I am a great fan of Brent Eades and when I was searching for something yesterday I came across this great article he wrote for The Millstone in 2012 called: Pick of the Past- which was the “best of” in the Almonte Gazette.
December 20, 1945
The Legion in Carleton Place, under president G.W. Comba, was raffling off a house, “value $4,000.00” (about $53,000 today.)
Photo from the Millstone 2014– Courtesy Almonte Gazette
It seems not everyone was happy with these lottery type draws. Apparently the Attorney General decided to clamp down on lotteries that year because tickets were being sold in places that they should not be.
It was referred to in the Almonte Gazette that the practice of one neighbouring town (Carleton Place) dispensing these draws have become so common that they are irritating the public. They believed the only exception someone can solicit someone was the Salvation Army. In January 1, 1946 the Government of Canada put an end to it- or they tried too.
During the Second World War Bingo had become a big business. With husbands and sons away at war women were free to attend the evening games and the law overlooked it as groups raising money like the Legion for worthy wartime causes received great latitude.
With the end of war the disregard for the law was difficult to ignore and Bingo was included in an interprovinicial agreement to enforce the law which went into effect for lotteries beginning January 1 1946.
Bingo games could operate occasionally under charities or religious organizations, but private social clubs could admit members only under a very restricted schedule of fees. However backroom Bingo grew to a 2 million year business in Canada. Local police and politicians turned to local bylaws and fire regulations trying to shut them down, but it was fruitless.
A Manitoba lobbyist in 1946 wrote that the Federal Minister had pointed out that Anglo Saxon countries such as Canada prohibited gambling. Yes indeed he said, it was to overcome the self interest of those considerable elements of the population whose moral and intellectual status is on par with that of bootleggers and thieves. My how things have changed!
I tried to track down who won the house, but no never found any information. Anyone who has any information please do send it my way.
Thanks to Ray Paquette..