Hullcar and Deep Creek
Community Hall Society

IV. Life in Hullcar 1909-1949

The Community Hall quickly became the centre of life in Hullcar. The gatherings continued year-round and the Hall was used for balls, dances, communal dinners, and a Presbyterian mass every Sunday. Perhaps the highlight of all these events was the annual Christmas tree celebration. Funds were raised for refreshments, decorations, and a huge Christmas tree. All Hullcar's residents attended the party that followed. Many also came from nearby Armstrong, Lansdowne, Deep Creek and Enderby to enjoy the Christmas carols and a concert by the Armstrong Orchestra. A gay old time was had by all! The young people of the area skated on the Crane property nearby and tobogganed down the road during these winter festivities.

Like every community in Canada, Hullcar was affected by the First World War and saw some of its young men volunteer with the British Columbia Regiment and fight with the Canadian Corps in France. Some never returned. It is known that nearby Deep Creek lost ten of her sons in the War, a considerable loss for such a tiny community. A Red Cross Society was set up and met at the Hall and the Hullcar Hall Committee voted to donate $25.00 to it.

Following World War One, the roaring '20s were not as roaring in Hullcar as they were elsewhere, judging by the historical record. However there were a few notable developments: Cars became more commonplace as people moved away from horse-drawn transport in BC's rural areas. In 1921 the Hall Committee purchased a phonograph which served to liven up the place a bit when the Armstrong Orchestra couldn't make it. Hullcar also gained the distinction of having the first agricultural combine in the province. This machine combined the three different tasks of reaping, binding and threshing into one rapid operation and made the harvesting of cereal grains in Hullcar vastly more efficient.

The people of Hullcar lived during a time that was short of modern entertainment technology and in a place that lacked night clubs or a cinema. To deal with the resulting long nights of boredom the Hullcar Literary Society was founded in 1921. In a night of fun and general doohickery, they began every monthly meeting with a rendition of O Canada followed by sing-songs, poetry recitals and dramatic monologues. Afterwards there would be a lecture on some interesting intellectual subject, ranging from chicken rearing and apple packing to accounting and politics. The Literary Society meetings were well attended, often bringing in 60 to 80 people, and would remain so until the invention of the television... And a paved road to Armstrong was built, where there was a night club and a cinema.

Hullcar was not left undisturbed by the turbulence of the 1930s. Stanley Price records how the effects of the Great Depression were strongly felt from 1931-34 and many farming families in Hullcar had to deal with the global collapse in food prices by cinching up their belts, which Mr. Price did by selling their newly acquired automobile. There was also apparently fierce debate over whether or not political parties should be allowed to hold rallies in the Hall. Holley Skelton moved that such rallies be banned, a motion that was carried. Evidently political debate was a hot topic in Hullcar, in keeping with the times, although one doubts that there was a Hullcar wing of the Fascist Party.

Hullcar's men volunteered to fight overseas during the Second World War. The land of those who didn't return reverted to the Crown and was used in the Veterans Land Act to resettle soldiers returning in 1945. It was also about this time that electricity became available in these rural areas, although it was not until 1949 that the Hullcar Hall Committee voted to have the Hall connected to the power grid, finally replacing the gas lamps that would raise eyebrows today as an incredible fire hazard.


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