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A Frenchman on Halloween, Montreal, 1880

Globe and Mail, 2 Nov 1880, page 4

A Frenchman on Halloween

Speech of Mr Frechette, the Poet Laureate of the French Academy

The following Halloween speech by Mr L Frechette, the recently crowned poet of Quebec, will be read with interest.  The speech was delivered at a celebration in Montreal on Friday evening last.: –

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen – Although far from being equal to the task impsed upon me, I nevertheless feel in duty bound to offer my thanks to the officers of your association for their courtesy in inviting me to address a few words to this distinguished assemblage.  It flatters one, personally, and as a French Canadian I feel particularly gratified.  It is not customary with our national and literary societies to invite persons of different origin – unless it is as officers of sister societies – to take an active part in the programme of a celebration like this. The exeption made in my favour this evening is not, of course, due to my personal merit or ability; but I see it in a most encouraging symptom for the future; a consoling evidence that the four races who have been called by Providence to work the destinies of this great and beautiful country of ours. Are everyday more and more impressed by a spirit of union (Cheers) I see in it a peremptory proof that we understand better and better every day that patriotism makes it a sacred duty for us to live and work together as one great family, if we want to enter seriously the path which leads to public prosperity and national grandeur. (Cheers) It shows that some of us, at least, foresee the inevitable fact that sooner or later one day will come in Canada when there will be no more French, English, Scotch or Irish, but only one gallant people called the Canadian nation. (Loud applause) Not that any one of us, ladies and gentlemen will have to repudiate or forget the glorious traditions of his Mother country.  Oh! No! we can never be too proud of the luminous track which our respective forefathers have left in the history of the world and civilization.  It would be a crime not to remember it.  But that national pride, so noble and so natural, must become for every branch of the Canadian nationality, a source of generous emulation.  All the good and sound qualities which characterize each of them must, like different precious metals, amalgamate together in a strong and brilliant ensemble, which will become as the soul and distinctive feature of the new community whose foundation we have been entrusted with.  (Cheers) And, ladies and gentlemen, no better ground could have been selected for an illustration of this desirable fusion, than that chosen to-night –the literary and artistical ground. This is a field where all nationalities can proclaim their heroes, and boast of them freely without wounding the feelings of other people; for the great writers and the great artists never shed blood, and never founded their fame on the humiliation of others; but devoted their lives to raise imperishable but peaceful monuments to the genious of their race and humanity at large.  Victor Hugo, Walter Scott, Burns, Byron, Thomas Moore, Dante or Schiller: these heroes – although bearing so strangely the stamp of their Mother Lands – do not exclusively belong to any of them, but their glory is a legacy of which every nation of the world has a right to claim part.   A great poet, a great artist, honours his native country, but his works and genius are cosmopolitan, and belong to humanity.  All the greatest literary men of the world were more or less humanitarians and humanists (Cheers). Take Robert Burns, for instance.  No one more than the sublime peasant of Ellisland ever so vividly reflected the character of lofty independence of noble generosity, and patriarchal hospitality, which so highly distinguish the sons of Old Scotland – the sons of old Scotland.

“Famed for martial deeds and sacred song, as the poet says; the proud nation who, as the poet says again, Will not be, nor have a slave!”

No one did ever so boldly sing the world renowned valour of the brave Highlanders, whose claymores so undauntedly defended the soil of old Caledonia that is the only corner of Europe which the Romans, masters of the rest of the world, never succeeded to conquer! (Loud cheers) Listen to these lines, so energetic in their peasant humour:-

Thus bold, independent, unconquered and free,

Her bright course of story forever shall run;

For brave Caledonia immortal must be.

I’ll prove it from Euclid, as bright as the sun:

Rectangle-triangle the figure we’ll choose.

The upright is chance, and old time is the base,

But brave Caledonia’s the hypotenuse:

Then, ergo shall match them and watch them always!

And yet Robert Burns, the patriotic ballad singer, whose noble inspirations are so strongly impregnated with the characteristics of Ossian’s native mountain, Robert Burns himself “allowed,” to use an expression of our great Lamartine, “his patriotism to extend beyond races and frontiers.” And of this I want no further proof than this particular affectation for the French language. French quotations and sayings are to be found almost every page of his beautiful letters to Thompson, Ainslie, and others of his friends, and especially in his autobiography addressed to Dr Moore. Nay, we read whole lines in French in his poetical epistle to Major Logan, which everybody is acquainted with. (Cheers) But there is nothing astonishing in the fact that the great singer of “Bonnie Jean,” in his love for humanity had a small preference for France, the sister of Scotland by origin, and her constant friend by tradition.  In many a page of history do we find the two nations hand in hand on the same battle-field, rivalling in peaceful and courteous tournaments, and cementing their fraternal union by royal marriages and Court festivities – from the day when John Balliol and Phillippe le Bel ranged their chivalry in one phalanx under the walls of Dunbar, till the date when the son of the old Scots, who was to be James I, crossed the channel to receive his education at the Court of Charles V; from the hour when James V led to the altar Marie de Lorraine, widow of Louis I d’Orleans, to make her Queen of Scotland, down to this romantic and sad period when their beautiful daughter, the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, left the shores of Normandy singing:-

Adieu, plaisant pays de France

Pays que je dois tant cherir,

Berceau de mon heureux enfance

Adieu, te quitter c’est mourir!

(Cheers) This touching sympathy between the two countries had its echo in the minds of the most celebrated writers; and if France can boast of having always been foremost in the ranks of nations for her philosphers, her historians, her poets and her scholars of all kinds, her sister, Scotland, although hardly one-eighth in population, has nothing to envy her, when she can register on the tablets of human genius names like those of Walter Scott, Campbell, Hume, McPherson, Smollett, Armstrong, Blair, Thompson, Ramsay, Hunter, MacLaurin, Gregory, Robert Burns, and so many other great minds, who have made their country illustrious in all branches of knowledge. (Applause) some people say the Scotch are proud.  They have a right to be proud.  And I know of no greater virtue than national, even personal, pride, when understood in the right sense of the word. Yes, Scotchmen are proud; but when we recall to our mind those heroic deeds of the Scots of old, those gigantic struggles between the Old Normans and Saxons, the marvellous campaigns of William Wallace and Robert Bruce; when our memory dwells upon those romantic times of Richard, the lion-hearted king; when we dream of those legendary heroes, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, Cedric the Fair, and of all those chivalrous characters exhumed from the darkness of old traditions by that great magician Sir Walter Scott, we cannot but acknowledge that no pride is more legitimate than theirs. (Cheers) Let us all be proud, ladies and gentlemen; proud of our origin, of our race, and mother-countries; but before all, let us be proud of our beautiful Canada, the land of our birth, or the land of our choice, who has had her brilliant history also, and whose future destinies are still more brilliant, if – as I said in the beginning of these remarks – we are all ready to walk shoulder to shoulder in the right path.  This will be done, I know it, ladies and gentlemen.  A circumstance like this is a step in that gentlemen.  A circumstance like this is a step in that direction.  If we only understand our interest, we shall be a great and glorious nation; and our children will glory over the fact that they can retrace their origin to set of a patriotic men, who, forgetting the strifes of the past, Fontenoy, Bannockburn, Waterloo, and the Plains of Abraham, heartily united their energy and good sentiments towards one generous and noble aim – the happiness of their common country.  I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your kind attention and your indulgence for my broken English. (Loud and prolonged applause.)


St Joseph’s Day, Montreal, 1878

Montreal Gazette, 20 March 1878, page 4


St Joseph’s Day – the members of l’Union St Joseph marched in procession yesterday morning some four hundred strong.  They assembled at their hall on St Catherine street at 8:30 o’clock, in full regalia and with various gorgeous banners displayed.  They were accompanied by the City and Ville Marie bands, playing national airs.  They proceeded along St Catherine, Amherst, Ontario, Seaton and Dorchester streets to St Peter’s Church, where a solemn mass was celebrated at 9:30 o’clock, after which the procession reformed and passed through Visitation, St Mary, Notre Dame, St Lambert, St Lawrence and St Catherine streets, back tot heir point of starting, where they dispersed.  A great number of the houses on the streets in question were more or less decorated with flags & c.

United Protestant Workingmen’s Benefit Society report, 1878

Montreal Gazette 20 March 1878, page 4


United Protestant Workingmen’s Benefit Society

The twelfth annual meeting of the United Protestant Workingmen’s Benefit Society was held on Tuesday evening, March 19, 1878, in large room of Perry’s Union Hall, Craig Street, Mr William Johnston, President, in the Chair.  On the platform with him were Messrs John Doyle and Christopher Sonne, Vice-presidents, and Dr JT Finnie, the medical officer.  There was a very large attendance of members, owing to the interest that is now being taken in the Society by them.

Mr William Roberts, Recording secretary, read that part of last monthly meeting’s business referring to the nomination of officers, as well as the minutes of last annual meeting, which were confirmed.

Medical Officer’s Report

The Secretary read the Medical Officer’s report (Dr JT Finnie) for the past year, as follows:-

To the officers and members of the United Protestant Workingmen’s Benefit Society:-

Gentlemen – in presenting you with a summary of my work during 1877-78 I have to report a very high sick list during the whole of the twelve months.  With the exception of the month of September, each monthly return showed a sick roll amounting in the aggregate to over thirty week’s benefit, while that for the month of July reached fifty-four week’s benefit.

By enquiring into the reasons for such an increase in our sick list, I find that, apart from the fact that the year has been a unusually sickly one, there are two special causes which have contributed to this end:

1st.  there are some of our members who, suffering from chronic diseases, have remained on our sick benefit during the whole year.

2nd.  Another cause which helped to swell it materially was the fire on St Urbain street last April, where so many of our members were either killed or were severely burned, while in the performance of their duty.

By comparing this wit our two last annual reports, I find that in 1875-76 our average monthly sickness was twenty weeks.  That of 1876-77 was thirty-four weeks benefit, while the average for last year (1877-78) was thirty-nine weeks benefit, or an increase of fourteen per cent on last year’s return.

In carefully looking over the list for this year, I find that the benefits have been distributed among sixty-three different individuals, or about one member out of every nine belonging to the Society.

Injuries of various kinds form a very considerable part of the causes of disability, as the following list will show- wounds of the hand, 9; wounds of the scalp, 4; wounds of the foot, 6; burns, 11; fracture of the shoulder, 2; dislocation of the shoulder, 2; rupture, 1.  Other causes being rheumatism, bronchitis, diarrhoea, congestion of the lungs, consumption, cancer, typhoid fever, &c, &c.

During the year nine members died, the causes of death being as follows- cancer, 3; accidentally killed, 3; consumption, 2; rupture of a blood vessel, 1.

During the year three of the members’ wives have died, the causes being: inflammation of the bowels, 1; puerperal fever, 1; disease of the heart.

Fifty five candidates passed the necessary medical examination to become members of the Society, being a very considerable increase on last year’s report.

During the same time I have attended one hundred and eight members, at their homes, for periods of less than a week; also given some hundreds of consultations at my office.  A considerable number of minor surgical operations have also been performed.

In closing my report I sincerely hope that we may be blessed with a more prosperour year than the one which this night’s meeting brings to a close.  I trust that you will continue to exert yourselves towards bringing in new members.  In numbers, the Society is far short of what it might be, and what it ought to be.  For while the dues are less than those of any similar society in the city, our benefits are much more liberal.  Let each member then remember this, and be constantly on the outlook for recruits – so to speak – and we will soon have a Society that in point of numbers and stability will not only surpass anything of the kind in the city, but would by a credit to the Protestant Workingmen of Montreal.

The whole respectfully submitted.

John T Finnie, MD

Medical Officer

Fancy Dress Carnival on Ice, Glengarry, 1896

Glengarry News, 31 January 1896, page 3



The grand fancy dress carnival that was held at the skating rink on Tuesday evening was a great success.  The following is a list of the masqueraders and what they represented: – Lizzie McDonald – Fairie; Alice McDermid, Night; Allie McLennan, Trained nurse; Daisy McDonald, Night; Maggie Benning, snow flake; Marion McLennan, Highland lassie; Mina Robertson, Grecian bride; Miss Tait, Morning Star; Lillie Falkner, nurse; Hattie McPhadden, Evening star; Annie Glennie, Queen of Roses; Lillie Fraser, Morning Star; Laura Kennedy, fortune teller; Donalda Carlyle, Spanish girl; JAB McLennan, Henry II; AJ Barrett, Clergyman; B Falkner, Jessie James; Wm McNaughton, cook; A Dewar, sailor; D Dingwall, snowshoers; J Daoust, postmaster general; D McDougall, student; D McPherson, Irish dude; J McKenzie, Methodist minister; H McKenzie, cowboy; D McCrimmon, simple simon; H Christie, Crowfoot; F McLennan, Uncle Sam; John Bethune, Ex-minister of justice; Louis Parisien, Uncle Tom; Jim Tyo, Squaw; Clem Whyte, Aunt Susie; George McDonald, John Bull; E Joubert, Chinaman.  The valuable prizes that were awarded for the best ladies’ costume was won by Miss Lizzie McDonald; best gents’ costume JAB McLennan, and the best comical costume, Clem Whyte.  Judges: – Hugh Fraser and Tupper McDonald.

The Morris Dance, Hastings, 1907

Hastings and St Leonard’s Observer, 3 August 1907, page 7


The Morris Dance – In view of the recent revival of the Morris dance at Hastings by the pupils of Wellington College, it is interesting to note that the same kind of revival of Old English dances and folk-songs is being undertaken at Littlehampton next Thursday, by boys and girls of the Esperance Clubs.  This display will be of interest to local people who may want to see more of these old dances.  The Littlehampton entertainment begins at half-past three in the afternoon.

A Paulin Family Puzzler – wherefore art thou dear Rutherfords? 2018


When the Paulin family left Birmingham in the 1880s, they left a member behind.  Louisa Mary Paulin, eldest daughter of Frederick Paulin and his wife Mary Cutler, had just married Robert Rutherford in 1888 when her parents decided to make the trip to join her brothers: Frederick, George, Ernest and Herbert, in Victoria, BC.  The couple chose to stay.  No reasons have been passed down through the family grapevine.

In the 1891 census the couple were living in Birmingham.  Robert was the manager of the Conservative Club, Temple Row, and his wife was the housekeeper.  [1] In April 1889 their first child, George Frederick Andrew was born.[2] In September 1892, his sister Louise Mary Pauline was born. [3] Louise senior died soon afterwards.  The family broke apart.

The 1901 census shows that both children were living away from their father.  George was boarding with Louise Shearman, the principal of a private school in Acock’s Green. [4/5]   Louise was living with her grandmother Barbara in Newcastle. [6] Robert was an innkeeper in Thropton, Northumberland [7].

I will concentrate my attention now on George’s life.  I have found researching him a bit of a challenge.  In 1911 George was living in Morpeth, Northumberland, working as a shifting and commercial agent. [8] Two years later he was living in Victoria, BC.  That year he married Beatrice Friar, who was originally from Northumberland.  She was 28. [9]

It would seem that the couple met when they were in England, as on their marriage certificate Beatrice uses an English address as her residence, while George says he lives at the Ritz Carlton (fancy!).  Her origins in Northumberland, where his father was from, and where he had lived in 1911 is also a clue. Unlike so many of the other family weddings in Victoria, there were no mentions in the local newspaper.

Two years later, the couple are still living in Victoria.  He had worked as a civil servant at the time of his marriage; in 1915 in his attestation papers he states he was working as an agent.  He lists his wife Beatrice as next of kin. [10] His attestation and service records provide the most information on his life.  According to the records he and Beatrice had two children: Dorothy Constance Louise Rutherford, born in 1914, and Robert George Shearman Rutherford born in May 1915. I cannot find any  birth or baptism information on the two children in British Columbia.

His service records also show how the family began moving around.  Beatrice is first listed at an address in Foul Bay, Victoria, then in early 1916 she is listed living with Mrs Egan in Glendale, California, and finally in September 1916 she is living in Brighton, Sussex.  These addresses were kept as she was paid a portion of George’s salary in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, while he was away. A record of crossing in Vermont was found to support the family coming back into Canada in 1916 [11].  George’s Canadian war record is rather slim, it appears Private Rutherford was stationed in England, and in September 1917 he transferred to the Territorial Army, and his story disappears from this record group.  He survived the war, after serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment.  He left as a captain. [12] I found his medal cards.

And what next?  I am at a loss to know his movements.  I am only sure of a few things concerning George – he had a daughter named Pauline Theresa Scarlett Neville Rutherford in January of 1934 with a lady named Dorothy Susan Neville Upton [13], he was a patient at Banstead Hospital in Surrey in 1939 (which said he was a law clerk, and married – but his wife was not in hospital so answers are not there) [14] and he died in December 1952 in Surrey. [15] His son Robert was living in Cardiff in 1939, and working as a motor mechanic and garage hand, he was 15, and he was not living with family members. [16]

I can find no death or divorce papers for Beatrice Friar Rutherford in either British Columbia or England.  I can find no marriage to Dorothy Neville Upton.  Ancestry’s various family trees go as far as saying she is his wife.  At this time I cannot prove it.

So here is my puzzle all laid out.  I have some information, and some clues.  Then a lot of blanks.  I imagine if I purchase his death certificate I might get a few more answers…. but not all.



[1] UK, 1891 Census Birmingham.

[2] Baptism Certificate, Ancestry

[3] Baptism Certificate, Ancestry

[4] UK, 1901 Census, Acock’s Green

[5] [Private Schools in Acock’s Green]

[6] UK 1901 Census, Newcastle

[7] UK 1901 Census, Thropton, Northumberland

[8] UK 1911 Census, Morpeth, Northumberland

[9] Marriage Certificate, Victoria, BC., 1913.

[10] Library and Archives Canada, RG 150 Accession 1992-93/166 Box 8567-8, Item 606944

[11] List or manifest of alien passengers applying for admission, Victoria, 1916

[12] National Archives, British Army Medal Index Cards, WO372/17


[14] 1939 Register, Findmypast

[15] England and Wales, Death index

[16] 1939 Register, Findmypast




Chisolm Clan Chief dinner, Glengarry, 1860

John O’Groat Journal, 22 March 1860, page 2


The Chisholm Estates – A banquet was recently given in Glengarry, Canada, to the new chief of the Chisholm clan.  The Inverness Courier thus notices the event:- The Chisholm is congratulated upon his good fortune in succeeding to a fine estate in his fatherland, nor does the congratulation suffer in its effect from the fact that it is offered by the son of a Highland proprietor who enjoyed great popularity and no slight influence in his day.  His son is now settled down in a district quite as Celtic as any which he could have found in his native land, and perhaps more so than that of which, from his speech, he seems to retain so lively a recollection.  Another Canadian, besides the Chisholm, who has succeeded to a fine Highland property was present at the Banquet in Glengarry – Mr Macgillivray of Dunmarglass, on whom a very high eulogium was passed by the chairman; and we are glad to observe that a third Canadian, who now holds large property in the Highlands, was affectionately remembered on this festive occasion – the Mackintosh of Mackintosh.  Such meetings serve to keep up in Canada the strong feeling which binds the people to their native land, and read here the report of the meeting cannot fail to enlist our sympathy; whole the fact that so many of our Highland estates find heirs amongst the descendants of our countrymen in Canada shows how intimately the people of the two divisions of the empire are united.


Polish Colony in St Catharines enter Protest, 1918

Montreal Gazette, 29 July 1918, page 5


Repudiate Bolsheviki

Polish Colony in St Catharines enter protest


St Catharines, Ont, July 18 – Members of the Polish colony of St Catharines, at a mass meeting, openly repudiated the action of a gathering of Russians called last week by the local Soviet of Russian Workers and Peasants’ Deputies.  The Russian gathering in its memorial to Premier Borden, protesting against intervention in Siberia and asking for recognition of the Russian Socialist Soviet Republic, had set forth that their meeting was attended by Poles. This the Polish residents formally denied, and instructed their priest Father I Ostavszewski, to carry their protest to Ottawa, assuring the Canadian government and people that the Poles are not in sympathy with the Bolsheveki and declaring instead, that the agents of the Bolsheveki in Canada were not in sympathy with the aims of the Allies, with whom the Poles now have an army in the field.  It was stated, at the Polish meeting, that agents of the Bolsheveki had endeavoured to enlist the sympathy of Poles in the movement, but without success.  The opinion was freely expressed that agents of the Bolsheveki in this country should be interned.

Bachelor Tax, Montreal, 1918

Montreal Gazette, 26 Jul 1918, page 6

The Bachelor Tax Again


The bachelor tax is a candid harking back to medievalism.  At first it was regarded as a joke; and nobody thought the city would seek to impose it; but the notices are out; the stamp of civic authority is affixed; and penalties have been prescribed for disobedience tot eh civic authority.  It is confidently stated that an appeal to the courts would prove that the by-law is “ultra vires” of municipal authority; but, considering how little revenue can be obtained from the imposition of the tax; how unpopular it is; and how glaringly anachronous would be any regulation which prescribed the attitude and the relations of the individual life in a free democracy, it would seem that the proper thing to do would be to drop the matter.  The imposition of the tax was an after thought before the Quebec legislature.  It was indeed abandoned by the legislative committee; but, at the last moment, was reinstated and so became part of the amended city charter.

It is not urgent so much to demonstrate the legality of the by-law, as to laugh the matter out of court.  If the city needs revenue, there are more legitimate ways of finding it. It would certainly be no credit to the first city in the Dominion to have it go abroad, that a musty regulation belonging to the dark days of the “sumptuary laws” when the life of each individual was regulated, form the cut of his hair to the shape of his shoe, had been resurrected for imposition upon a free democracy, in a modern day, which expresses the genius for individualism.  Sumptuary laws were congruous enough in the Dark Ages they are unthinkably archaic today.

The city is too big, too modern to impose this ancient regulation, belonging to a dim past, when the individual counted for little in the political scheme of things.  If a serious attempt was made to collect this tax, which is based upon an inquisition repugnant to individual freedom the whole country would smile indulgently at a condition analogous to that in which you could introduce ‘curfew’ and have people obey it without laughing  in the face of Dogberry.

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