Bata Shoe employees in front of the factory at 103 John Street, opposite Park Street 1946
Identification of some of these people is speculative. Additional names, or corrections are welcome.
Picture from Edward 'Ted' McDonald
Thanks to Tom Micks, Bill Hubbs, Marion (Darling) Doherty, Betty (Young) Rusaw, Roberta (French) MacNeil, Lou Fenton, Joan (Facey) Ashton, Zelda (Honey) Armstrong, Rhoda (Clayton) Bullen, Dorothy (Simpson) Gatien, Patricia (Gatien) Russell and Ann Marie (Olczak) McQuade hold cursor over a face to see the name
In the official history of the Bata Shoe Company I could find no reference to the Port Hope factory, which for a period of approximately 15 years (about 1940 to 1955) employed some four dozen people.
Some workers were sent to Batawa for training on the machines.
Thomas J Bata
When Thomas was a child, his mother had read him tales about Canada that painted for him an image "a glamorous, exciting place to be." Thomas faced risk,
ridicule, and the unknown when he came to Canada. "For me, this was a great big plunge of faith, going into a strange country I had read about as a boy."
In 1939, accompanied by 100 Czech families, Thomas J Bata emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Canada. He was the only son of Tomas Bata who had built a very large,
international shoe enterprise in Czechoslovakia and died in an airplane crash before the Second World War. Young Thomas decided to leave his home country a short
period before the German Army marched in. After his arrival in Canada he initially bought an old paper mill in Frankford and started to manufacture shoes with the
help of over 100 Czech families who had followed him to Canada.
Soon after their arrival they started to build a new factory and housing in Batawa. There were two schools, two churches and sports facilities. At a later date a
Post Office and a bank were added. Originally most of the inhabitants of Batawa were of Czech origin and retained many of their traditions.
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