Veteran Stories:
Queenie Curnoe (née Moston)

Civilian

  • Woman workers bolt steel girders in place over the hold of a new ship in the Pictou, Nova Scotia shipyard. January 1943.

    National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada / Restrictions on use: nil Copyright: Expired
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"Because of the war, it made a big difference in the way women live. They got, they were out to work during the war and they just loved it and carried on after the war."

Transcript

Well, my sister and I, she turned 18 and I was still 16, so we came to Toronto [Ontario] because she was going to – in training at St. Joseph as a nurse.  So when we came here, of course, we both had to get a job.  She worked at this little restaurant, on the Lakeshore [Drive], right at Dixie [Road] and the Lakeshore, across from Small Arms [Limited].

And I was looking after a little boy by the name of Johnny Kelly.  He was three.  And then when she [sister] went in training, Skinners asked me to come and work, so I went to work there.  And it was a lovely little place.  They had, you know the gas station, the restaurant with tables and the counter and then a little dance floor with a jukebox.

And all the neighbourhood kids would come in.  They'd be jitterbugging and having a great time.  And they all worked at National Steel Car.  So they said, “You know, why don't you come?”  So Mr. and Mrs. Skinner were just like second parents to me.  They said you apply, so I did and I got the job.

I didn't travel then, because you just didn't travel in the wartime either, unless you had to.  And I used to buy clothes, and there was a nice little place down on Sunnyside [Avenue] there that sold beautiful frocks and I'd go in there and buy some nice clothes.

Well, we used to go out quite a bit and of course, National Steel Car had some lovely parties.  We had parties at the King Edward Hotel and Casa Loma.  And then sometimes a group of us would go to the Silver Slipper, which is way back when.  And then we used to dance at the Palais Royale you know, and, and what they called the Sea Breeze in the summer, which was an outdoor dance hall.  And used to pay something like 10 cents to dance.

Because of the war, it made a big difference in the way women live.  They got - they were out to work during the war and they just loved it and carried on after the war.

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