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- Alex Russell was personnel manager at Defence Industries Limited. He describes the circumstances surrounding the birth of D.I.L.
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Latitude: 43.85012 Longitude: -79.03288
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In 1941 I was employed at General Motors in Oshawa as employment manager, and I was advised that General Motors had been asked by C.I.L. in Montreal to conduct a survey of the surrounding territories here, in regards to the availability of help for a large industrial organization. Principally for female help. After making the survey, I heard very little further from C.I.L. until January 1941 when Mr. E.R. Compton who was then the director of personnel for C.I.L. contacted me and asked me to take over the responsibilities of personnel officer at Defence Industries Limited, which was a new plant being organized by C.I.L. in cooperation with the British government, which was to be situated in or near Pickering. I started to work at Pickering, now Ajax on March 3, 1941, and took over the responsibility of engaging all of the construction help for the construction of the factories at Pickering. The Carter Hall Aldinger company were the contractor. The superintendent was Mr. Ernest Markham who came from Vancouver. His assistant was Jack Hunt who came from Winnipeg. They took the responsibility of organizing all of the construction work in the plant. The construction actually started on approximately March 3rd, and the first buildings were producing especially from the Cap and Det Line, in June of 1941.