Little known Lotta facts for a Friday: from wineries to firehalls – “life in the trenches”

‘The smell was enough to give you the DTs.”

Lotta Hitschmanova inspired thousands of USC Canada supporters from coast to coast, many of whom packed clothing for shipment to those in need overseas. Sometimes they volunteered in unusual circumstances, as Lotta’s biographer Clyde Sanger has noted:

“There are occasional horror stories about working conditions, or life in the trenches, as in Victoria where, as Hazel Woodward explains, the packing at one stage was done in an ex-winery:

“‘The smell was enough to give you the DTs. There wasn’t water laid on, but it came through the skylights and ran down the middle of the floor. We wore rubber boots and stood in the pallets. We laughed at it. You have to have a sense of humour, like a teacher or a parson, or you’re dead.’

“Dr. Lotta bullied the mayor of Victoria into providing better quarters, and then the group found a welcome in a firehall.”

Does anyone recall which winery in Victoria this might have been, or which firehall?

David Rain

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