New Year’s Eve 1942 at Nanaimo’s Famous Pygmy

October 20th, 2016

It was about to be the year 1943, and war-torn times meant everyone was looking for a reason to celebrate . The hottest ticket to ring in the New Year was the New Year’s Eve Dance at the Pygmy Pavilion. A spectacular venue that first opened on May 22, 1931, the Pygmy boasted a 8,400 sq ft dance floor built on coil springs, making it one of the only sprung dance floors in western Canada. For a mere $1.00 admission, party-goers were guaranteed an evening of continuous gaiety, variety, fun, frolic, and frivolity. And in unique fashion, the two most popular dance bands, Stu Storrie and His 10-Piece Dance Band and the 12-Piece Military Band, treated guests to a never seen before type of performance, where they alternated in turn, never stopping the music. This fabulous party offered a sense of refuge from the clutches of war, military regimentation, or workday irks. It was a New Year’s Eve Dance where guests were ringing it in from “Cocktail o’Clock” till “Shut Eye Hour”; making for a party that surely went down in history. (From the collection of the Nanaimo Museum)

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