Each year at the 11th hour on the 11th
day of the 11th month ArcelorMittal
Dofasco cranes stop, massive haulers
pause, meetings are silenced and the
Canadian Flag is lowered to half mast.
Two minutes of silence ensue as part of
Remembrance Day; a pause to reflect on
those who have served in the Canadian
Armed Forces.
Dofasco has a rich military history as
both the company and its people have
played integral roles in Canada’s military
efforts. Employees have fought on the
front lines, played support roles both at
home and overseas and been on standby
in the reserves. Hundreds of employees
have served in the Canadian Military
and the strength in these numbers
precipitated the establishment of the
D. F. S. (Dominion Foundries and Steel)
Veterans Association after WWI. In
the company built a club, Veterans
Hall, just a short distance from the plant.
The hall remained a gathering place for
veterans for more than 45 years, until it
was retired in 1992 and the mementos
moved to the F.H. Sherman Recreation
and Learning Centre.
The company has been enlisted too,
producing munitions and marine forgings
for WWI, then armour plate for WWII.
Dofasco was producing 75% of all steel
plate made in Canada and 30% of all tin
plate as WWII marched on the scene and
thrust the company and its people into
war time activity. When the Canadian
Government needed armour plate, a
highly specialized product never before
made in Canada, Dofasco took on the
job and by the end of 1941 a new plant
started production. From there out,
every pound of armour plate made in
Canada was produced by Dofasco.
The company also did its part to
support the war effort with most of its
advertising and communications centred
around “our boys” and Canada’s role
in the war. The ads were a rallying cry:
Steel and Courage Win Wars” or “We’ve
got a job to do…and we’re doing it!”
The messages brought a strong sense
of support for the efforts of the Allied
Forces and Dofasco’s place in the fight,
even putting a positive spin on what the
effort was doing for the company:
War can teach for peacetime years.
The urgencies of war have evolved
Dofasco quality steels.
Here at Dofasco, under the
urgency of war, intensive research
has brought new metallurgical
formulae, advanced techniques
and revolutionary new production
methods in the making of quality
gun and armour steels. Never in our
history have we found so many new
ways of doing things in the short
time that we have become one of
Canada’s primary mass-producers of
exacting alloy battle-steels.
Tomorrow these same fine alloy
steels will be available to help you
make the products of peactime
manufacture more lasting, more
efficient and better in every way. But
until peace is won on the battlefronts
we of Dofasco have a wartime job to
do and we’re doing it with everything
we have.
Goodwill…is the only enduring thing.”
Illustrated News, May, 1943)
When Dofasco went to war
The Illustrated News ran many war related covers as
well as war ads. Employee Tommy Stewart (right)
was stationed in Vancouver and sent this photo back
to the company.