Romance of Expo Won't Die Next Week

By Lorraine Hunter, of The Ottawa Journal

When Expo '67 closes next week the romance of the big fair will live on for hundreds of the young men and women from around the world who spent the last six months working as Expo hosts and hostesses.

Many of the young people have made lasting friendships and several have fallen so much in love with Montréal and Canada that they are now looking for permanent jobs here.

Wednesday, 26 hosts and hostesses visited the Capital on a charter trip sponsored by the Montréal Tourist Association.  This was one of several day-long trips organized for them throughout the Expo tenure.

The young people will also have an opportunity, once Expo closes, to take chartered trips to the Bahamas and Europe.

The trip to Ottawa was a chance to renew old acquaintances for 22-year-old Seiko Nakano, hostess at the Japan pavilion. Seiko lived in Ottawa for four years and went to primary school here until nine years ago when her father, with the Japanese government here was transferred back to Japan.

Seiko, like her friend Tamako Matsuki, 22, also a Japanese hostess, wants to try working in Montréal for at least a few months after Expo closes.  They will begin job hunting when they return from the Bahamas.

Most of the girls agreed that getting dates at Expo was "no problem."

The problem was more often trying to get out of making them.

"We were instructed not to give out our phone numbers or make dates with anyone we meet at the Pavilion," said Nancy Abuza, 21, from the United States Pavilion.

"That works more for our own protection than anything else.  Some of the girls were pestered quite a bit by wolves but it's never got to be a serious problem."

Mira Gopaul, 22, one of the three hostesses at the Pavilion of Mauritius, says they were warned to always go out together and be careful in the "big city."

Most of the hosts and hostesses found living accommodations of their own but a few countries such as Russia, and Germany rented whole apartment buildings where, depending on the country, the employees live under varying degrees of supervision.

An organization known as the Expo Club has been instrumental in determining the social life of most of these young people.  It was through the club that trips, outings, tours and parties were arranged.

If the transportation strike in Montréal poses problems for visitors to Expo it is equally frustrating for the people who work there.

Many of the larger pavilions have provided their own bus service for employees.  Some are handing out taxi fare daily.

But for the girls who work in the smaller buildings like Mauritius there is only one way to get to work -- by hitch hiking.

- End of article. Copyright by The Ottawa Journal, October 19, 1967. All rights reserved.