Date: July 2, 1942
Source: The Guardian, courtesy of Rohinton Ghandhi
On the photograph, Bill Jameson, a student from Verdun, receives congratulations from Mayor Wilson and a member of the National War Finance Committee, for having coined a slogan promoting war-savings stamps. His slogan, Hey gang! Keep on licking war-savings stamps – they’re full of vitamin V! was adopted by the federal government for its promotional activities. Thousands of posters with the young Verdunite launching his famous phrase were distributed in schools across Canada.
Verdun schools were fertile ground for the sale of war stamps. Between December 1940 and December 1944, $63,000 was raised. For every 25 cents collected, one stamp would be glued onto a card provided by the government. Once the card was filled with 16 stamps, it was returned to Ottawa in exchange for a $5 savings certificate. The student made a $1 profit for every $4 raised.
The Verdun War Savings Committee conferred the sale of the certificates to over 30 Verdun organizations, mostly women’s organizations. Mayor Wilson also made sure that the stamps and savings certificates could be purchased from almost every shopkeeper in Verdun and convinced his fellow-citizens that this was the best way to take part in the war effort.
Transcription of the text below the photograph:
BILL JAMESON, 13-year-old student of Riverview School, Verdun, scored an international hit
for victory. The slogan he coined for his school magazine, picked up by both Ottawa and
Washington, at school closing he was congratulated by MAYOR EDWARD WILSON of Verdun
and W.B. TINGLE, joint chairman of the public relations section of the National War Finance
Committee. Poster shows freckle-faced, fair-haired Bill himself, with his watchword: ‘‘Hey gang!
Keep on licking war-savings stamps, they’re full of vitamin V!’’