the good tidings of great joy,” sheep raising was a thriving industry. Centuries before, old Abraham had “prospered in the Lord” through his great flocks and herds. The ancient Babylonian spun and wove in his humble home. The arrogant Roman flourished his gorgeous woolen toga—his summer lightweight or his winter heavyweight.

In the beginning, the sheep was covered with hair. His wool was merely a soft down next to the skin. Through the years, breeders gradually eliminated the hair and developed coarse wool and fine wool types of sheep. Eventually each country had its own strains and each strain its own colorful history, its peculiar users and its loyal supporters. No sheep, however, has had a more interesting past than the Australian Merino. His ancestors came from Spain.

The Spanish Merino was the outcome of various fine wool sheep brought in from Asia, Africa, Greece and Rome by the Phoenicians hundreds of years before Christ. Gradually, the flocks became migratory, always travelling with the seasons. Constant movement developed hardiness in the strain. Constant warmth resulted in fine long fleece since it caused the body oils to penetrate to the very tips of the wool fibres, keeping them fine and pliant and preventing breakage from dryness.

So valuable did these sheep become during the eighteenth century that to take one out of the country was punishable by death. But smuggling was rampant. In addition, most of the European royalty were related to the Spanish king and were not loath to ask for these bearers of the “golden fleece” in return for political favours. Eventually Merino blood found its way into the flocks of Europe. It is said that one flock of three hundred sheep obtained by the Elector of Saxony in 1765 produced, under the excellent care of a Saxon shepherd, the finest fleeces the world has ever known.

The Spanish Merino was introduced into Australia in 1764 by the first man to cultivate land in the Colony, a Captain McArthur. He had been astonished to see the influences of climate and herbage on the fleece of some coarse-haired Indian sheep he was raising for mutton. Today Australia has more than a hundred million heads of sheep and many of the flocks have maintained their identity for over a hundred years.

And so, when you speak of top, of yarn and of cloth, think occasionally of the sheep and his background. Think, too of our Canadian experimenters who labor unceasingly to produce good wool in spite of the intense fibre-breaking cold of our climate and who succeed amazingly well. And where does the Merino fit into their plans? One of the most successful strains they have produced is a cross between the Romney Marsh, a hardy sheep of true British origin and the French Rambouillet which is the direct descendant—you guessed it—of the Spanish Merino.

The Man From Down Under

Australian Merino

Pride of Anzacs – The Australian Merino.

There Are Smiles…

Ed Nightingale

Ed. Nightingale, Waste Sorter


Ladies’ Softball

After a few ups and downs for the team managers in the organizing of the teams, softball started with the thump of the ball in the catcher’s mitt, screaming line drives and screaming girls.

Yet there was excitement galore at the opening game on June 21, when in the afternoon game, the Woollen Spinning Department shellacked the Winding Room team. In the night game the Office team put the day workers edition of the Winders-Weave Room team over the jumps.

However the losing team in both games felt that with a little more practice they can reverse the outcome of both these games. Go to it, girls.

Men’s Softball

According to the league standings the mill team this year doesn’t appear to be doing so well. In their games so far this year they have been right in the game until the late innings when they seem to weaken in spots. One of the opposing teams is of the opinion the mill team is playing under wraps this year and will not expose their good players until play-off time. It may be true, possibly they don’t want to make a runaway of the league this year. How could they anyway with that old crock they have had on first base lately?

Other Activities

Plans are under way to put horseshoe pitches in the vicinity of the parking lot. The tennis club is about ready to go out and active participation is looked for in this sport from everyone capable of swinging a racquet. At the last meeting of the club a suggestion to put a music box in the lunch room with appropriate music was voted on and passed unanimously. This has been referred to the Union for their opinion.

Here, There and Everywhere

Claude Sterry and Charles Smith, Woollen Carding, attended the Magna Carta Parade at Niagara Falls with the Frontiersmen.

Bruce Mackey, khaki-clad, recently paid the mill his first visit since joining the Army. Bruce was a popular member of the Examining and Shipping Department.

On Saturday, June 3, Donald McArthur was presented with a Wahl pen and pencil set by the office staff. Don has enlisted in the Navy and will be stationed in Toronto.

Incidentally, who is the fellow in the Burling and Mending Department who says there are only three things in life that he is afraid of: thunder, mice and women! What a place to be with a fear like that!

We are wondering why the reserve army fellows turned out so well for training on June 13. Could it have been as a result of the invitations they received from the C.O. in Guelph?


B82009 Pte. Larry Johnson,
66 Gen. Transport Coy., R.C.A.S.C.,
Canadian Army Overseas.

“Just a line to let you know that I am getting along pretty well and I have been getting your cigarettes regularly, also D. W. & W. News. It’s good to get the news over here. When I get the paper I pass it around and finally it goes right around the hut and all the boys enjoy it that way. I’d give anything to be back in the mill again, but since we all joined this army to do one job, we intend to see it through, no matter how long it takes. That’s the way we all feel about it over here.” Thanks Larry and Cheerio.

A106697 Pte. Clulow R.,
“B” Coy., Lincoln & Welland Regt.,
Canadian Army Overseas.

Randall remarks that his letter is long overdue and continues: “I have just returned from nine days’ leave and what a time I had. I did a little ice skating but their arenas and rinks can’t compare with ours. I met a few fellows from home in the huge city of London, and when I say ‘huge’ I really mean ‘huge.’” Referring to previous issues of D. W. & W. News, Randall writes: “I see where Morley Kitchen is still on the job, also that Fred Coughlin has taken the vows of matrimony (poor him) ha! ha! Also that little magazine filler (Violet Bell), I could really go for her, and the two girls on the toboggan (Lenore Edler and Phyliss Hill) are really O.K. In fact I hope the war is over soon and we fellows serving overseas can return (yum, yum).” So do we, Randall. Thanks for your letter.

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

Although Doug. is back in town for a month, we thought his letter was too interesting to skip on that account. He writes, “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.” Referring to a big parade he watched the first Sunday in Scotland. Doug. says, “they use the bagpipes for music and while this was going on even the seagulls, of which there are hundreds, came to attention.” We might ask Doug. if this was out of admiration for the pipes, or were the gulls paralyzed with fear of that awe inspiring battle music. Cheerio Doug.


This week the first issue of the “Woollen Worker,” the Union’s own paper was distributed amongst our members in the plant. If it be possible to do so, we will send a copy of the next issue to all the boys and girls on active service.

Since the 48-hour week and Holidays with Pay Bill was passed by the Ontario Legislature, there has been much discussion about its merits between the Union stewards committee and the management. Our interpretation is by no means the same. However, as you will see from the notices posted on bulletin boards, the Bill will not be enforced at present as far as the Textile Industries are concerned.

Some of you have wondered if the new government notice will affect our holidays. The answer is, of course, no. The holidays with pay in our case is part of the Union’s agreement with the company, and it seems better that such is the case, this time at any rate.

The Red Cross Blood Donor’s Clinic at Galt will be closed for the month of July. We hope all you strong-blooded people won’t get the idea that the Red Cross has all the blood plasma that is necessary to last for the duration. Far from it! The reason for this move is that the Toronto Headquarters are making certain repairs and enlargements during that month, in order to accommodate greater quantities of donated blood. So, when August rolls around, how about a whole lot of new donors coming forward? It will be needed in order to make up for the lost time in July.

Since the invasion started June 6th, most of us have been thinking of you boys from the Mill who are now in France. We wish you good luck. Let’s hope your job will soon be over, so that we can greet you outside Tubby’s before spring rolls around.



In September, 1941, Loren Small came to Hespeler from Conn, and was employed in the weave room until his enlistment as air gunner in February, 1943. Sgt. Small, who was twenty years of age, leaves at Conn a wife and a small baby. Word of his death on June 16th, the result of wounds received in the Italian campaign, was received by a sister, Mrs. Norman Peavoy, residing in Hespeler.


Before his enlistment in June, 1943, with the H.L.I., Albert Parsons worked in the Winding Department. Pte. Parsons’ wife resides in Halifax. Also surviving him are his mother, Mrs. W. Chesterman of Hespeler, and four brothers. At the age of the bereaved of the two boys.

Our sincere sympathy is extended to the bereaved of the two boys. Though our expressions of regret are many, yet they inadequately describe our feelings.

The Sprightly Water Sprite

Shirley Wyatt

Shirley Wyatt – the answer to a photographer’s prayer.



We are pleased to report that F/O. Douglas Midgley and Mrs. Midgley are the proud parents of a baby girl, born on June 3, at York, England. Congratulations! Incidentally, Doug. arrived home via New York, on Saturday June 17th for a month’s furlough. No, his English wife and baby didn’t come with him, unfortunately.

Another couple of proud parents—Pte. and Mrs. Robert Homuth. They received their little bundle—a girl—on June 6 in Stratford, where Mrs. Homuth resides.

Good luck and best wishes to Helen Siegler Voege, Burling and Mending Department, whose marriage to Petty Officer Edwin Voege of Waterloo took place on June 17. Prior to leaving she was presented with a set of dishes by the girls in the Burling and Mending Department.

Elaine Kressler and Anna Hogue, Mule Spinning, have returned to work after having the mumps.

Jack and Barney are gone! To those who knew them by sight only, we would explain that Jack and Barney were the two beautiful dray horses which belonged to D. W. & W. and which were a common sight around the yards. Despite every effort to save them, on June 14 the horses died of suffocation in a fire which destroyed the barn across the street from the plant. The origin of the fire is still a mystery. The blaze was discovered by Randolph Perry and the call put in by Morley Kitchen, shortly after 10 p.m. Before many minutes had passed a great crowd had gathered to watch it. The fire brigade worked steadily for two hours, and succeeded in stopping the blaze from spreading.

The Management would like to thank all those who so ably assisted in fighting the fire at the barns on Wednesday night. The help was certainly needed and very much appreciated. Also, thanks to those who made the dangerous effort to save the two horses.

Jean Masterson, R.C.A.F. (W.D.), paid a visit to her pals in the Mill on June 17 while she was home on a “48”.

On Saturday, June 17 a presentation of money belt, pen and pencil set, and 50 cigarettes was made to Albert Rayment. Ab has joined the Navy and reported for duty on June 24, at Hamilton.

Word has just been received that Capt. Charles Barrett, of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, Overseas, has been wounded in the invasion of France and is now in hospital in England. It is not known as yet to what extent Charlie has been wounded but we sincerely hope it isn’t serious.

On Saturday, June 10, the office staff, overseers and foremen gathered in the new Employment Office to bid farewell to Herb Shoemaker and to present him with a Sheaffer pen and pencil. Herb joined the navy on June 13. We are still wondering if it has any connection with the rum ration! Good luck, Herb, and fair sailing!

Allan Johnson of the navy was home on shore leave in June and paid a number of visits to his friends in the Mill. Allan has seen a lot of action in the waters around England and Ireland and also in the Mediterranean, since he was last home, a year and a half ago.

Rhythm Band 1944

Rhythm Band

Musicians in the making under the direction of Miss R. Boyd.

We would enjoy hearing your thoughts on our Newsletter.

We appreciate comments from our men and women based in Canada and overseas. If you have anything to add, we encourage you to also leave a comment here. If you'd like to contact us privately, please write to our switchboard operator. Our Office will respond to your letter as time permits.

1 Comment

  1. Ruth Zvaniga

    Since I have been away from Hespeler I hear that the Mill has employed more girls and also that the town is booming. Keep up the good work. I met Tommy Highton here in Saskatoon one night and didn’t recognize him but he knew me and it was just like being home for a few minutes. Tommy had a stop-over here for an hour while on his way west. Saskatoon is a very beautiful city but I wouldn’t trade it for good old Hespeler. In closing I want to say keep up the good work and keep the boys equipped.

    W80105 Pte. Ruth Zvaniga,
    No. 12 V.T.S., C.W.A.C.,
    Saskatoon, Sask.


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