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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments

Clan McLennan, Montreal, 1896

Glengarry News, 28 February 1896, page 4

The Clan McLennan

In our last issue we referred to the presence in town of Chief Ross, of the Clan McLennan, of Montreal, the purpose of which was to arrive at satisfactory arrangements with the directors of the Alexandria Driving Park Co, by which a monster demonstration under the auspices of the Clan might be held in the Park Grounds on Dominion Day.  A special meeting of the directors of the Driving Park was held on Tuesday evening when a most liberal offer was made to the Clan and which is every probability will be accepted.  On that day the Clan McLennan will run an excursion to Alexandria by special train and should the weather prove favourable the likelihood that over 1000 people will come from Montreal alone.  They will be accompanied we understand, by a magnificent brass band and a number of Highland pipers.  During the afternoon a splendid program of sports and athletic games will be carried out and everything considered this excursion should prove the event of the season.


Contemplation on a Sunday afternoon, 2018

Today I am pondering some deep questions:

Why does IGA sell those insulated shopping bags for the transport of cold or hot items, when the IGA employee who packs your cold or hot items in your regular bags and puts in dry pasta and cans of soup in the insulated ones?

Why did the Gatineau Maxi stop selling the paper bags that the municipality of Gatineau accepts for your compostable waste, only to replace them with bags that they won’t?

Why does my neighbour upstairs, despite being asked by the landlord, continue to keep the back door of the building open in the dead of the winter?

Inquiring minds want to know…..  answers greatfully accepted.

Elocution lessons, Montreal 1878

Montreal Gazette, 19 Jan 1878, page 3



Mr Neil Warner

Is prepared to give

Lessons in Elocution


No 68 Victoria Street

Gentleman’s Classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday Evenings.

Ladies’ classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Evenings

Private Lessons if preferred

Instruction given at Academies and Schools on moderate terms

Mr Warner can be engaged to give Readings and Lectures at public entertainments

Annual Snowshoe Steeplechase, Montreal 1878

Montreal Gazette, 3 Jan 1878, page 3

St George’s Snowshoe Club

Annual Steeplechase

Saturday last will long be remembered as a “red-letter day” in the history of this club, not only in connection with the race across the mountain, but also for the thorough hospitality extended by its members to their friends and showshoers of other clubs, who, having availed themselves of the invitation, met at Prendergast’s Hotel after the race and did justice to a substantial supper in true snowshoer’s fashion.

The aspirants for the honor of winning one of the six handsome prizes met at McGill College Gate at 3:30 pm, but the start was not effected until 4:30 o’clock.  Quite a number of visitors and members of sister clubs assembled to see them off, and nto a few of the Montreal Club accompanied them over the mountain, while others went ahead with the object of seeing them come in at the home stretch.  The track was somewhat heavy.  The names of the winners and the time made by them may be seen from the following record:-

JC Bowden, time 22 m 40 s

Davidson, time 23 m

Matthews, time 24 m 30 s

Elliott, time 24 m 40s

McLean, time 26 m 29 s

Dyde, time 26 m 40 s

Mr JC Bowden, the winner of the first prize this year, was also the winner of the first prize last year.  He received a perfect ovation from his fellow members, which not only gave proof of his merit as a good snowshoer, but also testified to his popularity as a thorough good fellow in its most legitimate sense.  The event of the evening, however, was the supper, to which about one hundred persons sat down.  Capt Sully, president of the club, presided, and on his right were Lieut-Col Handyside and Mr Angus Grant, President of the Montreal Club, while on his left he was supported by Mr H Bryson, of the “Athletic,” and Sergeant-Major Lynden, “B” Battery, Dominion Artillery, Quebec.  Mr Neil Warner, Mr RS White and the representatives of the Gazette and Witness were also among the guests.

The following is a list of

The toasts

“the Queen” – National Anthem, solo by Mr Carter, and chorus

“The Prince of Wales and the Royal Family” – song “God Bless the Prince of Wales” by Mr Jarvis

“The Governor-General” proposed by Lt Colonel Handyside, and to which the following spirited chorus was sung in true hearty fashion.  The song itself was sung by Capt Sully”

“then hip, hurrah! We’ll drink his health;

May fortune never on him frown!

Here’s riches, honor, happiness, health

To that rattling boy from the County Down.”

“Our Country”- song, “Dear Canada, our Home,” sung by Mr Vesey

“The Army, Navy and Volunteers,” proposed by Captain Sully, and responded to by Lieut-Colonel Handyside.  During the interval Mr Neil Warner read the “Charge of the Light Brigade” with almost electrical effect, the guests rising t their feet and giving the reader a succession of rousing cheers.  A more magnificent piece of elocution we have never heard without exception.

“Our winter’s sports” was next proposed by Mr Jarvis, of the Witness, who made a very neat and appropriate speech.

The prizes were then distributed by Lieut-Colonel Handyside, and each recipient was awarded hearty cheers.

Our “Sister Clubs” was responded to by Messrs Angus Grant, Murray and Bryson, in suitable terms.

The remaining toasts were:

“The Ladies” – song and chorus.  Dedicated to the St George SS Club by “Paul Ford.”

Volunteer toasts, songs &c (In this and in all things else – )

“England expects every man will do his duty”

“The press” – replies

“Our own club” – club song and chorus

“Strap the snow-shoes on, my boys,

We’ll have another run”

During the evening the band of the Victoria Rifles came from the city to do honor to the club, and were received with great applause.

After the programme had been disposed of, the tables were removed, songs were sung (and by the way, we must not forget to mention the vocal comicalities of Mr Prince, and the excellent singing of Messrs Murray and Vesey), and impromptu dances got up for the occasion.  Space will not admit of giving the gist of the several speeches, which were unusually good.  We had almost forgotten to mention what the prizes were: the 1st was a gold medal, in the shape of a shield, having on its face a pair of snowshoes crossed.  The 2nd, a silver medal with snowshoes crossed, and worked in gold.  The 3rd a gold seal; the 4th a set of gold studs – the 5th, a set of silver studs; the 6th a silver fruit knife, and the 7th a wooden spoon to the last man in the race.  The first six prizes were manufactured by Messrs Savage & Lyman.

Altogether the race and its afterpiece were of the most pleasant character, and the party returned to town about 10 pm, everyone having thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Charles Cetewayo, Brockville, 1918

Montreal Gazette, 24 Jul 1918, page 5


Man who died at Brockville alleged he was protégé of Queen Victoria


Brockville, Ont, July 23 – Far from his native South African Kraal, Charles Cetewayo, mining engineer, who claimed to be a price of the royal Zulu blood, son of the late King Cetewayo of Zululand, and the protégé of Queen Victoria, passed away yesterday in the Brockville General Hosptial to which he was admitted on July 3rd suffering from an incurable disease.  Physicians and others who have become interested in Cetewayo’s case since his arrival here for treatment, have no doubt that he was, if not a son, at least a relative of the Zulu chieftain, who caused so much trouble to the British in Natal in the mid-Victorian era. Reticence regarding his past marked the conversation of Cetwayo while in the hospital.  When it was suggested to him shortly before his death yesterday that it would be well to make a will, he stated that he would think it over for two or three days, and what disposal will be made of his property should further developments reveal him to be the possessor of any, is problematical.

Charles Catewayo, as the hospital attendants knew him, was between 50 and 60 years of age, well built, with dark curly hair and a swarthy complexion not unlike that of the average West Indian.  A mining engineer, and expert, Catewayo had been engaged in observation of mica properties in the vicinity of Westport, Ont, when admitted ot the hospital.  He also carried a registration certificate which gave his residence as 61 Ontario street, Kingston, and it is believed he was employed by Kingston firm of mining promoters.  From details that have been gathered from different persons who conversed with him, it is learned that Catewayo laid claim to be the son of the late King Cateweyo upon whose death he was taken to England a the instigation of Queen Victoria, and there educated under her direction.  After a ten year military course he entered the British army and served in the South African war where he was wounded and received a pension.  He was apparently well read and professed to be a Christian.  Cateweyo claimed to be a member of the Lodge of Oddfellows at Havelock, of the Freemasons at Kingston, and of the Orange Lodge at Marmora.  He had evidently been connected with various mining ventures in Ontario, and spoke of visits to the Cobalt and other fields.  The funeral arrangements have not been completed.

The Orange and the Onion – New Ten Cigar, Montreal, 1911

Montreal Gazette, 24 July 1911, page 10



The Orange and the Onion

May both please the one who eats – but they do not both please those who perforce must whiff the odor.

For the sake of those around you sidestep those cigars which fall on the onion side of the line, and enjoy instead the refined.

Delicacy of aroma

Of the “New Ten” Cigar.  It spreads around the impression of a cultivated taste, with the ability to gratify it.

Try a change for the better –

The New Ten Cigar.

Demonstration of the Celebrated “Rengo Belt” Corset, Montreal, 1911

Montreal Gazette, 22 July 1911, page 18




The John Murphy CompanyLimited

Demonstration of the Celebrated “Rengo Belt” Corset

Miss Anderson, a New York Corset Expert is demonstrating the above and will be here all next week.  Ladies desiring to be fitted as well as requiring any information concerning same will be gladly attended to by Miss Anderson.

Appointments for fitting can be made by phone or letter.

We would like to mention one style being demonstrated which is made of a very fine quality coutil, guaranteed rust-proof steel, medium low bust, six suspenders and beautiful Finished.  Price $2.25 and $3.50.

Bagpipes in War, 1900

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 26 Jul 1900, page 6


The Bagpipes in War – The Highlanders owe much to their bagpipes; they have done an immense deal to quicken the blood and fire the souls of fighting men in the battlefield; and feeble indeed would have been their efforts had their beloved bagpipes been absent.  Every one has heard of Cameron, of the 92d Highlanders, who thought so much of the effect the loss of the pipes would have upon his men that when his favourite piper was killed by his side in the Peninsular War, he knelt down and tried to raise him, saying “I would rather rather lose 20 men than lose you!” There are many stories told of the wonders and achievements the bagpipes have conferred on the hardy Highlanders. One of their favourite tunes, in fact, the most beloved, is “The Campbells are Coming.” The truth of the story that the music of the bagpipe was heard by the besieged garrison at Lucknow, as the soldiers marched to the relief, has never been exactly proved, although it is accepted generally as a fact, and that the tune was “The Campbells are Coming”  Tennyson has referred to the incident in one of his most stirring poems –“Great Thoughts”

In defence of Scots in Montreal – after insult by La Minerve, 1835

Montreal Gazette, 10 October 1835, pg 2


We know not for what reason the Editor of the Minerve takes so many more opportunities of insulting the Scotch inhabitants of this Province, then those from the other parts of the United Kingdom.  There must be something peculiarly irritating to the mind of our French contemporary in the annals of Scottish glorty, that induces him so frequently to spit out his venom upon the natives of Old Caledonia.  In a portion of his Editorial history, now in the course of publication in his paper, and which has not as yet, after several weeks exertions, reached further than the period of the American revolution, he has the following foul and slanderous abuse of the Scottish people.


“At New York, a Scotchman was the first man to devote himself to the success of liberal opinions, and called upon his fellow citizens to offer resistance to oppression.  In Canada the Scotch shew themselves the most inveterate enemies of public liberty – they swell themselves up into little potentates, and pretend to hold a whole population under their odious domination; their conduct among us is no doubt the result of an opposition in religious opinions of a national rivalry towards men whom they regard as not being of the blood of the Douglas, the Bruce, or of those mountain clans, whose misery, brutality, vindictive spirit, robberies, fierceness, baseness and insignificance have been so minutely described by Sir Walter Scott.  If such is the case, it is necessary to revert to the spirit which presided at the granting of our constitution – a total separation between that which is British, and that which wishes to remain Canadian.  Never can the two origins amalgamate together. Let those who prefer the English laws transport themselves to the adjoining Province where those benefits are assured to them, or let those whose interests and whose affection are united to the soil of Lower Canada, identify themselves with our worthy Jean Baptistes, regard them as their equals and their brethren extend to them freely their hand, and with one common feeling, work for the prosperity of the country.”


Such is the language used towards a large portion of the British residents of Lower Canada, by a Frenchman but a few months absent from that land, where now he could not dare for one instant to write, nay scarcely to think, one hundredth part of such froth and fury as he has in a few lines combined together.  The insult intended falls short of his mark, when its source is known.


The Scotch residents of Canada have no reason to be ashamed of their beloved native land.  They can with satisfaction turn to the pages of their country’s history, and they find ample evidence of the well earned fame of their fellow countrymen.  The plains of Abraham, Egypt, and Waterloo can attest to the bravery of Scottish soldiers, France has seen her capital garrisoned by Scottish troops, and the citizens of Paris have, within their own walls, listened to the martial music of Caledonia.  In the more peaceful walks of science and the arts, the Scotch can point to a host of philosophers, who have, by their intellectual and mental superiority, extended the fame of their native land far beyond its own limited boundaries.  In commercial pursuits if it is necessary to go beyond the continent on which we live for illustration, the enterprise of Scotchmen has lent its powerful aid in support of the general character of British merchants.


To charge the Scottish people with the support of oppression and tyranny becomes superbly ridiculous, when history points to many a well contested field where Scotchmen fought for freedom of action, thought and religious belief, and no nation has done so much towards removing the trammels and shackles which had been imposed upon the free expression of the mental powers, that that people so foully libelled by the Editor of the Minerve.  Their descendants here are actuated by similar sentiments, and we can assure our contemporary, that when the day comes, should such a day ever arrive, in which they are to be submitted to the tyrannical yoke of French supremacy, they will arouse in their strength, and mindful of the deeds of their forefathers, “lay proud usurpers low.”


The admirers of Sir Walter Scott will be somewhat surprised, when they find him charged with giving such a character to the Highlanders, as the Editor of the Minerve has imputed to him.  He who could draw such a conclusion from the masterly productions of the northern novelist, must have derived his information from some of those extremely correct and valuable translations published in French in which the “stickit dominie” of Guy Mannering was converted into “un ministred perfore.”


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