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J. Thiessen also served in a forestry camp. Then, in 1943, he was
assigned to farm duty.
has been said, all things come to an end, and so also did my camp
life. Some time in December 1943 we were given leave to go home
for the Christmas holidays. As soon as I arrived home arrangements
were made whereby I could find employment in Winnipeg, and work
on the family farm during spring, summer, and fall. I started
driving a truck delivering coal for the Capital Coal Co. in early
January and came home again at the end of April. Out of my wages
I was allowed to keep twenty-five dollars per month plus an allowance
of thirty dollars towards my room and board. The rest of my earnings
were deducted and were sent to the Red Cross. This amount usually
exceeded the amount that I received. Also as soon as I went to
work at home Dad had to pay twenty-five dollars per month to the
Red Cross for me and the same amount for my brother Jack who had
also reached recruitment age. We farmed a larger than average
acreage in those years but fifty dollars per month was a considerable
drain on the family income.” [ASM, 30-49]
CO on farm duty produced food for Canadians and the CO paid a portion
of his wages to the Red Cross.
Herman Sawatzky, half of his monthly salary went to the Red Cross.
Sawatzky worked for the reeve of the Franklin Municipality in southern
had 240 acres of land, about 60 head of cattle. My first job after
chores were done was to go to the bush on his farm and cut down
dead trees for a winter supply of firewood. After that there was
dried manure to be hauled around the house…. Then the judge talked
with me and Tom Collins [the reeve], we made arrangements of how
much I was going to pay off on my wages to the Red Cross. In winter
I got $40 a month, I had to pay $20 of it to the Red Cross, and
in summer I got $45 a month, of which I had to pay Red Cross $25.
My wages stayed the same till 1946 in the fall.” [ASM,
COs on farms contributed to the Red Cross. Although this was a financial
hardship, it was nothing compared to the many sacrifices soldiers
and their families made. The Red Cross payments were a way for COs
to support peace and ease suffering. Even so, people sometimes resented
COs were required to continue to give money to the Red Cross after
the war was over. David Goerzen paid $25 a month.
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