Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Burrard Dry Dock
The number of North Vancouver's shipyard employees exploded with the sudden demand for merchant vessels. Ranks swelled from a few hundred to many thousands. In 1942 and 1943, up to 14,000 people worked at Burrard Dry Dock in three round-the-clock shifts, more than the number that ever worked at well-established eastern Canadian shipyards. A whistle signalled shift changes. Passenger ferries to Vancouver and streetcars for north shore residents stood ready to meet the crowds pouring out of Burrard and North Van Ship Repairs. It is said that the ferries got so full, the men would have to hang off the sides and sometimes lost their cash wages that way. This picture shows a sea of hats at quitting time. Their various styles indicate different ethnic and class backgrounds. The men are heading for numbered gates to punch out on time clocks linked to their employee numbers, which were worn as a distinctive brass badge.