Farm boys couldn’t stay home in winter

From our March 2013 issue

By Clifford Scott – White Rock, B.C.

In the winter of 1942, I worked in the elevators at Fort William, Ont.

I had a telescopic pole with a can on the end that we pushed down through the grain for sampling and testing the grain.

During wartime from 1939 to 1943 the government had a deal that farm boys couldn’t stay home in the wintertime, so you had a choice to go to the logging camps, a mining company, or the grain elevators.

I found the elevators were very interesting. We were paid 88¢ an hour.

The government paid our way down, but in the spring we had to pay our way home.

Two men could empty 1,500 bushels of wheat out of a boxcar in 15 minutes with a wooden shovel.

You had an electronic cable hooked to the wooden shovel and you pulled it up to the corner of the boxcar and when the cable was slack then the clutch kicked in and pulled you back to the boxcar door.

It took the first month to learn to balance the wooden shovel in the wheat.