During the Second World War, Canada, like several other Allied countries, had to ration its population.

This type of ration book was put into circulation after unsuccessful efforts to encourage the population, from the start of the war in 1939, to deprive itself willingly. In 1942, the government therefore instituted stricter rationing, especially on fuel. Rigorously distributed to individuals and families across Canada, these books were subject to strict rules, and everyone was required to use the coupons without wasting them.

It cannot be ignored that there was some misconduct and a little smuggling. In general, however, and especially in Canada, people coped with these restrictions quite well. But it was necessary to prevent counterfeiting.

As of 1943, rationing not only affected fuel, but also butter, tea, coffee, sugar, and meat. Inside each book, which was duly numbered and associated with a specific person, there were stamps called “coupons” that could be used to purchase these rationed goods or services. It sometimes took several stamps to obtain the desired item.

Rationing continued at least two years after the end of the war. These shared sacrifices made it possible to help the populations of the countries that were most affected by the war and food shortages, particularly in Europe, and to work together on the reconstruction.

One of these books belonged to Maurice Roy (1905-1985), who was born in Quebec City and ordained as a priest in 1927. In 1939, he became the military chaplain for the Royal 22nd Regiment. From captain, he obtained the rank of major, then lieutenant-colonel and colonel as a chaplain in the First Canadian Army. After the war, upon returning to Quebec, he was entrusted with the mandate of superior at the Grand Séminaire de Québec. He was the military vicar of Canada from 1946 to 1947, then again from 1951 to 1982.

For 16 months, Maurice Roy was also the bishop of the diocese of Trois-Rivières from February 22, 1946, to June 2, 1947.

Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1989 457 F.1-17