Esther Lundy: The War Years

This story is submitted by Elaine Stoesz, an Area Counsellor in Saskatoon. It is from Esther Lundy of Shellbrook, Saskatchewan.

"I was married during the war - in 1941. My husband was stationed in Regina and a dear friend loaned us a trailer so that I could go there with him. I had quite a time finding a room to rent so that we could return the trailer.

During my short stay in the trailer, a tornado struck the city, uprooting trees, etc. I managed to get shelter in a house for the night as my husband was in camp.

I got a room at last in a private house but it took all the money ($20.00) which I got from a Private's pay, which was not very much.

I did not want to go back to live with my parents again, so I asked around for work of any sort. I got day jobs doing housework for some of the Army Personnel, usually Officers' wives. They entertained a lot and I washed linens, polished silver, waxed floors on my knees (no polishers in these days) all for $1.00 a day. They were eight-hour days usually. I even walked to those places to save cost of the five cent ride.

Eventually I got a job in a department store at $10.00 a week, but we all had to buy War Bonds out of our pay cheques. These were $50.00 bonds, but it was nice to have an easier job.

Most times when we were stationed in a different camp, I was left to move all our gear by myself. The men were shipped out with very little notice. The women had to follow any way they could.

One time I got a room in a house with five rooms to rent. Every room had a couple from the camp in it. The men came home in the evening, spent the night, and left for camp again at 6:00 a.m. We girls had a lot of fun during the day. We usually got together for our main meal, sharing ration coupons to buy sugar or meat or other things. We had so many happy times together."

Esther Lundy
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