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Canadian Wives' Bureau

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Canadian Wives' Bureau was set up in 1944 by the Department of National Defence (Canada). A joint effort between Canadian immigration officials, the military, and the Canadian Red Cross, it arranged ship and train travel for war brides and dependents to their Canadian husbands.[1]

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  • 9 Times The World Was Almost Destroyed


Chills 9. “Y2K”: In 1999, a potential computer glitch threatened to end every electronics system in the world. Leading software developers agreed that, come the year 2000, a simple coding error could render everything from vending machines to nuclear weapon grids completely unusable. Basically, as soon as the clock struck midnight on New Years’, all forms of technology would stop working. The “Y2K” bug came to light after computer programmers realized that most microchips only used 2 digits to represent the year. So for example, microchips would typically shorten the year “1999” to just “99” in order to save memory. Now they feared that this shortcut would make computer chips see the year 2000 as “00” and stop functioning. Even though companies had started working on the problem as early as 1995, they soon realized that they did not have enough time to save everybody. As the dreaded doomsday drew near, people all over prepared for the absolute worst. While some laughed it off as a hoax, many started to stockpile food, water, weapons and ammunition in huge underground bunkers or inside of gated communities that were far away from society. The major debate was whether you should let your neighbor in and share your resources with them after Y2K happened, or whether you should shoot everyone that comes onto your property instead. Citizens weren’t the only ones worried about riots and bloodshed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation distributed 16,000 pamphlets [“pam-flits”] to law enforcement agencies warning them to be on the lookout for militia groups and terrorist attacks. They also released a 40-page report detailing exactly who to watch out for. Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce [“Com-merse”] worried about a complete economic meltdown that would happen when people withdrew all of their money from the banks at once. In the end Y2K did cause some damage, but nothing like what people were expecting. Three of Japan’s nuclear power plants malfunctioned and three more nuclear power plants in South Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania all shut down, too (though the U.S. government wouldn’t admit that it was from Y2K). In total, the United States government spent about 9 billion dollars to correct the problem, and non-government companies spent an additional 91 billion more to fix it themselves. Still, no one who lived through the Y2K scare will ever forget the time when they seriously had to consider shooting their neighbor. 8. “The Korean War”: In the 1950s Korea [“Core-ree-ah”] was split in two by a brutal civil war between the North and the South. Without getting too much into it, North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950 and other superpowers started to get involved. North Korea was backed by the Soviet [“So-vee-it”] Union and China, and South Korea was backed by the United States. It almost went nuclear. That’s because General MacArthur [“Mac-Car-ther”] had some extremely risky defensive plans. If the 200 thousand Chinese troops marched over the South Korean border to invade, he intended to use nuclear weapons against them. All of this was far from just talk. President Truman [“True-man”] sent no less than 9 atomic bombs to the military for MacArthur to use however the general deemed fit. By the time they arrived, however, the war was already over. This was all kept a secret until the information was declassified just 6 years ago. Who knows what the consequences would have been if the United States had attacked Chinese troops with nuclear weapons. It would have probably triggered World War 3, and possibly spelled the end of the world. 7. “The Comet of 1883”: For two August nights in a row in the late 1800s, astronomer Jose Bonilla [“Hose-zay” “Bow-nill-lah”] recorded a strange series of sightings. Using a special telescope in his small Mexican observatory [“observe-ve-tore-ree”], Jose claims to have seen about 450 mysterious objects streak across the night sky. The picture he took has been called everything from a UFO to a speck of dust, but now researchers think it he could have been witnessing an event that nearly ended the world. Using modern technology, a research team from the National Autonomous [“Ought-tahn-no-mus”] University of Mexico believes Jose observed the freshly-broken-up pieces of a comet large enough to destroy all life on Earth. According to their calculations, the 450 objects that Jose saw were between 150 and 2,500 feet wide each, and they narrowly avoided earth by as little as 335 miles. If all of the pieces were still together, and if its path was slightly different, the impact would have been worse than the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs. Critics quickly point out that no other astronomer saw the comet shower on those days, but the University of Mexico research team has an answer for that. Apparently, the Earth’s orbit can affect what you see in space. In other words, the comet shower was so close to Earth that you had to be in perfect line with the sun to see it or else it would look like nothing was there. Under this theory, Jose’s small observatory just happened to be in the perfect spot to observe the world almost ending. 6. “The Carrington [“Care-ring-ton”]” Event: On one summer day in 1859 the surface of the sun erupted with the force of 10 billion atomic bombs. This radioactive explosion, otherwise known as a solar [“soul-ler”] flare, sent massive amounts of energy from the sun directly to the Earth . . . and no one would be the same after. The Carrington event was so bad that it jammed electronics equipment all over the world. But the magnetic energy didn’t just cause the equipment to simply fail – it made sparks and flames shoot out. One telegraph operator in Washington D.C. was severely injured after a bolt of fire struck him in the middle of his forehead. Even the telegraph paper itself would literally explode due to a chemical reaction. Meanwhile, entire countries around the world were left unable to properly communicate. After a number of days, Boston telegraph workers discovered there so much electricity was in the air that they could take the batteries out of their machines and still send messages all the way to Portland [“Port-land”], Maine [“Main”]. Nobody knew if the Earth was permanently changed now or what would happen next. As if worldwide equipment malfunctions weren’t enough, the solar flares also put on a sinister [“sin-nis-ster”] lightshow that was seen by almost every country in the world. During this time, the night sky took on a solid blood red color that was so intense, many people thought that the next neighborhood over had to have caught fire. It was so bright outside that birds began to chirp and people started to go to their jobs in the middle of the night. Absolutely no one knew what was going on except for one man named Richard Carrington. On the day the chaos all started, the English astronomer [“as-stron-no-mer”] was looking through a special type of telescope when he noticed a cluster of huge white explosions on the sun that went on for five minutes. Hours later, the mayhem began. He made the connection between these two events and has been credited with discovering the solar flare phenomenon [“fee-nom-min-nom”] ever since. Modern scientists predict a 12 percent chance of a Carrington-like event happening again on Earth within the next 10 years. 5. “The 2012 Solar Storm”: Just four years ago in 2012, something even worse than the Carrington event nearly happened. Instead of solar flares, this time a huge explosion on the sun spit out piping hot plasma [“plaz-ma”] into space. This form of plasma is much more powerful than normal solar flares and would have severely damaged everything you own. Let me put it to you this way: if the Carrington Event happened today, most our technology would be strong enough to withstand it. Sure, the event was strong enough to damage equipment in the 1800s, but today’s electronics are much more durable [“dur-rah-bul”]. In fact, high frequency equipment like GPS devices and most radios wouldn’t be affected by the Carrington event affected at all. This cosmic [“cozz-mick”] plasma, on the other hand, would destroy “everything that plugs into a wall socket”, as one NASA [“Nah-sah”] scientist puts it. By that, he means everything from hospital equipment to working toilets would become a thing of the past. No country would be safe. Furthermore, an official NASA report says that the event would have caused about 1 trillion dollars’ worth of damage and taken years to recover from. They compare it to a huge meteor hitting Earth. So why didn’t we get nailed with plasma in 2012? Well, the only reason you are able to even watch this YouTube video is because the sun was facing away from Earth when the explosion happened. Instead of traveling towards Earth, the plasma went in the completely opposite direction. If the explosion had happened just 7 days earlier, however, Earth would have been directly in the line of fire. That’s right – we were literally one week away from digital obliteration [“oh-blit-ter-ray-shun”]. 4. “The 1979 Soviet Scare”: The 1970s were largely considered a time of peace and love, but it was also when the world was almost blown to smithereens [“smither-reens”] by more nukes than you could ever possibly imagine. In 1979, Zbigniew Brzinski [“Ze-big-niff” “Bur-zin-ski”] was serving as a top national security advisor for the United States when he received a devastating phone call at home. A joint military program between Canada and the U.S. called him at 3 in the morning with a grim report: two-thousand-two-hundred Soviet missiles were heading towards the United States in an all-out attack. The nation had less than a half hour left before annihilation [“ah-nye-ill-lace-shun”]. Zbigniew Brzinski didn’t even bother to wake up his wife, figuring it was better to spare her from knowing. His final task as a national security advisor was to call President Carter [“Car-ter”] so that the President could authorize the final “retaliatory [“re-tahl-lee-ah-tor-ree”] strike” against the Soviets. If he made this call, then thousands of nuclear missiles would be launched back. The United States had been preparing for a scenario like this for quite some time. President Carter had told Zbigniew beforehand that in the event of this scenario, he should wait up to 7 minutes – and no longer – before letting him know. Minutes before dialing the President, Zbigniew decided to double check the warning first. Apparently no other military outposts were picking up the alleged [“ah-ledge-jed”] attack on their radars. It was a false alarm. As it turns out, the scare happened after a worker accidentally booted up a training program that simulated a Russian nuclear attack on America. This computer was hooked up to the nation’s defensive network grid, where it was then perceived as a real threat. The rush of relief that Zbigniew felt must have been beyond measure. If the United States had mistakenly launched thousands of atomic bombs at Soviet Russian, then the nuclear fallout not only would have destroyed the two countries, but it also would have covered the entire Earth. Nothing would have survived. Instead, waiting until literally the last minute made the difference between end of the world and just another day. Bonus Entry – “The 1980 Soviet Scare”: Just seven months after the false alarm in 1979, the United States again stood on the brink of destruction at the hands of the Soviets. NORAD [“Nore-rad”] stands for the “North American Aerospace [“Arrow-space”] Defense Command”, and in 1980, it was a central base in Colorado that had lots of high-tech radars and other equipment that it used to track potential threats. Among the blinking and beeping equipment were two digital displays that always showed how many missiles were heading towards American soil at any given time. One of these digital counters was for intercontinental [“in-ter-con-tin-nent-tal”] ballistic [“bal-lis-tic”] missiles – which means a bomb that can reach other continents from land – and the other was meant for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Each display had four slots, and normally these slots read “zero” across the board. Imagine the surprise NORAD commanders felt when the submarine missile counter first jumped to 2 incoming missiles, and then again all the way up to 200. The Soviets were at it once more. NORAD relayed this information to the Strategic Airforce Command. Moments later, the country’s top bomber pilots were starting their engines, ready for takeoff . . . and for World War 3. As it turns out, however, the digital display on the counter had malfunctioned and displayed 220 incoming missiles after a simple microchip malfunctioned. Fortunately, President Carter remained calm and didn’t send America into an all-out war. Nonetheless, situations like this one really illustrates how easily the world can come to an end, and how important a president’s judgement can be during a time of national crisis. 3. “The 1995 American Scare”: The United States isn’t the only country to receive its fair share of false alarms and nuclear scares. In 1995 Russian President Boris Yeltsin [“Bore-ris” “Yelt-zin”] received a warning from his early-warning radar network saying that the Americans had launched a nuke off of the coast of Norway. Now it was heading towards Russia and the end was near. Advisors placed a suitcase in front of Yeltsin. If he pressed the button inside, it would mean that he gives his permission to launch a nuclear strike on America as revenge. There were two other suitcases; one was given to the Defense Minister, the other to the chief of the General Staff. All three men were required to give their approval for the launch to go into effect. They had less than eight minutes to decide what to do. Meanwhile, commanders and their crew had already been ordered into nuclear submarines and were now at the ready. As the communist [“com-mu-nist”] nation anxiously [“ang-shush-lee”] awaited the final launch orders, the American rocket mysteriously sank into the ocean. It seemed as if nuclear attack was over as quickly as it had begun. Hours later, the Russians learned that this had not been missiles at all, but rather a research rocket that had been launched into the sky to study the northern lights weather phenomenon. Even more embarrassingly, Russia had been given a heads-up by the researchers weeks in advance, yet no one in the early-warning radar network had been told. As a result, the end of the world could have come as the result of a simple weather experiment gone wrong. 2. “The Flu Panic”: In 1918 literally one-third of the world’s population caught the flu. This wasn’t just any ordinary flu though –this was a super bug that caused massive casualties. The first wave of sickness struck in spring. For 6 months, the disease spread throughout the United States, Europe, and to a lesser extent in Asia. Although a lot of people were getting sick, not too many people died during this first wave. The world just thought it was a freak accident that would never happen again and collectively [“collect-tive-lee”] shrugged their shoulders. When the second wave hit later that year, it was much worse. From September to November, the virus returned and spread to the rest of the world. This time every single nation on Earth was infected. There was literally nowhere to run. Whereas most flu viruses kill less than .1 [“point-one”] percent of those they infected, this virus had a much higher 2.5 percent fatality rate. It didn’t matter if you were the healthiest person in your entire family – it could still easily kill you. In fact, half of the people who died were between the ages of 20 and 40, and most of them were perfectly healthy beforehand. In total, the bug killed 20 times more people between the ages of 15 to 34 than any other flu ever had before. A third and final wave struck in early 1919, though this outbreak was much smaller and only affected certain nations. Still, by then, the damage was done. Out of a world population of 1.8 billion, over 600 thousand had contracted the disease. When it was all over, 50 million people had lost their lives. If this doesn’t seem like a lot of deaths to you, just imagine being alive during this time and hearing of a virus that hit literally everywhere in the world. Imagine seeing everyone you loved getting sick from a virus so strong that it could survive in any temperature, any environment, and any season. It certainly felt like the world was coming to an end at the time. Now scientists have identified four types of flu viruses – type A, type B, type C, and type D. A and B are serious, C is more like the cold virus, and D is a type of flu that usually only affects cattle. The super bug that struck in 1918 was so strong, traces of its DNA has been found in nearly every influenza Type A outbreak ever since. That’s how effective it was. This virus was such a menace that it wasn’t replaced by a different type of flu strand until the 1950s. Scientists have no idea why the 1918 virus was able to spread so rapidly, or why it came in three massive waves to take over the world. If a similar outbreak were to happen again today, even all of our modern technology would not be able to completely stop it. Scientists think that a new outbreak of this virus would still most likely kill more than 100 million people throughout the world. And if the virus were to ever evolve into something stronger, we might not be so lucky next time. 1. “The Black Death”: In 1347 twelve trading ships arrived at a seaport in Italy. The crew inside were mostly dead, but those still alive seemed more like wounded animals more than men. They boiled with fever, vomited from food and screamed in pain. Worst of all, huge boils covered their skin – not red, but pure black, constantly oozing blood and pus. Italy quickly cast the ships back to sea, but by then it was already too late. The plague had arrived. The disease had actually already been around for decades before reaching Europe. It started in the Mongolian [“Mong-goal-lee-an”] desert sometime in the 1320s and then spread in all directions until it eventually reached China. Once China began to heavily trade with Europe and other countries, the disease spread even further. In the early plague stages, you burn with fever, your limbs ache, and you can hardly move from fatigue [“fah-teeg”]. A short time later, your neck, groin and armpits all swell miserably and turn black. You start to vomit blood as you become hysteric and go insane. Death comes in less than one week when the glands inside of your swollen neck finally burst open. In just 5 years, by 1351, every single European nation was infected. Corpses piled high in the street and mixed in with the sick. Plague doctors walked amongst the dying crowd. They wore thick robes and a huge masks that were shaped like a bird’s head. Inside the beak of the mask were herbs and perfumes, which plague doctors thought would work as an air filtration system in addition to easing the rotting stench. They also had a long stick to push patients away if they tried to get too close. Meanwhile, the wealthy died in agony in their own homes instead of on the streets, slowly rotting behind closed doors. Soon so many people died that individual burials no longer became an option. Instead, mass graves were dug and filled with a thin layer of top soil. At one point, the Pope even ordained [“ore-daned”] the Rhone [“Rone”] river so that the dead could be thrown in and still go to Heaven. Meanwhile, the Pope himself survived the plague by sitting between two huge fires in his home. At one point, winter fell and it looked like the plague was at an end. In truth, it was only temporarily [“tem-por-rare-really”] delayed as plague-bearing fleas died from cold weather, and plague-infected rats hid wherever was warm. When the spring weather resumed, so did the plague. By the early 1350s, the plague had effectively run its course in Europe. No less than 25 million people painfully died, which was one-third of the European population at the time. Throughout the rest of the world, the plague killed an additional 75 million more. Although these numbers might not necessarily indicate the immediate end of the world, as you laid dying from black boils and threw up blood, it was certainly the end of yours.



The Maple Leaf Club founded in September 1941 was the earliest known club where British wives of Canadians could go to learn about what to expect in their soon-to-be home. It was followed in 1943 by the Princess Alice Clubs. The Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources arranged dependents' travel until August 1944.


The Canadian Wives' Bureau was created to address the need for a consolidated service for war brides and dependants travelling to Canada.[2] Alongside overseeing the transportation of women and children to Canada, it also supported local war brides associations in England and Scotland between 1944 and 1947.[3]

The Department of National Defence (Canada) set up the Bureau's office on the third floor of Galeries Lafayette on Regent Street in London.[4]


The Canadian Wives' Bureau was established as a directorate of the Adjutant-General's Branch of the Canadian military. They were responsible for arranging dependents' travel to Canada, caring for them en route, and providing information to available services.

War brides' club creation was encouraged by the Canadian Wives' Bureau across the United Kingdom. By November 1945, there were thirty-two brides' clubs in England and Scotland.[5] They held social gatherings and talks to discuss Canadian society.

By early 1947, the number of war brides and dependents declined greatly. As a result, the responsibilities were reassigned to the Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resource on February 2, 1947.[6]

Further reading


  1. ^ "Welcome to the Canadian Wives' Bureau". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  2. ^ "Globe and Mail". 1943-09-01. 
  3. ^ "War Brides". Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  4. ^ "Canadian Wives' Bureau". Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  5. ^ "Canadian Wives' Bureau". Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  6. ^ "Canadian Wives' Bureau". Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
This page was last modified on 22 August 2016, at 21:15.
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