- 1943-1975 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
38 cm textual records and other material
Name of creator
The Royal Oak War Agricultural Committee (later the Saanich Peninsula Farm Labour Committee) was formed in response to a shortage of farm labour on the Saanich Peninsula during the Second World War. The first meeting was held at the Royal Oak Institute Hall April 15, 1943, and was attended by both farmers in need of laborers and government officials from the Emergency Farm Labour Service. It was to be a Dominion and provincially-subsidized emergency farm labour service. In the initial stages, the committee decided to employ conscientious objectors, school children over 14 years of age, and armed forces men on leave. The farmers were to set the wages. The first chairman was H.C. Oldfield who held this position for many years. Saanich Municipal Hall on West Saanich Road became the Committee's headquarters, moving to Vernon Avenue when the new Hall was completed in 1965. The workers were transported each day to their employers on a special bus. Mount Newton High School was used as a hostel for pickers during summer vacations. The total number of farm workers placed each year by the committee rose rapidly in the early years, from 767 in 1943 to 1163 in 1947. In 1962 the name of the group was changed to the Saanich Peninsula Farm Labour Committee, and during that year the Sidney office was closed. By the early 1970s, there were fewer farms and no special subsidized transportation of farm workers. In 1975, the Committee ceased operations.
Donated in 1990 by Ken Middleton, head of the Saanich Tax Department. Ken Middleton was secretary of the Royal Oak War Agricultural Committee from the date of his appointment on August 19, 1954 to about 1975 when the committee dissolved. He also acted as treasurer during this time. He succeeded Miss Willa M. Reid in the position of secretary.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Collection consists of correspondence, minutes, accounts and contracts relating to the Royal Oak War Agricultural Committee, later the Saanich Peninsula Farm Labour Committee. Collection includes four rubber stamps.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
No restrictions on access.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Accession number: 1990-009
Place access points
Name access points
- Saanich Peninsula Farm Labour Committee (Subject)