Tales from the exhibit – Women on the Homefront
Submitted by Andrew Ng, Heritage Interpreter
My name is Andrew, and I’m a heritage interpreter at the Cannery this summer. Within a little over a month, I’ve come from not having lead a tour, to be able to retell the social and technological history encompassed by this historic site over a century year old. This is thanks to the encouragement and support of the staff, interpreters and the general public.
So far on the job, I’ve been having a blast sharing the collective knowledge of our interpreters, and speaking with guests about their personal stories. Folks in the fishing industry have many a tale, and I can safely say seafaring visitors’ eyes twinkle when you give the fish’s story from rocky boat to pristine can.
Our current feature exhibit, Women on the Homefront: Women’s Contributions During the Second World War, has given way to many exciting stories from visitors as well. Several have lived through the challenges posed by this difficult war, and I was captivated by their open and honest retellings of life in wartime.
To start, one woman from the United Kingdom came to us with the story of her dad working on classified weapons technology for the Allied forces, unable to even discuss the technology until decades after the war. A woman from the more rural north of England recalled floods of workers from the more populated south to work in munitions factories. Another woman, a Canadian, talked about the pride of having a father who had been a gunman on D-Day, the fabled invasion of Normandy, and a mother helping the Allied air effort at home in a plane factory.
These individual stories help piece together a collective image of hardship and sacrifice, loss and courage. Our Women on the Homefront exhibit is a wonderful medium for these stories to be retold and helps to understand the contributions of women in the past, present, and in the future.
À nos amis francophones et francophiles, nous serions aussi ravis de vous accueillir en français. Venez découvrir nos expositions, dont Les femmes sur le front intérieur, et nos visites guidées offertes dans l’autre langue officielle du Canada !
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