Tag Archives: lim family

Stories from a Photograph–The Class of 1944-1945



Video sent in by a reader

Although the fighting was overseas, the repercussions of total war were felt in nearly all areas of the nation’s social, political, and economic life. Education was no exception.In elementary schools, high schools, and universities, the war affected enrolment, the availability of teachers and professors, lessons and curriculum, extracurricular activities, and student culture. It also brought militarized forms of student involvement and spurred patriotic fundraising, salvaging, saving, and thrift campaigns regarded as essential to the war effort at home. Through their education, children, youth, and young adults were taught lessons about the war’s meaning that allowed them to make sense of their role in this global conflict. Attention to documents and materials illustrating the war’s impact on education furthers our understanding of the Second World War.



Photo from the Carleton Place Canadian files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–I took this photo from one of the newspapers over a year and half ago.. I wish I knew where it came from so I could provide the hidden names.:(


Despite being far from the fields of battle, Canadian educational institutions were both directly and indirectly affected by the war. Thousands of students and recent graduates of high schools and universities rushed to enlist, their names carefully and proudly recorded by their alma mater. On a broader level, the conflict impacted the expansion of schooling and altered public perceptions of the role of education in society. The diversion of funds and government energies resulted in the cutting of courses, reductions in supplies and equipment, and postponed the construction of additional schools and facilities needed to accommodate increased enrolment. The war impacted practically every phase of the school curriculum and, at least for its duration, altered athletics, the activities of societies and clubs, and social events. At the same time, the manpower crisis affected teacher training and resulted in a teacher shortage.Wartime Canada

A reader sent me the short video that she took of a friend’s photo. This individual went to Carleton Place High School and still had this photo from 1944-1945. Because it was wartime she was one of the very few that could afford to buy one as money was short for most families. Hard to believe isn’t it? If you notice a lot of the boys were in uniform as it was mandatory to be in the cadets and wear your uniforms.



                               Allan Lim (Courtesy of the Lim family)– from the Lim Family site

If you pause the video there is a tall Asian man in the back row on the left hand side. That would either be Allan or Bill Lim. Allan, keen to contribute to Canada’s war effort in the Second World War, joined the RCAF in 1942 at aged 18. He was the only Chinese man in his group of 27 pilot trainees. His brother, Bill, a chemical engineer, married Evelyn Yip, one of the few Chinese women to serve with the Canadian navy.

So that her children could continue in school rather than dropping out to work in the café (New York Cafe), Mrs. Lim (Helen) hired married women in town to help. They, in turn, were happy to be working. These women became wonderful friends of the family. I have placed links below to stories about the Lim family.

From one photo we found out another link to Carleton Place past. Please share your photos.. thank you.

Related reading

The Lim Family, Carleton Place

Women Who Made a Difference in Carleton Place — Mrs. Lim of the New York Cafe

In Memory of Former Carleton Place Resident Bill Lim

New York New York in Carleton Place By Terry Skillen

Women Who Made a Difference in Carleton Place — Mrs. Lim of the New York Cafe


From Lives of the FamilyHarry and Mrs. Lim had an arranged marriage in 1922. In 1929, the Lim family settled in Carleton Place with their Canadian-born children, Mary, Allan and Bill. Harry bought the New York Café from its Chinese owners. The couple’s sixth and last child, Kay, was born in Carleton Place.


In 1940, Harry died of tuberculosis. His widow stepped in and carried on running the café. In some places it has been written that Allan decided that it would be best if he left school after his sixteenth birthday and helped his mother at the café. Not sure if he did or not. So that her children could continue in school rather than dropping out to work in the café, Mrs. Lim (Helen) hired married women in town to help. They, in turn, were happy tobe working. These women became wonderful friends of the family.

Some of the employee’s surnames were Mrs. Tom Whelan, Mrs. Majaury and Mrs. Van and their first names Joyce, Margaret, Ethel and Jacqueline (Jackie). Not all, but most of the women hired by Mrs. Lim were widowed like herself. Their shared marital status helped to form a bond of friendship in the kitchen. Mrs. Whelan shed tears when Mrs. Lim announced that she would be moving away. They learned to communicate rather well in spite of the language barrier.  The story of the Lim family had one sad chapter. Upon the repeal of the Exclusion Act in 1947, Mrs. Lim hoped to re-unite with her daughters born overseas and bring them to Canada. Sadly, during the war she’d lost contact with them. She was unable to locate them. In 1951, s. Lim sold the New York Café and moved to Toronto. In 1960, fire destroyed the café. Its owners did not rebuild.


Thank you Mrs. Lim for caring and insisting the women of Carleton Place help your business. A tip of the hat to you! Photos from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum More can be read here about The New York Cafe in Carleton Place. Stories of Our Town

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women helping women in Carleton Place
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 11 Dec 1942, Fri, Page 24