Times Colonist

June 4, 1951: Police squads disperse more zoot-suit clashes

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Stories from our pages over the last 150 years. Mobile police flying squads were called out Sunday night for the second successive night to break up open clashes between army and navy personnel and club-wielding youthful “zoot-suiters” which have already hospitaliz­ed at least one soldier.

Chief of Police John Blackstock, who was scheduled today to meet with service authoritie­s to see what can be done to prevent new clashes, said he would have a full-strength shift assigned to downtown and Beacon Hill Park trouble areas tonight.

At the same time Saturday night dances of the Y.M.C.A. were ordered cancelled until further notice as a result of the clashes.

“We would rather cancel the dances than have them marked as the source of the trouble,” declared Vivian Shoemaker general secretary of the organizati­on.

Police today identified the injured soldier as Pte. Wilson Schofield R.C.A.S.C. Pte. Schofield will be confined to H.M.C.S. Naden Hospital for several days, it was revealed. He suffered a gash over the right eye and laceration­s about the mouth when attacked Saturday night.

Chief Blackstock sensing serious trouble after a study of the opening outbreaks, has ordered the flying squads to intervene in all sorties, however minor, between the factions.

The naval shore patrol and army provost corps joined city police in breaking up the fights Saturday and Sunday before they assumed proportion­s of riots.

The police chief said he felt the mass fights originated from a few isolated brawls which are being “revenged.” — Victoria Daily Times

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