Of Rhodes and Haussers

Gamma Omicron reached the end of the 1944-45 school year in solid financial shape, and with a strong active membership.

Although the war had not yet ended, the signs were plain that victory in Europe was not far off.

However, no one was prepared to make any prediction as to how long the war against Japan might last.

Despite this looming question, the Beta undergrads and alumni felt that the time was right to acquire a new chapter house. Accordingly, a property was bought in May 1945.

This house was located at 1645 West (not East!) Twelfth Avenue, and seemed well-suited to the purpose. But there was a slight difficulty.

All the wartime regulations around construction and renovation work had led to a severe housing shortage in many Canadian cities, and Vancouver was no exception.

In order to prevent social dislocation,

Of Rhodes and Haussers the government had placed a ban on any sort of eviction or repossession proceedings without permission of the courts.

Even when a lease expired, the tenants could not be forced to leave, but could stay on and pay rent as though they had a lease.

As long as these rules were in place, it would prove impossible for the men of the British Columbia chapter to occupy their new quarters.

In fact, it took a year and-a-half of waiting before the chapter was finally able to move in the fall of 1946.

Like Toronto, the UBC chapter had an unusually large and diverse membership after the war.

The same mix of older and younger men, with or without military service of various kinds,

led to the same types of difficulties with unwieldy chapter meetings and the like.

By 1948, though, the great wave of men had mostly passed through and things settled back into a more normal pattern.

Another sign of the war’s end was the resumption of the Portland Songfests.

Of Rhodes and Haussers These events kept growing larger and larger.

By 1948, the seventh time the Regional Songfest was held, there were more than 400 Betas in attendance, plus 300 nonBeta guests.

This was a larger number than many of the General Conventions of that day.

Obviously Stan Church had tapped into something really big when he organized the first songfest back in 1938!

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