Halifax Women's Voluntary Services, 1943–1945
The records of the Halifax Women’s Voluntary Services (WVS) are a testament to the incredible organizing power displayed by the women of Halifax during the Second World War. Donated by Ms. Leslie Pezzack, these records (CR 43) document WVS operations, its relationship with other social agencies in Halifax, Ottawa, and England, and the services provided by its volunteers.
Created in 1943 under the leadership of Mrs. Edith B. Girouard, the WVS recruited women to volunteer in the many war-time service agencies. Modelled after the British Women’s Voluntary Services, with local chapters across the United Kingdom and Canada, the Halifax WVS was run entirely by volunteers and depended on monetary donations from the local community and the British War Relief Society.
The WVS Centre registered the skills and availability of volunteers and requisitioned them to permanent and emergency volunteer positions as necessary. Volunteers served in many agencies including the Ajax Club, blood donor clinics, Canadian Legion Hostels and Library, the Central Magazine Exchange, the Children's Hospital, the Concert Guild, Jost Mission, Lady Ironside Knitting, Navy League Recreation Centre, North End Services, Nova Scotia College of Art, Protestant Orphanage, Salvation Army, Red Cross, YMCAs and YWCAs
The Centre responded to urgent requests from any war-time effort. One notable project involved assisting the Department of National War Services with the distribution of Family Allowance funds to the families of Halifax servicemen.