The following is an excerpt directly from the May 11, 1945 edition of the Merritt Herald, following the unconditional surrender of Germany which ended the Second World War:


VE-DAY was known to people of Merritt at about 7.15, this Monday morning, May 7, when the fire siren shrieked from the roof of the fire station at the City Hall, followed soon afterwards by the whistle of Long Bros. Saw Mill.

Commissioner F. S. Gay was at the city hall soon afterwards and L.E. Morrissey, members of the clergy, celebration committee men, and others. W. Cousin had the doors of the I.O.O.F. Hall open and the hall ready for the community service.

By 8.30 a.m. a large jubilant crowd had gathered, men, women, and children, the school, Legion, and other flags were being gathered in.

Merritt Cadets in uniform, some on bicycles, had been sent around to notify all concerned that there would be a school holiday for VE Day. It was a bright, still, sunny day.

Following are the arrangements for the observance of VE-Merritt Day, this Monday evening.

Meeting at 6.30 p.m. at the City Hall, a general parade was to start, ending at the Oddfellows’ Hall, where a Community Gathering was to be held for an impromptu programme, community singing, etc.

At this gathering, announcements would be made for the Official Programme and Parade to the Cenotaph, Courthouse Grounds, for Tuesday, the Official VE-Day.

Stores stayed open until noon after word of the surrender arrived, then closed until Wednesday morning.

Cadets did good work as dispatch riders and couriers carrying messages to those who had charge of arrangements, committee men and others.

At the community service, a brief informal, undenominational one of thanksgiving in the I.O.O.F. Hall, the building was filled. The atmosphere was of relieved jubilation.

Cadets were in khaki uniforms in a block. The Canadian flag and the Union Jack standard were in the middle of the platform. Children carried tiny flags. Rev. Allan Johnstone opened the service, with

Mrs. S. Gerrard at the piano. The first hymn was “Now Our God To Thee We Praise.” Rev. C.E.H. Williams offered a brief prayer of thanks. Rev. Johnstone told briefly of the significance of the occasion and led in a prayer of general thanksgiving, with the congregation joining in with The Lord’s Prayer. The concluding hymn was “Now Thank We All Our God.” The service closed with memorable singing in full spirit of God Save the King.

Rev. J. Wesley Miller was absent. He was at Spences Bridge when the news arrived, having driven his son to the train.