Sunday, 10 January 2016

Eaton's Goes to War

They were faithful unto Death.  In proud remembrance of the two hundred and sixty three members of the Eaton staff who made the supreme sacrifice in World War II, having gone forth valiantly to
fight for the survival of freedom.  Their names are here inscribed so that all may read who pass this way. (Eaton's War Memorial Plaque, 1948)

On Remembrance Day, 1948, Eaton's unveiled a plaque honouring the staff who served in the Second World War at their Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal stores.  The plaque was similar to the one commissioned by Sir John Craig Eaton to honour employees who served in the First World War.  Sir John Craig had paid the salaries of those fighting overseas.  R. Y Eaton reinstituted the practice of subsidizing employees who served during the Second World War.  Married men were given a salary that when added to their military salary was equal to their regular pay.  Bachelors were given two thirds of their salary.  Eaton's employees who received an honourable discharge were given their old jobs back or given an equivalent position.  After the war, John David Eaton had his staff organize a series of banquets to honour the veterans, the first of which was held at Eaton Hall in King City north of Toronto.  Twenty five hundred veterans attended the event.  Attendees were honoured with 18 karat gold signet rings.

Portrait of Sir John Craig Eaton

Eaton's World War victory statue promoting victory bonds courtesy

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