World War II caused worldwide pain and suffering. The war also brought Canada fully out of the Depression and created more opportunities for the belles.
In Lake Country’s packinghouses, the applebox belles began to take over some supervisory positions as men went away to fight. The belles gained experience and became comfortable with the added responsibility. However, in most locations this was just a temporary promotion until the men returned.
Inez Patterson began working at the Vernon Fruit Union in Oyama in 1936 while attending business college. After graduating, she moved to Ottawa where she managed the secretarial pool for the Department of National Defense. She met and married Art Kenney, and in 1947 they settled in Oyama. Inez returned to packinghouse work, first at the BC Shipper’s packinghouse and then at the Vernon Fruit Union. Inez worked at all sorts of jobs at the packinghouse. Her career included working as a sorter, packer, stamper, checker, and secretary where she was responsible for shipping, receiving, orders, payroll, and other office duties.