Come join Barbara on Saturday, May 28, 2016 as she presents “Bomb Girls: Trading Aprons for Ammo” as part of “Doors Open” in Toronto. Barb will share an intimate, comprensive look into the lives and hearts of over 21,000 brave Canadians who risked their lives daily filling ammunition in a top-secret WWII munitions plant located in Toronto. This presentation is open to the public and has been made available through Toronto’s
“Open Insights” speaker series.
When: Saturday, May 28, 11 am
Where: Main Floor, Catalyst Centre (EV 152), Environmental Science & Chemistry Building,
University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus
1065 Military Trail, Scarborough, Ontario
“Bomb Girls: Trading Aprons for Ammo” is available for purchase at your favourite book store (including Chapters and Indigo.) Copies can be found at Amazon or Dundurn as well.
The vast majority of people who live in Ontario are unaware that an extensive abandoned tunnel system runs under the city of Toronto. During the Second World War, the Canadian Government built a sprawling top secret munitions plant outside the city limits in the rural community of Scarborough. The plant, called GECO, comprised 346 acres, over four kilometres of tunnels, and 172 buildings (built in five months!)
Bomb Girls:Trading Aprons for Ammo is a comprehensive, historical record of Canada’s biggest WWII munitions plant employing over 21,000 citizens, predominantly women, who courageously worked with high explosives around the clock over its four year history. The book offers a unique, intimate, and extraordinary glimpse into the lives and hearts of these dedicated Canadians. In-person interviews with the women who risked their lives every time they stepped onto the “cleanside” of the plant lend a personal, distinctive perspective to the book. Their stories reveal tenacity, dedication, patriotism, and resolve in a time when the concept of women working outside the home was a cultural anomaly. Bomb Girls captures, in a dramatic way, the dangerous work these brave young women performed. It’s imperative to pass along their enduring legacy to the generations to come.
What You’ll Find Here
Click on the images below to find inspiring stories of everyday heroes: from people who helped write Canada’s amazing story to more contemporary souls who inspire others as they soar above personal challenges.
Scarborough’s Bomb Girls
|General Engineering Company (Canada) Ltd. during WWI operated as a top-secret munitions plant that filled over 256 million fuses for the Allied Forces. GECO employed thousands of women who doffed their aprons and domestic responsibilities to don factory uniforms, and risked their lives daily handling gunpowder and high explosives.|
|The shores of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are reverently dotted by a string of Irish Memorials paying tribute to hundreds of thousands of desperate, starving men, women, and children who fled the Great Hunger in Ireland. Tragically tens of thousands died from pestilence before they had a chance to live in their new homeland, Canada.||
Where the Irish Died
Diary of English Immigrant David Cragg
|David Cragg, born in 1769, claimed no spectacular life accomplishment other than living out an ordinary man’s life in England’s countryside like the humanity around him. David took a wife, had eight children, and worked hard to feed his family. He experienced profound joy and suffered great sorrow – events that most people encounter and endure.
What sets David’s story apart from the rest is the fact that David chose to keep a diary from the time he was eighteen years old to just before he died in 1835. From the minutiae that made up daily life to sweeping world events, David recorded it all. He chronicled day to day weather reports, and his growing displeasure in the pettiness of his church. He wrote about the impact of the Napoleonic Wars to the tragic consequences of the Industrial Revolution. He recounted the devastation caused in his family by a grand consumption, scarlet fever, and the dreaded lake fever.
Widowed and penniless, David sailed from his beloved homeland with his children, endured a harrowing trip across the stormy North Atlantic, and emigrated to Upper Canada in 1833. He died eighteen months later after founding the town of Greenbank, Ontario.
Multiple sclerosis. With those two words I joined a very special club with a courageous membership numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world.
According to the MS Society of Canada, “multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord. The disease attacks the protective myelin covering of the central nervous system, causing inflammation and often destroying the myelin in patches. In its most common form, MS has well defined attacks followed by complete or partial recovery. The severity of MS, progression and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis.”
Although no one would choose a diagnosis of such a potentially debilitating, progressive chronic illness, living with MS doesn’t have to be a mess.* Several disease modifying therapies are available to help slow the disease’s progression. We can take control of our lifestyle, eating healthily and exercising within our means. We can face each day with a positive attitude, and enjoy the company of family and friends. We can look around for new opportunities to be involved in our communities.Living a beautiful life is so much more than just living with MS.
* Thanks to Terry and Alex for allowing me to use their slogan “MS Doesn’t Have to Be a Mess.”
MS Doesn’t Have to Be a Mess ©
Hope you find your heart a little brighter and your step a little lighter from having tarried within these pages.