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Victory Day Celebrations
When the war began to show signs of ending, the Summerside Town Council decided to organize a victory day program. The council formed a planning committee in September 1944 made up of representatives of various service groups. To prepare for the celebration, the general public was encouraged to gather flags and bunting.

After several months a tentative agenda had been arranged. By the time the Journal headline on 7 May 1945 announced "WAR IN EUROPE ENDS" the plans were set. The town's official V-E (Victory in Europe) parade and subsequent ceremony in Memorial Square took place 8 May. An article two days later described the "splendidly observed" program.


The general public experienced tremendous relief at the cessation of fighting in Europe. However, the war was not over. The front pages of newspapers continued to carry reports of the battles in the Pacific.

Canadians were inundated with ongoing domestic concerns - the country was in the midst of its 8th Victory Loan campaign, thousands of men were being demobilized and arriving home from Europe, and federal candidates were campaigning for the federal election in June.

Victory over Japan, V-J Day, was finally declared 15 August 1945. The federal government declared Wednesday 15 August to be a National Public Holiday and Sunday 19 August as a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

A special edition of the Summerside Journal carried numerous ads from local firms giving thanks for peace and an editorial titled "Peace Comes to a War-Weary World." A proclamation by Mayor Campbell announced a civic holiday, during which many residents went out to the Airport to tour a visiting Lancaster bomber known as "R for Roger." An item in the Journal a few days later described the general mood - "There was no official celebration of the event but a spontaneous spirit of joyfulness permeated the whole community."